Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The B.S.E./M.S. program – known as Undergraduate to Graduate, or U2G – gives students the opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in 5 years, as opposed to 6+. There are two degree tracks in the U2G program: thesis and non-thesis. 

Thesis track students will complete groundbreaking research with ISE faculty, while non-thesis track students will complete in-depth graduate-level coursework such as Human Factors in Healthcare Systems, Computational Intelligence, and Financial Engineering and Optimization to jumpstart their career.

Keegan Ferree is a 2022 graduate from the U2G program on the non-thesis track. Keegan knew that he wanted to get a masters degree for career advancement opportunities when he entered industry. The U2G program allows a smooth transition into grad school with graduate level courses beginning your fourth year.

“Being able to work towards my master’s degree during undergrad was huge. It doesn’t set you back. Compared to the time and cost of multiple year programs you are saving money and you get to make money faster.”

The U2G program allows you to take 3 classes outside of ISE. This allows you to expand your skill set to more than just ISE, for Keegan this was in business administration and management. He found that the course offerings were always current and changing to fit the interest of students.

Widening your skillset can also come from exposure to research. Keegan was not looking to do research when he started the program but later had the opportunity to join a research project with the University of Iowa Research Foundation focusing on IV roller clamps.

“The research project with UIRF has broadened the type of ISE experience I had. Now I have experience in healthcare that has widened my skill set, exposed me to more elements of industry and makes me a more competitive candidate for future positions.”

Keegan said U2G led to him meeting faculty, students, and professionals in the industry he never would have met otherwise. After graduating, Keegan took a position working at John Deere in their engineering development program. The program is a unique opportunity to develop your skills and graduate from ISE with all the tools to advance your career. Consider U2G and discuss the application at your next advisor meeting!