Five-year program attracts students

Matt Fredrikson has been a student at GW for four years. He earns exceptional grades. Yet when the class of 2000 walked across the Ellipse Sunday to receive their diplomas, he was not among the crowd of graduates.

By participating in the five-year Information Systems Technology program from the School of Business and Public Management, Fredrikson will remain a student while working to earn his master’s degree.

The program is one of three five-year programs offered by SBPM. Students in the program simultaneously complete requirements for both a master’s and bachelor’s degree in business administration during their final two years in school.

Fredrikson said the program’s low cost attracted him.

It’s one of the cheapest ways to get your master’s with minimal effort, said Fredrikson, who said that he will work to cover the cost next year.

Although he could not attend Commencement on the Ellipse, he attended the SBPM ceremony.

Nick Boman, a graduate student who will complete the program this week, said he feels the program has benefited him.

I think that the big pro is that I’m going to be 23 and I’m going to have a master’s degree, said Boman, who will start working for American Management Systems as an information technology consultant in August. The big con is that normally when someone gets their master’s, they have two or three years of work experience.

Boman said the advantages heavily outweighed the drawbacks.

You would think that you would lose a lot of friends because most people leave the D.C. area, Boman said. But my experience is that most my friends stayed in the area.

Fredrikson said that he has not thought about the fact that his friends are leaving.

To be honest (the thought of friends leaving) hasn’t really sunk in yet, Fredrikson said. A lot my friends will still be in D.C.

Boman lives near the Foggy Bottom campus, but Fredrikson has opted to move near Dupont Circle.

For one, it’s easier to find an apartment, Fredrikson said. But I also just wanted to see a different part of the city.

Applying before the start of junior year, participants of the program receive an exemption from taking the GMAT.

It’s definitely weird because you’re not an undergrad, Boman said. But being in college for five years . I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Once you start working in the real world you have to acquire a life style that you just don’t have when you are a student.

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