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From the Desk: A new focus on Accelerated Master’s Programs

David Daleke. David Daleke.With an increased focus on the future of graduate education at IU Bloomington, we at the Bloomington Graduate School are working with colleagues across campus to enhance and expand our combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.

In his most recent Engage IUB column, Provost Rahul Shrivastav shared our exciting new focus on Accelerated Master’s Programs, through which IU Bloomington students can earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years or less. These programs are especially attractive to undergraduates who enter IU with advanced credit. Through the existing Pathways Scholarship program, qualified undergraduates from all areas of study can apply their undergraduate financial aid toward the AMP program.

The “AMP revamp” will offer financial incentives to programs that create new accelerated degrees that bridge departments. The new programs will focus on innovative combinations of bachelor’s and master’s degrees, especially those from different departments and schools, which will allow students to create unique combinations of academic training specifically tailored to their career goals.

Through a marketing plan scheduled to roll out widely in 2023, prospective students and families will learn of combined bachelor’s/master’s options early in their educational planning. This will boost enrollment in AMP programs, allow greater flexibility for students in pairing degrees and support the creation of new degree plans as IU expands into new areas of multidisciplinary study.

The list of 25 existing IU Bloomington accelerated master’s degree offerings will increase significantly in upcoming semesters. New AMP degrees will join the current inventory, which includes:

  • The Kelley School of Business’ 3+2 MBA.
  • Accelerated MPA and MSES degrees in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
  • Several master’s programs in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering.
  • The 4+1 Pathway degrees offered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

Jeff Rutherford. Jeff Rutherford.Many departments have already expressed interest in developing newly refocused degree combinations. Accelerated degrees can be built either as additional tracks in existing master’s degree programs or as new master’s degrees. Jeff Rutherford, assistant dean for academic affairs, leads the AMP program and will support interested faculty and administrators in creating new programs, as well as the steps needed for formal degree proposals. Please reach out to him about this initiative at ampiu@indiana.edu.

Advanced degrees contribute not just to an individual student’s intellectual growth — which alone is important — but to global knowledge and public discourse on critical issues of our day, from the role of public humanities to the ethics of AI applications. The AMP program provides an ideal opportunity for undergraduates to pursue advanced training, improve their analytical skills and achieve their career aspirations through creating unique academic pathways.

David Daleke is vice provost for graduate education and health sciences and interim dean of the IU Bloomington University Graduate School.