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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

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Integrated bachelor’s/master’s program returns after hiatus

Integrated+bachelor%E2%80%99s%2Fmaster%E2%80%99s+program+returns+after+hiatus
Lucas Yang

Case Western Reserve University’s combined bachelor’s/master’s programs are open for admission, after the Faculty Senate voted to create a new combined program last semester. This comes after the original Integrated Graduate Studies (IGS) programs suspended their admissions in the fall 2023 semester, in response to changes made by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) regarding the number of credits that can be double-counted.

The original IGS program allowed students to earn an advanced degree in addition to their bachelor’s, in either four or five years, without having to formally re-apply to graduate school.

The new combined program replaces all the previous combined bachelor’s and master’s programs, except those in medicine, dentistry and law, which are not regulated by the state of Ohio. This new program only allows nine credit hours to double-count across all disciplines.

The university claims that the original programs have not “been discontinued.” According to the university, this new program will address confusion by bringing all the BA/MA, BS/MS and BA and professional degrees into one centralized place.

“It also allows students to apply for whatever master’s program they are interested in, which wasn’t possible under the old rules. More students will now be able to combine their bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” the university said.

The previous IGS programs allowed students to use a large portion of the master’s degree credits for their undergraduate degree. This allowed many students to graduate within four years. With the new, stricter regulations, students are expected to spend extra time to complete their degrees.

To apply, students need to have completed 75 credit hours and have two semesters of undergrad remaining before graduation. Many of the application simplifications, such as not having to take a graduate school exam, still apply.

 

It is important to note that students who matriculated before the summer 2022 can participate in the former IGS program. The Faculty Senate successfully grandfathered them in and the university says this will allow those students who have previously changed their plans, due to IGS’ temporary shutdown, to continue earning their combined degree.

The university said the new combined degree requirements only exist because of changes the state of Ohio made in 2022.

Though, many students stress the annoyance with the current system.

A computer science student expressed frustration with “a lack of transparency with the department about the possibility of a withdrawal.”

“The university should’ve made it clear to applicants that such changes were being discussed,” they said. “Additionally, there was not much information disseminated by the school after [the original suspension] was announced.”

CWRU told The Observer that these changes will be communicated with students when information about the combined programs are fully updated.

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About the Contributors
Zachary Treseler, News Editor
Zachary Treseler is a third-year student majoring in international studies and economics, with minors in art history and French. Outside of writing to The Observer (sometimes at the last minute), you might be able to catch them walking backwards around campus, in Northeast Ohio's various bookstores, or seeing a show at Playhouse Square. Zachary also makes fudge…sometimes.
Lucas Yang, Graphic Designer
Lucas Yang (he/him) is a second-year student studying computer science and English. He enjoys abandoning art projects, watching figure skating and distimming the doshes.

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