College of Letters & Science debuts accelerated programs

The College of Letters & Science is debuting three new accelerated programs this fall that will allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just five years.

The new offerings include:

  • Bachelor’s in political science/master’s of public administration
  • Bachelor’s in Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latin@ studies/masters in translation (French or Spanish)
  • Bachelor’s in French/master’s in translation (French).

“For students who are committed to either translation or public administration early in their college career, the ability to earn both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years can save them thousands of dollars,” said Rodney Swain, dean of the College of Letters & Science.

Accelerated degree programs also save students time on their education, added John Bohte, the director of UWM’s master of public administration program. Separately, earning both degrees would take students a minimum of six years.

“Students do not have to take extra courses to fit everything in,” Bohte said. “In fact, this is one of the key advantages of the 3-2 program; it saves a student a year of undergraduate coursework.”

That means that students will be able to enter their chosen careers much faster – and the new degree offerings are all in areas that are in need of skilled professionals. The translation and interpreting market has a projected job growth of nearly 30 percent by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Public administration historically maintains a job placement rate of 85 to 90 percent, and experts anticipate there will be myriad job openings as baby-boomers retire.

To help meet that growing demand, the new courses will prepare students through internships, field work opportunities and a solid liberal arts education.

UWM could see more of these types of programs in the coming years to help students save time and money while earning two degrees.

“We are currently looking into the possibility of additional accelerated programs in areas of growth,” said Swain. “These could be the 3-2 combination like in translation and public administration, or a 4-1 combination, or even partnerships with external professional schools where a student would complete 3 years at UWM and immediately enter a professional graduate program elsewhere.”

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