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Juniors work on Master's degree in 4+1 program

October 28, 2011

By Karen Mowls

The 4+1 program is an accelerated track to gaining a master’s degree, and it is available in many fields at Cleveland State, with Applied Communication Theory and Methodology being the newest to the list. The School of Communication started accepting applications last year.

Gary Pettey, graduate director in the School of Communication, helped design the 4+1 program in Communication. He said that the program is for stronger students, as they will be taking graduate courses during their junior year at the university.

The students accepted in the program will be able to earn a master’s degree in about five years, including the time they put in earning their bachelors, instead of the regular six-plus years.

There are strict requirements that need to be met to apply to the program. Students must have a minimum of 16 credit hours in Communication and have a junior standing (65-89 credits earned).

A 3.40 minimum grade-point average is expected, with a 3.25 GPA within communication courses.

Two letters of recommendation from faculty within the Communication department are also required.

Prospective students need to provide a letter of intent describing how the program will help them with their future career goals.

Students in the program will be taking at least 16 credit hours per semester. Up to 12 hours of approved coursework can be counted toward the student’s bachelor’s and master’s degree.

Students will be completing full-time graduate work over three years. They will have to attend class during the summer session to finish the program in five years.
Jonathan Herzberger is in his first year of the program.

“I’ll be honest, it’s a lot of work,” he said. “A lot of reading, a lot of informationally dense journal articles, a lot of very conceptually thick material as compared to undergrad.”
“Having said that, I love it. It’s a great way to sort of get my feet wet, and I am absolutely loving the program,” Herzberger said.

“The material is fascinating, and coincidentally pretty helpful in my undergrad classes. I feel like I’m really understanding theoretical concepts that really only get a token presence in undergraduate classes. All told, I’m having a blast, but wow am I busy.”

Robert Whitbred, a professor who teaches some of the courses that are included in the 4+1 program in Leadership and Communication Management, said that if students want to find out more information about the program, they can visit with him, George Ray, or Gary Petty.

Whitbred said that CSU has a “large proportion of graduate students and the objective of the program is to provide a means to do it more efficiently.”

Other master’s degrees that are offered within the 4+1 format are Environmental Studies, Chemical or Civil Engineering, Mathematics, Physics and more.
If a student chooses to go through the 4+1 program in Computer Information and Science, Progressive is offering a renewable $1,000 book scholarship which will cover $500 of books per semester.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must be in good academic standing and be enrolled in an MCIS 4+1 program. Students must also have a GPA of 3.0 or better.
The different tracks that are offered in the Applied Communication Theory and Methodology master’s program include Thesis, Research Project, Collaborative Research and Comprehensive Exam.

For more information on the program, visit cis.csuohio.edu/academics/mcis/accelerated.php.