Institute Offers Grad Program to Undergrads By Christine A. Rowett Junior economics major Jeffrey Doshna hopes to start work on his master s degree next year. He may just get the chance. The Institute for Policy Studies has developed a bachelor s/master s degree program; they are now actively recruiting students to apply. "We realized there are undergraduates at Hopkins who are interested in what we do here," said Robert Seidel, a lecturer in Policy Studies who administers the new program. "One way to make it more attractive is to let them start it while undergraduates." The professionals at IPS focus their efforts on improving policies as they relate to the poor and disadvantaged. Their work includes policy-oriented research, seminars and public education, and training of policy professionals throughout the United States and abroad. Under the existing master s program at Policy Studies, students take a core of required courses, including Introduction to Policy Analysis, Analytical and Statistical Methods, Citizenship, The Policy Process and Policy Tools. Additionally, each student elects an area of concentration such as environmental policy, health policy, urban and regional development policy, social welfare policy or the nonprofit sector. Students normally complete an internship at the end of the first year, and their electives and theses in the second year. Seidel and other IPS faculty met with the chairs of Sociology, Economics and Political Science and Arts and Sciences associate dean Carol Burke to formulate the plan. Students accepted into the program will have completed enough of their B.A. requirements in their junior year to do essentially the first year of the master s program in Policy Studies during their senior year. To be accepted, students must prove with a letter from a faculty member in their major that they are able to do that. "It s an opportunity to get a master s degree a year faster than you would otherwise," Seidel said. "And it s a master s degree that we believe arms you to go out and find work in addressing public problems." Doshna, one of several students who have campaigned for such a program, switched his major from political science last year. He believes he is a qualified candidate. "It s a great opportunity," he said. "One of the things that attracted me is that they have mandatory internship. They give you hands-on, real-world experience." Applicants will provide a résumé listing extracurricular activities and work experience; they will also be required to have an interview. They will not, however, be required to take the GRE. "We re doing this for the first time, so there are some unknowns," Seidel said. "We have no clue how many are going to apply." Doshna, who did an internship with Balti-more City councilman Bill Cunningham last year, appreciates the need for experience. "There s a big difference between what you learn in the classroom and what needs to be done," he said. Seidel calls the 3-year-old master s program "a bit special," citing Hopkins proximity to Washington, D.C., and the "international environment" of the institute. Doshna agrees. "I m applying and if they don t accept me, well, I ll look somewhere else," he said. Applications for the MA and the BA/MA programs are due Feb. 1. For more information contact the Institute for Policy Studies at 516-7174.
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