Nor Attisha was 11 years old when she discovered her career path.
“Ever since I was a child, I was exposed to politics,” she said. “I want to be a politician, retire and then teach foreign policy. I want to reshape the American foreign policy toward different parts of the world.”
But in order to achieve her goals, the University of Michigan-Dearborn senior knew she needed a master’s degree.
This fall, Attisha will have an opportunity to take advantage of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters’ (CASL) accelerated master of public policy program. Attisha plans to specialize in international policy, but CASL also will offer an economic policy specialization.
Whereas UM-Dearborn’s current program requires 42 credit hours, the accelerated program only requires 24 credits. That’s because students who enroll in the accelerated program will take some graduate-level courses during their undergraduate work. Students who complete the accelerated program can graduate with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 144 credits.
“Now, our students can have a master’s degree in public policy in one year,” said CASL Associate Dean Ilir Miteza. “And the synergy between economics and political science that you have in the master of public policy program has been taken up one notch higher.”
The opportunity to obtain both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from UM-Dearborn in five years inspired Attisha to seriously consider the accelerated program.
“This would be perfect for me,” she said.
UM-Dearborn’s graduate board recently signed off on the accelerated program, which Miteza contends will strengthen the curriculum, increase undergraduate enrollment and allow for shorter graduation times.
“For us, this was the result of a reflection on some significant challenges in higher education today, which revolve around long graduation times and affordability,” he said. “By reducing the time to graduation from two years to one, we are making graduate studies more affordable for our students, as well.”
CASL Dean Martin Hershock agrees the accelerated program will enhance students’ academic credentials at a reduced cost.
“It also stands as a prime example of the innovative ways that our faculty stand ready to assist our students in furthering their academic goals in a manner that is also consistent with our desire to keep a University of Michigan-quality education within the financial reach of our student body,” Hershock said.