June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.162.1 - 12.162.7
AC 2007-63: Accelerated Dual Graduate Degree Programs
Ronald Kane, Clarisa Gonzalez-Lenahan and Stephen Eck
Career goals of engineering students, enrollment needs of universities, and academic quality concerns of engineering faculty are often in conflict. The development, standards, and administration of dual graduate degree programs can positively address all three needs. One university’s approach to dual graduate degree programs is described with reference to combined bachelor’s and masters, bachelor’s and doctoral, masters and masters, and graduate certificate and masters degree programs. These are arranged flexibly to meet multiple degree objectives that may combine multidisciplinary engineering degrees, engineering with management, engineering with architecture, and other combinations in the STEM disciplines.
Standards for admission and participation, retention, advancement to the graduate program, and quality control are described. Methods of recruitment and the impact on the diversity of the graduate student population are described over a 10-year period of accumulated data.
The concept of dual degree programs, connected bachelor's and master's degree programs, has been available to students at New Jersey Institute of Technology since the early 1980's. Dual degree programs exist at other universities with programs linked to professional programs, such as law, being quite popular (Ref. 2). Others are often connections between undergraduate liberal arts programs and engineering programs (Ref. 3). The implementation of the concept at NJIT and the concept itself (now including PhD and MBA programs) has gone through several stages of development since that time, driven by a number of factors that reflect the transition of NJIT from a specialized, primarily undergraduate institution to a major public research university (Ref. 1) with over 40 Master's programs, 18 doctoral programs, and graduate enrollment approaching 3000. The initial concept was to allow undergraduates to proceed smoothly into the new Master's programs that were being developed, allowing enhancement of their professionally-based education and providing a vehicle for faculty and students to work on Master's level Projects and Theses. The primary draw for students was the ability to take two graduate courses, while still undergraduates, and have them count toward both the current undergraduate degree program and toward a following graduate degree program. That concept is still a major piece of the present configuration of one type of dual degree program at NJIT.
The BS/MS program, as it was called initially, was not centrally administered and effectively was an ad hoc arrangement for individual students and those programs who wished to promote it internally in a particular department. The program was linear in that students proceeded directly from a Bachelor's program directly into a similarly titled Master's program within the same
Kane, R., & Gonzalez-Lenahan, C., & Eck, S. (2007, June), Accelerated Dual Graduate Degree Programs Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1492
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