Dual Degree Program Helps Chemistry, Forensic Science Majors Pursue Graduate Degree

Eastern Kentucky University students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or forensic science can now also complete a master’s degree in chemistry in one additional year as part of an accelerated dual degree program.

With the program, students earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree with five years of full-time study – less time than earning each degree separately would take.

“Graduates with a B.S. forensic science degree from EKU complete all the coursework required for an entry level position in a crime lab,” explained Dr. Lori Wilson, chair of EKU’s Department of Chemistry. “However, there is stiff competition for crime lab jobs and our graduates were competing with applicants who have a M.S. forensic or chemistry degree. We created the dual B.S. Forensic/M.S. Chemistry degree so that our graduates would not only be more competitive for entry level positions but also qualified for eventual promotions or supervisory positions.”

Graduates of the dual degree program will be qualified for more than 30 different types of positions, ranging from environmental labs to health care, Wilson noted.

“This is a good option for students who are not ready to commit to a Ph.D., but want the advantage a graduate degree can bring,” she added.

“Students may apply for the 3+2 program in their junior year,” said Dr. Jerry Pogatshnik, Dean of Graduate Studies at EKU. “Admission requirements for the accelerated degree are the same as those for the two-year master’ s program with the exception that 3+2 applicants do not have to take the GRE. Upon acceptance to the 3+2 program, the undergraduate student may take graduate level courses. Once the baccalaureate degree is awarded the student is granted full admission to the graduate level program.”

Ten graduate students are currently enrolled in the master’s degree program, but enrollment is expected to increase to between 30 and 40 students with the addition of the accelerated degree option, based on similar programs elsewhere.

To learn more, visit chemistry.eku.edu/chemistry-graduate-studies.

Published on July 23, 2012