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Two Great Degrees in Five Years

09_2012_fall_undergrad_commencement_1363wI am very pleased to tell you that last week, the School of Sustainability officially launched an accelerated (4+1) degree program. Current and future students who meet the requirements can enroll and receive a bachelor’s and a master’s degree (MSUS) in 5 rather than the typical 6 years. We built this program in response to my breakfasts and lunches with current students. When I asked how many would want to enroll in a 4+1 program nearly every hand went up.

This interest doesn’t surprise me for a couple of reasons. First, our students are smart, motivated, and passionate about what they do. We have the highest retention rates on campus, which speaks to the quality of the degree programs we offer and the dedication of our students. The chance to stay on in the School of Sustainability and specialize even more by enrolling in a master’s degree in sustainability should therefore not come as a surprise.

Another reason is that many of our students are already doing graduate quality work by the time they get to their junior and senior year.  In the accelerated program, students can take some courses toward their master’s degree while they are finishing up their bachelor’s degree. An added bonus is that because we work with and know the potential of our own students, we do not require them to take the GRE when they apply for admission. Below are the basic eligibility requirements for the 4+1 program. If you are interested in learning more, have a look at the full description on our web page:

To be eligible for admission to a 4+1 program, a student must:

  • Have a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 credit hours of undergraduate coursework.
  • Have accumulated at least 75 credit hours toward the undergraduate degree at the time of application; 90 credit hours are required to begin the program.
  • Have completed at least six credit hours of upper division coursework in the major.
  • Be on track to graduate with the undergraduate degree two semesters after being accepted into the program (one calendar year later than the acceptance date).

Looking back on my own years as an undergraduate student, I wish this kind of opportunity had been available to me. I encourage all of you to take a close look, and feel free to talk to any of our advisors. I look forward to welcoming many of you into this new and exciting 4+1 program!