NSU will offer 5-year Scholars’ BA plus Master’s in English

Northwestern State University will launch a program in which students can earn a bachelor’s degree in humanities and social thought plus a master’s degree in English in five years. The program is a joint initiative between the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Louisiana’s designated honors college, and NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies. Dr. Keith Dromm will serve as program coordinator.

The program will begin in the Fall 2020 semester, but students can begin applying in the Spring 2020 semester.

“Students can and should expect the same depth and breadth of learning that they get in any degree with the Scholars’ College,” said Dr. Kirsten Bartels, director of the Louisiana Scholars’ College. “Although we are taking a year off the standard time to complete a B.A. and M.A., we are not sacrificing any of the quality. Student still complete 108 hours with the Scholars’ College and complete a thesis, but in their fourth year they begin taking graduate classes and in their final year they complete their thesis.”

According to Dromm, students will complete the program with 138 total credit hours, rather than the 150 required if the degrees were pursued separately, allowing them to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years as opposed to the usual six.

“This is achieved by allowing the dual-counting of 12 credit hours towards both the B.A. and M.A. requirements,” he said. “This will save students both time and money, but without any sacrifice to the quality of their education.”

Employers have in recent years rediscovered the value of employees who hold liberal arts degrees for soft skills that include interdisciplinary learning, communicating in a team setting, challenging conventional thinking to offer creative solutions to problems and adapting to industry changes. The curriculum prepares graduates for careers as journalists, educators, librarians, communications specialists, lawyers, publishers, public health advocates, marketing specialists and many other job fields.

“The program is unique among other accelerated programs around the country in offering degrees in two different fields,” Dromm said. “This gives students a wide range of opportunities after graduation. They could pursue a doctorate in English. They’d also be qualified for graduate studies in other humanities fields and the social sciences. The program will provide excellent preparation for law school. A career in education is another option. They would also be well-prepared for careers in the public or private sector, as more and more employers are seeking employees with the type of high-quality liberal arts education provided by Scholars’ and English at NSU.”

For more information on the program, contact Dromm at drommk@nsula.edu