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CGSP forwards five-year degrees

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 31 - May 4, 1995

The Commission on Graduate Studies and Policies (CGSP) approved a proposal Wednesday afternoon for a five-year bachelor's/master's degree that has already been approved by the Commission on Undergraduate Studies.

Jack Dudley, who first drafted the proposal at the request of the College of Arts and Sciences, explained that it is intended for students with a 3.5 average or better. After the students have completed 75 hours, they can ask their department to nominate them for the degree, then they apply to the Graduate School. During their fourth year, they can take a maximum of 12 hours of graduate credit, which the undergraduate department will also recognize toward the bachelor's degree. They remain an undergraduate student in all respects until their fifth year.

According to a handout, the master's degree must require a thesis, the student must have demonstrated a capacity for independent research, and the student must submit two programs of study--one addressing undergraduate degree completion.

At least initially, students who enroll in the program will not take the GRE until the regular time in their fourth year, "which will help us monitor whether we've allowed the right students to proceed," Dudley explained.

"We have a number of incredibly qualified students," Dudley said. Virginia Tech ranks very high in advanced-placement credits brought to the university. Students with AP credit require fewer hours to complete the bachelor's degree. "The program makes Virginia Tech more competitive in the recruitment of excellent undergraduate and graduate students."

Rebecca Lovingood asked if a student in one department can be accepted for a master's degree in another department. Dudley said the undergraduate department must approve. Joe Merola said there has to be a match between the graduate courses and undergraduate courses. By way of an example, Dudley named a student who presently has dual majors and dual minors. "He might forego one minor in order to begin graduate school."