Joint BS/BA and Master's programs gain popularity

By Courtney Bottazzi

Contributing Writer

Out of the 3,500 undergraduate students and 150 graduate students enrolled at the University, only a handful of students span both groups by enrolling in programs that simultaneously complete requirements for dual degrees and master’s degrees. These programs can include summer courses, extra classes and additional years spent on the University’s campus.

Heather Lenker ’12, a chemistry major, and Stephanie Cutler ’12, a civil engineer and management for engineering major, are involved in these types of programs on campus.

Heather first found out about the B.S./master’s degree program from her adviser.

“My adviser told me about the program and said it would be good for me to get another degree since I was already getting research done so early,” Lenker said.

Lenker stayed at the University this past summer and will continue her research this coming summer. She also must complete three graduate level classes over the course of her junior and senior years.

“It’s been a great experience and is really helping me make the most out of my Bucknell experience,” Lenker said.

The civil engineering and management program is one of the reasons Cutler chose to attend the University.

“I thought by double-majoring in management, I could learn skills that are really different than what most engineers get but are still really necessary in all engineering industries,” said Cutler, who is completing the requirements for a B.S. degree in engineering while taking eight management classes.

“This program not only gives me a great opportunity to plan my schedule three years in advance, but it’s also a really great way to take advantage of two strong programs that Bucknell has to offer. Bucknell emphasizes management and communication skills for all of its engineers but I get extra exposure to that so hopefully I’ll get a job someday,” Cutler said.

Cutler also participated in a six-week class this summer at the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management.

These programs have given students opportunities to go beyond the scope of their majors and take full advantage of the education the University has to offer. The hard work demanded by extra classes and research will give these students an enormous accomplishment and either a master’s degree or dual degree at graduation.

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