A look into Pace’s Combined Degree Program


Emily Teixeira

Pace University offers several combined degree programs that allow students to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years, saving time and money.

Emily Teixeira  

A great appeal of Pace to its future and current students is the option to pursue a combined degree program. Students who wish to earn a more advanced degree after earning their bachelor’s, whether it be to boost their resume, refine their skills, or increase their job options, can save time and money by earning both in a matter of five years. Pace offers more than thirty different combined degree opportunities in a wide range of fields, including business, law, education and more.

Maria Luskay, a professor in Pace’s MCVA department who wrote and currently directs Pace’s MA in Media and Communications program, cited ways in which enrolling in the combined degree program has helped students in the past. According to her, students who earned their MA in Media and Communications through the five-year program went on to hold positions at WABC, CNN and HBO.

Jennifer Lee Magas, a Clinical Associate Professor of Public Relations in Pace’s MCVA department, who taught graduate courses such as Writing for Organizations, Media Relations and Media Law and works closely with graduate students on their thesis papers, also shared her thoughts about Pace’s combined degree program. She cited the benefits that having a master’s degree can offer one’s career.

“A master’s degree allows you to specialize within your field,” Magas said. “It allows you to reach a new level of understanding and greater skill set than what is possible within your bachelor’s degree. One extra year means endless opportunities to develop cutting-edge communication skills that will change your life. Graduating with both a bachelor’s and master’s degree will set you apart in your quest for the perfect job and enhance your marketability; many professions now require a master’s degree for entry-level positions.”

Students also recognize the benefits of earning their master’s through the combined degree program. Sophomore Political Science major Victor Diaz and freshman Applied Psychology and Human Relations major Ashley Schlemmer both hope to enroll in the program. They believe it will aid them in reaching their respective goals.

Diaz wishes to earn his master’s in Public Administration, and in doing so in one year here as opposed to two or three years somewhere else, he hopes to save both time and money. He sees the benefit that a master’s degree can offer anyone entering any field and feels having a master’s in Public Administration will help him, as he hopes to work in government one day.

“While it doesn’t completely ready me for the real world, it certainly does do it to some extent,” Diaz said. “It challenges me, it’s a rigorous process, and I cannot wait to do it.”

Likewise, Schlemmer, who wishes to earn her master’s in Mental Health Counseling, sees a master’s degree as a needed steppingstone towards her life goals. She hopes to be a counselor, which requires qualifications beyond a bachelor’s degree, and thought it would be beneficial to earn the highest degree possible in the shortest amount of time while still having access to the resources Pace offers her and the professors and staff members with whom she made connections during her undergraduate studies.

“I think it’s really cool that Pace offers all these programs,” Schlemmer said, “because when looking for a school, trying to get out as soon as possible and start working was one of my main goals, so that’s what kind of drove me here. This program.”

Despite the benefits of enrolling in a combined degree program, Magas stated that Entrance One PR Agency identified a lack of awareness about this program among students earlier this year. She says that the agency will be working with Luskay and Paul Ziek, Chair of the MCVA department, to create a campaign comprised of brochures, flyers, social media posts, and word-of-mouth from professors during classes and during department events, such as Welcome Back and the MCVA Jamboree.

Students interested in enrolling in Pace’s combined degree program- regardless of which subject they hope to pursue, should start talking with their advisor about it no later than their junior year to ensure that they can enroll in the necessary classes their senior year.