Tippie offers undergraduate to graduate transition program

A new Tippie program allows undergraduates to transition straight into a two-semester graduate program for Business Analytics and Finance.


Wyatt Dlouhy

The Pappajohn Business Building is seen on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018.

Katie Ann McCarver, News Reporter

Traditionally, for University of Iowa students to achieve masters degrees in business analytics or finance, graduates must take three semesters worth of classes in addition to working a summer internship.

Now, the Tippie College of Business’ new undergrad-to-graduate option allows undergraduate students in designated majors to start taking graduate classes their senior year so they can achieve master’s degrees just one year after achieving bachelor’s degrees.

“It’s really a unique opportunity for students to get a jump-start on graduate degrees and finish them in one year,” said David Deyak, the assistant dean of the specialized master’s program. “We’re very excited that this opportunity is going to be expanded to our undergraduates.”

Otherwise known as “4+1,” because it provides a master’s degree in one additional year to the four for a bachelor’s, he said the program is advantageous for students because for their first 14 to 15 graduate semester hours they’re still paying undergraduate tuition.

“It’s brand-new. I think the biggest advantage is just doing the program,” Deyak said. “We see this as an area for growth in the next few years.”

For students interested in entering the workforce, Deyak said, the program has the opportunity to give them more qualification and experience than their peers without Master’s degrees.

Jennifer Carter, the full-time M.B.A. admissions and financial aid director, master’s degrees will make students more appealing to potential employers.

“Undergraduates getting into the workforce is becoming more competitive,” Carter said. “Just having a bachelor’s degree is not what it once was.”

It’s really a unique opportunity for students to get a jump-start on graduate degrees and finish them in one year,

— Assistant Dean David Deyak

As of Jan. 24, she said, approximately 30 undergraduate students had expressed interest in the undergrad-to-graduate program for business analytics or finance of the students in Tippie and the 22 specific majors who are eligible to apply.

“It’s not been done before,” Carter said. “We’re just trying to offer more UI students the opportunity to get business degrees.”

Carter agreed with Deyak that a primary advantage of the new program is to save undergraduates money, noting that resident students can go from $6,000 a semester to $11,000 a semester as graduates.

In addition, she said, it saves them time from moving to a different school or a different area for work, especially if they’re comfortable in Iowa City.

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“For undergraduates not to have to pay graduate tuition is fairly significant savings,” Carter said. “And if you’re here at the UI already and you can hang in for two more semesters, it’s worth it then.”

Although 4+1 has not yet been installed, there are a substantial number of students working toward master’s degrees in business analytics or finance at Tippie, learning anything from corporate communications to data programming.

UI student Karl Ihrig said the main thing distinguishing the UI from other graduate schools is the career-services team, which provided him with advice for business interviews and enhancing his résumé.

“Getting everyone’s perspective and working hard has been great,” Ihrig said. “I think it’s a great opportunity because I already feel 10 times more confident.”