Wheaton Announces New 4+1 Master’s Programs

Wheaton College is thrilled to announce the launch of new 4+1 Master’s Programs where students can earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in just five years. Starting in the spring of 2025, Wheaton students in their junior year will be eligible to apply for one of three accelerated programs leading to a Master of Arts in Creative Industries, Master of Science in Environmental Science, or a Master of Science in Business.

Students can begin exploring accelerated program options during their first or second undergraduate year. Once admitted into the program, undergraduate students begin taking graduate-level courses during their senior year. Then, after earning their bachelor’s degree, they take two master’s courses the summer after their senior year, followed by two courses in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. The 4+1 Master’s Programs consist of eight courses equivalent to 32 credit hours.

Following the first post-graduation summer, all master’s courses are online and asynchronous, which gives students the flexibility to work around their schedules and complete their advanced degree, whether living on campus or anywhere in the world. By fast-tracking their undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years, students will save valuable time and financial resources. Plus, they’ll enter the workforce with the potential for higher earnings and faster career advancement.

“The new 4+1 Master’s Programs reflect our unwavering commitment to provide a transformative liberal arts education that gives our students a competitive edge,” said President Michaele Whalen. “Our core principles of global citizenship, experiential learning, social justice, diversity and inclusion, creativity, and intellectual curiosity are at the heart of this endeavor, ensuring that our graduates are prepared to make meaningful contributions in an ever-changing world.”

Interim Provost Karen McCormack added, “Offering advanced degrees is a natural extension of our Compass Curriculum, which gives students the freedom and flexibility to create their own path to success. Students can maximize their potential by immersing themselves in their chosen discipline while leveraging the collective knowledge and expertise of colleagues across disciplines. They will emerge as leaders equipped with the depth of a liberal arts foundation and the specialized expertise demanded by today’s workforce.”

4+1 Master’s Programs

M.A. in Creative Industries
The M.A. in Creative Industries will offer an academically rigorous, experiential, and career-facing curriculum with two optional concentrations: Film, Television, and Media Industries or Arts Management. The program will provide meaningful opportunities for current and aspiring content creators, storytellers, world-builders, makers, influencers, artists, performers, writers, musicians, filmmakers and other creatives to develop their practice. It also will offer a unique pathway for students who may not aspire (or consider themselves) to be ‘creatives’ but who have an interest in adjacent fields such as business, computer science or marketing. Students will stand out from their competition as they graduate with an advanced degree, specialized skills and a creative portfolio of their work.

M.S. in Environmental Science
The M.S. in Environmental Science will expand upon skills learned in Wheaton’s Environmental Studies, Biology, and related STEM undergraduate programs. Students will gain advanced professional skills in environmental research, planning and policy through a liberal arts and social justice lens. This program will prepare students to solve complex environmental problems while gaining marketable skills in geographic information systems and advanced data analysis. Students will be well qualified for careers in environmental monitoring and assessment, environmental consulting, climate change adaptation and planning, wildlife and natural resource management, and environmental advocacy.

M.S. in Business
The M.S. in Business will consist of six cross-disciplinary business courses and two elective courses in an area of specialty. Students may select a concentration in either Arts Management (to learn about the unique challenges facing arts and culture non-profit organizations) or Sustainable Business (to learn about the environmental and social impact of businesses). Students will engage in experiential learning to gain practical work experience such as cross-discipline strategic decision-making across an organization. Throughout the program, they will develop an e-portfolio utilizing WordPress, which is an industry-standard content management system. Non-business majors are also encouraged to pursue this accelerated program. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in their chosen field and an advanced degree in Business, will make them attractive candidates in nearly any field.

For more information about the 4+1 Master’s Programs, please contact us at [email protected].