Dual degree programs in admissions spotlight

The Office of Admissions will trumpet GW’s dual-degree programs, which slice the amount of time and money students need to earn a master’s degree, in an effort to hook and hold on to more top high school students through graduate school.

The accelerated master’s degrees will be more heavily promoted in admissions pitches, Provost Steven Lerman said, alongside other top programs such as the University Honors Program, the Women’s Leadership Program and Politics and Values.

“We wanted to create some opportunities for those [highly-motivated] students to get all the way to the end of a master’s degree in a shorter period of time than would be typical for the normal four-year bachelor’s,” Lerman said.

High school students do not have to commit to the accelerated tracks before entering GW, but Lerman said the dual-degree program would mostly help students with substantial Advanced Placement credits leave with a master’s degree.

Students typically enter GW’s programs two or three years into their time at the University, oftentimes after consulting with their academic advisers, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Planning Forrest Maltzman said.

The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences offers 26 accelerated master’s programs, ranging from art history to anthropology. The most popular is the Bachelor of Arts: Political Communication and Master of Arts: Media and Public Affairs. There has also been a notable increase in enrollment for the bachelor’s and master’s in biology dual degree program, said Guennadi Bratichko, assistant director for the Columbian College’s Office of Graduate Student Services.

Bratichko declined to provide enrollment figures for the dual-degree programs.

But other dual-degree programs have been unsuccessful. GW shuttered its six-year B.A.-J.D. program two years ago after failing to attract students.

English professor Marshall Alcorn, who handles the dual-degree program for his department, said that there are currently two students in their senior year going through the B.A.-M.A. program in the English department, with four more in their fifth year.

Alcorn said he felt his students were more competitive in the job market after going through the program and said he was impressed by the positions they found.

Amelia Williams

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.