The rapidly changing workplace demands that people continually learn and refine their skills to remain employable. In the spirit of the lifelong learning initiative at Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), the University will launch Jefferson RISE—a unique program in which high-achieving undergraduate students advance their knowledge by pursuing distinctive graduate programs at Jefferson.
“RISE students will be better equipped to tackle the challenges of the latest industrial revolution and offer superior solutions gained from their transdisciplinary and experiential graduate education at Jefferson,” said Philip Russel, associate vice provost.
RISE allows students a seamless transition from their undergraduate programs to graduate school with minimal application-related paperwork. Students invited to participate in the RISE program also will benefit from early acceptance to graduate programs, financial incentives related to standard admission and enrollment fees, and other exclusive privileges.
“By continuing their education at Jefferson, students extend their learning in a familiar and vibrant culture that they have come to love,” Russel said. “Students also often will be able to learn and collaborate with distinguished professors who have inspired and mentored them in their undergraduate programs.”
Jefferson leads the way in creating seamless transitions from undergraduate to graduate study, noted Matt Dane Baker, senior vice provost for academic affairs. This practice takes on several forms and has been designed to add value—and in many cases—reduce the cost for students.
For example, the University operates several combined undergraduate pre-professional-to-graduate professional options, such as the five-year combined B.S. in Health Sciences-M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies and B.S. in Psychology-M.S. in Community and Trauma Counseling programs. Both would reduce study by one year and the total cost of the education. Jefferson has similar programs for occupational therapy, pharmacy, athletic training, public health and more.
A second option Jefferson offers allows a student to combine a professional undergraduate degree with a specialty graduate degree, such as the 4+1 B.S. in Interior Design-M.S in Sustainable Design. The University also features programs for undergraduate and advance graduate study in the same discipline, such as the five-year B.S. in Business/Accounting/Finance/Fashion Merchandising-MBA program.
The University’s newest set of offerings lets students study and qualify for licensure in two distinct disciplines, including the combined B.S. in Interior Design-M.S. in Architecture and B.S. in Architecture-M.S. in Interior Design.
“We believe all these programs provide excellent options for students that will differentiate the Jefferson graduate in the marketplace,” Baker said. “This can only enhance our 95 percent success rate of employment or graduate school placement upon graduation.”
RISE graduates will join a growing group of accomplished alumni who have already graduated with multiple degrees from Jefferson—including people like Oliver Thompson ’14 ’M16, job captain at the architecture and design firm Studio 1200 in Short Hills, N.J. His work includes base building design, adaptive reuse of existing structures and ground-up construction. Thompson completed a summer internship with the company during grad school and received a full-time offer following graduation.
Thompson earned a B.S. in Architectural Studies with a minor in Environmental Sustainability at Jefferson, and after working closely with program director Rob Fleming, he decided to pursue his M.S. in Sustainable Design here as well. The program’s emphasis on collaboration and its holistic, realistic approach to sustainability and design sold him.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University during my undergrad, and I loved Philly,” he said. “I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I feel I had a stronger start in the graduate program because I could dovetail my undergraduate work to fit my graduate experience.”