College students wanting a faster alternative to traditional four-year undergraduate programs will have the option of earning a bachelor's degree from Mississippi State University in just three years beginning in fall 2013.
Administrators announcing the offerings said the new programs may especially appeal to students who want to begin graduate school or enter the workforce sooner. Saving a full academic year in undergraduate school also will offer the financial advantages of saved living expenses and some tuition savings.
MSU President Mark E. Keenum said, "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. I am pleased that Mississippi State University is taking a leadership role in offering this new opportunity in our state."
Jerry Gilbert, MSU provost and executive vice president, said the university is developing the special programs to allow highly motivated and hard-working students the opportunity to complete a degree a full year ahead of traditional course curriculums by attending two summer semesters in addition to six fall and spring semesters, depending on the program.
Gilbert emphasized that MSU is a comprehensive land-grant institution with very high research activity status designated by the Carnegie Foundation. He said the new programs will offer a condensed schedule, but will not lower the academic quality of any degree program.
"We believe there is a strong demand for this type of program," said Gilbert. "As the process of higher education continues to evolve, innovative nontraditional strategies are necessary to empower students and deliver opportunity. This program helps Mississippi State be on the vanguard of that movement. "
Students who have scholarships should be able to apply them to courses taken over the summer, Gilbert added.
Among the 23 programs being offered, three are in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; three within the College of Arts and Sciences; three within the College of Business; and 14 within the College of Education.
Gilbert said excellent candidates for enrollment in a three-year degree program are students who enter college with credit earned by Advanced Placement (AP), Dual Enrollment, International Baccalaureate (IB), or the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).
High school students may contact three-year degree program advisors for help in planning high school courses that will complement their intended college major.
For more information about MSU's three-year degree programs, visit www.threeyeardegree.msstate.edu.