Students majoring in economics at UNCG will be encouraged to consider “five years, two degrees, one great career” when they get advised for Fall 2014. That’s the slogan of the new Accelerated Degree Program (ADP) in Economics. Under the ADP, well-qualified undergrads can begin taking graduate courses during their senior year. Up to 12 hours of credit for those courses will apply toward both the undergraduate degree and the MA in Applied Economics, saving students time and money.

According to Ken Snowden, Director of Graduate Studies, “The ADP is a great idea for students who know they want to pursue a career as a professional economist.

“We believe the ADP will make the transition to our MA in Applied Economics program smooth and seamless. Well-prepared ADP students can complete the first four courses in the MA sequence during the fall semester of their senior year and enter the MA program formally in Spring after a December graduation. Another option would be to take two MA courses in the fall and two more in the spring, which could allow a May graduate to finish the MA in the spring following the senior year.”

Lorissa Pagan is an economics major with a math minor who is very interested in the econometrics training offered as a core part of the MA in Applied Economics. Ken got to know her when she enrolled in his Money and Economic Activity course, and he encouraged her to consider the ADP.  Lorissa is already on track to graduate in December 2014, so the opportunity to begin graduate studies during her final semester fits beautifully into her planned schedule.

John Boney heard about the ADP when he was being advised and came by the Graduate Programs Office to get more information. A talk with graduate coordinator Jean Rosales helped him decide that policy analysis sounded like an interesting field for future employment, and he welcomes the chance to begin graduate studies in Fall 2014.

Destine Ernest plans on graduating in May 2015 and thinks entering the ADP in Economics will give her a chance to try out the MA program while completing her BA degree. “I like the idea of learning more about applying the theory I’ve studied as an undergrad, so pursuing an MA was definitely an option I’ve been considering. Fitting some of the core graduate courses into my undergraduate degree will help me make the decision of what I want to do after I graduate.”

Ken says, “This is not the right choice for every student. The Graduate School requires ADP students to have a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Students must have completed the appropriate prerequisite courses in economics as undergrads before they begin the MA core, and they must earn at least a B in the graduate courses they take in order to receive credit toward their undergraduate and graduate degrees.

“However, for our best students, this is an opportunity to save time and money and to get a head start on earning a professional degree. We hope it will be an attractive option for our majors.”

Five Years, Two Degrees – the new ADP in Econ