Queens College is now offering accelerated master’s programs to students seeking to decrease the cost and duration of time it will take them to earn their graduate degree. As of now, 26 of these programs are to be available for students who qualify, covering a significant number of the graduate-level degree and certificate programs currently offered at QC. In the college’s 2019 Biennial Report, outgoing President Felix V. Matos Rodriguez makes mention of this new effort, which accompanies another initiative, QC in 4, centered around expediting students’ paths toward their degrees.
“In keeping with the Strategic Plan, we are facilitating student success are the undergraduate and graduate level,” says Matos. “Among our innovations are QC in 4, which help undergraduates earn bachelor’s degrees within four years, and accelerated graduate options, which allow qualified undergraduates to take graduate-level courses that count toward both their bachelor’s degree and the master’s or certificate program of their choice.”
In a previous interview with QC’s student newspaper, The Knight News, President Matos had also mentioned both, these efforts and the overall Strategic Plan that has guided their enactment, mentioning that this plan has been a collaborative one devised with the input of many people, including college staff and members of the Board of Trustees. In his words, the guiding principles of this plan for the current academic year include “promoting faculty and staff excellence; promoting diversity; weaving campus, community and global connections; and strengthening occupational capacity and infrastructure.”
With regard to the accelerated master’s programs, the qualifications for students seeking to enroll are as follows, as per the page on the QC website: students must be in “upper sophomore or lower junior standing (45 – 75 credits) with a GPA of 3.0 or above” to be eligible to enroll in an accelerated graduate degree. “Up to 12 credits of graduate coursework can count towards both a student’s baccalaureate degree requirements and the degree requirements for the graduate program of interest.”
The accelerated master’s programs are notably distinct from another degree program offered by QC, the BA/MA. Whereas the Accelerated MA still involves a student fully enrolling into a master’s program once they have received their bachelor’s degree, the BA/MA grants both degrees at once after a set five-year period.
Altogether, Queens College offers degree and certificate programs among 27 different subjects. Undergraduate degree programs participating in the accelerated master’s program include Accounting, Applied Linguistics, Art History, Biology, Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science, Economics, English, French, Italian, History, Mathematics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Sociology, Spanish and Urban Studies. Each offers the opportunity for a qualified student to take graduate coursework in a corresponding master’s program, such as Risk Management for Accounting, Business Administration for Economics, or History for undergraduate History or Art History.
In the Biennial Report, Khaleel Anderson, a student spotlighted as an active, talented community organizer seeking a future career “with an advocacy background,” is set to graduate in May through the accelerated Urban Affairs program. He is one of many students already benefiting from this initiative, leaving QC with a full undergraduate and graduate-level education within just five years and for less of a cost than a standard master’s program would have offered, thanks to the efforts of President Matos and everyone involved in establishing these programs.