By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
STARKVILLE – Mississippi State University will begin offering an option to allow students to earn a bachelor’s degree in three years.
Beginning this fall, students can earn a degree in 23 academic programs through a course that will include six fall and spring semesters and two summer semesters.
“We realize that nationwide, there is a lot of talk about the need to help students get a degree as quickly as possible” said Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president. “We thought this was a way of packaging our degrees. It saves a little in terms of tuition, but will save a good bit in housing costs and gets the person in a position to go into the job market or to graduate school a little earlier.”
To complete the three-year programs, students will need to average 15 to 18 credit hours each semester, with 12 hours each summer, Gilbert said. The average MSU student takes 14.3 credit hours each semester, he said. At that pace, a student would graduate in 4.5 to five years.
“This three-year program offers our students the prospect of cost savings without sacrificing the world-class level of instruction they will receive in pursuit of their degrees,” MSU President Mark Keenum said in a news release. “I am pleased that Mississippi State University is taking a leadership role in offering this new opportunity in our state.”
It would be beneficial, but not necessary, for students who enter with credit earned by Advanced Placement, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate or the College-Level Examination Program, Gilbert said.
“I don’t think this will be for everyone,” he said. “It will be for highly motivated students who have their career plan laid out in front of them and know exactly what they want to do because it is a very prescribed, set course to get out in three years.”
More information about Mississippi State University’s new three-year degree programs is available at www.threeyeardegree.msstate.edu.