Students who despair at the many years it takes to earn both a masters and doctorate degree, or are interested in multiple disciplines, are in luck. There is now a gaining trend where universities allow students to earn both their masters degree and their doctorate degree – simultaneously.
Brown’s Open Graduate Education
Brown University’s graduate school is the latest school to institute a combined masters-doctoral program called Open Graduate Education. This program has been instituted for all disciplines in the humanities or humanistic social sciences department. If accepted into the program, doctoral degree students will be able to pursue a masters in any degree in a different discipline.
Educators at Brown hope that this new program will encourage inter-disciplinary pursuits and broaden the students’ education, as well as prepare them better for the job market. Peter Weber, professor of chemistry and dean of Brown’s graduate school, says of the program, “we envision an institutional transformation where a large number of students engage in multidisciplinary intellectual discourse.”
Only the Latest
Brown is only the latest to offer the combined masters-doctoral program. The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work allows students to enroll in a program where they earn simultaneously both their Master of Social Work and their Doctor of Philosophy in Social work. University of Houston’s Graduate College of Social Work is another school that has implemented a similar program.
These new programs will hopefully make it easier both on the student who has multiple interests or limited time. It will also, as Weber states, allow more interdisciplinary research and studies. Altogether, it seems the perfect way, as they say, to kill two bird with one program.