By Joan Tupponce
University Public Affairs
Students graduating with bachelor’s degrees are often vying for jobs with hundreds of other applicants. A global health crisis that disrupts the world economy like the COVID-19 pandemic only makes job hunting more competitive. Now, recent Virginia Commonwealth University graduates can elevate their resumes through a new VCU Graduate School initiative that makes it easier and more affordable to obtain an advanced degree by offering tuition discounts and waiving application fees and standardized testing requirements.
“Getting a master’s degree in many cases makes you more competitive in the job market and more competitive for entry into professional and doctoral programs. Also, it may mean a higher salary at many companies,” said Daniel Bullard, dean of the VCU Graduate School.
The VCU Baccalaureate Graduate Masters initiative is available to Fall 2020, Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 VCU baccalaureate graduates. Those students can apply through the initiative for admission to a participating program for this fall. Over 50 master’s programs are participating in the initiative. Students can submit online applications through the VCU Office of Admissions.
“We are very happy about the number of programs participating,” Bullard said. “We are pushing to get more programs.”
Enrollment in a master’s degree program through this initiative offers several advantages. Both standardized testing (depending on the individual programs’ admission requirements) and VCU’s $70 graduate application fee are waived. Students who are Virginia residents and who enroll full-time (9 or more credit hours) in one of the participating master’s programs will receive a $600 annual tuition discount for two consecutive years of full-time enrollment.
“The advantage is that we have over 10 schools and colleges that have master’s programs covered,” Bullard said. “We have undergraduates in all different types of majors. You can definitely find one or more programs of interest to you.”
The VCU Baccalaureate Graduate Masters initiative launched in mid-February and students are already applying. Learn more at graduate.vcu.edu/student/bgmo.