By Sophie Edwards
Louisiana Tech University already boasts the shortest time to degree completion in the state, and now students have the opportunity to further their education and complete a graduate degree as well.
Through Louisiana Tech’s Concurrent Enrollment program, qualified undergraduate students can begin taking graduate-level courses while still completing their bachelor’s degrees. Concurrent enrollment allows students to save money, maintain greater control of their course load, and spend less time earning their degrees.
“The financial aspect is the greatest benefit for our students,” said Dr. Jamie Newman, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the College of Applied and Natural Sciences. “They can earn their degrees more efficiently, and the Concurrent Enrollment program allows our students who have been engaged in research to continue that inquiry on a graduate level.”
Many students at Louisiana Tech University are earning their undergraduate and graduate degrees while still using their Taylor Opportunity Program Scholarship (TOPS) or other financial aid toward graduate school.
“Concurrent enrollment has given me a taste of what graduate courses are like,” said Thomas Schwartzenburg, a senior in Mathematics and Computer Science who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Mathematics. “Through this program, I have developed a more research-oriented perspective and become more involved in my classes.”
Ellie Wilcox, a senior Finance major, is working to earning her Master of Accountancy degree through the program.
“Concurrent enrollment has taken off much of the financial pressure of graduate school because I can use my undergraduate scholarship money while earning my master’s,” Wilcox said. “I am planning on studying for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam while I am in graduate school, so I will also be able to lessen my course load to focus on studying.”
Graduate programs in each of Louisiana Tech’s colleges are open to concurrent enrollment for undergraduates. For instance, the College of Business allows undergraduates to concurrently enroll in the Master of Business Administration and Master of Accountancy (MAcc) degrees, and the College of Education allows concurrent enrollment in the master’s program in Kinesiology. The College of Engineering and Science offers the opportunity to enroll concurrently in all master’s programs offered, and the College of Liberal Arts features concurrent enrollment in English and Communication graduate programs. Finally, the College ofApplied and Natural Sciences allows undergraduates to enroll concurrently in any of their master’s programs, including Biology, Nutrition and Dietetics, and Health Informatics.
Concurrent enrollment in the MAcc program is also uniquely offered to undergraduate Accounting students at Grambling State University.
Through the program, students can earn up to 12 hours of graduate courses as an undergraduate. Applicants should have less than 30 hours remaining in their undergraduate degree and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2.
“Concurrent enrollment has helped me balance my coursework, make better use of my scholarship money, and reduce the number of classes I need to take at a time while in graduate school,” Wilcox said.
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