The government department established a new democracy and governance B.A./M.A. program, allowing undergraduate students to graduate in five years with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in a specific subject.

The B.A./M.A. program is multidisciplinary and engages with the fields of political science, international relations, security studies and development studies.

“Democracy promotion has been a key component of U.S. foreign policy for decades,” Associate Director of the democracy and governance program Yonathan Morse said. “Our two-year M.A. is the most comprehensive of its kind in the U.S. and is meant to address these needs by educating students about the foundations of responsive and democratic government, the relationship between economic and political reform and the design and role of policy.”

The stand-alone M.A. in democracy and governance currently has an average incoming class size of 12 students.

The government department also offers a B.A./M.A. program in American studies.

The B.A./M.A. program will incorporate all of the existing requirements for the M.A. program, but will both cost less and take less time, according to Justin Harried, the administrative officer for the democracy and governance program. Undergraduates who apply to the program will begin taking graduate courses in the second semester of their senior year and transition into graduate school the following academic year.

The program is intended for top students within the government department and is already in effect.

“The only difference between the B.A./M.A. and the M.A. in democracy and governance is that by allowing the B.A./M.A. students to take M.A. level courses in their senior year they are saving themselves a significant amount of time and money as opposed to enrolling in the M.A. after graduating,” Harried said.

Students must complete 120 credits for the bachelor’s degree, as well as 42 credits for the M.A. in democracy and governance.

Morse said that one of the goals of the new program is to allow students to enter the work force in less time.

“I think that students are looking for these sort of options, especially as graduate education is a growing requirement for certain professional fields,” Morse said. “We are also very aware at how valuable a person’s time is and how the financial side of education is a real concern for many students.”

The new program also places a high value on practical experience and offers up to six credits for internships.

“We really stress theory and practice, and provide opportunities for students to engage with the professional world while they are in school,” Morse said. “Since the M.A. is part of the government department, students have access to a world class faculty. But, the M.A. program also hires active practitioners who teach students.”

Eddie Morles (COL ’17), who is majoring in government, said that he is considering the program since it lessens the financial burden takes less time.

“I am planning on focusing on domestic public policy, and this program would be great, especially since it saves both time and money for the same M.A. degree,” Morles said. “The time and financial commitment was always a hindrance for me when I considered an M.A., so it is wonderful that these obstacles are cleared in this program.”

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