Thursday, March 28, 2024

UTSA offers customizable master's degree to meet workforce needs

UTSA offers customizable master's degree to meet workforce needs

MARCH 14, 2024 — In a strategic move to empower students and working professionals with a versatile, cross-disciplinary skillset and to support evolving workforce demands, UTSA is launching a new master's program in multidisciplinary studies.

Offered by the UTSA University College, the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) in multidisciplinary studies will give students the flexibility to create their own degree to advance their unique career goals by combining any two graduate certificate programs at the university.

At a time when customizable graduate programs are becoming increasingly common, UTSA is one of few institutions in Texas offering students the option to curate their educational journey by selecting from two distinct graduate certificates to earn a master’s degree.

“The master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies is a reflection of UTSA's commitment to the success of our students and a response to the needs of San Antonio’s workforce.”

The new stackable program lets students customize a degree plan that builds on their personal interests, academic strengths and career opportunities, preparing them for a rapidly changing job market that values adaptability, creativity and the ability to connect ideas across domains.

With 38 graduate certificate programs currently offered across UTSA’s seven academic colleges, those who pursue this new master’s program will have hundreds of different combinations to choose from.

The new program reflects UTSA’s mission to create career-ready Roadrunners and to impact economic development, according to Jianwei Niu, interim dean of the University College.

"The master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies is a reflection of UTSA's commitment to the success of our students and a response to the needs of San Antonio’s workforce,” she said. “In a landscape where the boundaries between industries increasingly overlap, this program empowers students with a well-rounded advanced education that transcends traditional disciplinary silos."

Pursuing a graduate certificate is a common approach for working professionals who want to hone or learn new skills to advance in their current career or pivot to a new career. By adding just one more graduate certificate, these same individuals will now be able to get a master’s degree from UTSA, which can open up additional job opportunities and potential earnings.

According to graduate outcome data collected by Steppingblocks, UTSA master’s degree graduates earn an average annual salary of $94,000 compared with $81,734 for the university’s bachelor’s degree graduates, indicating that earning a master’s degree from UTSA could potentially generate an average of $12,000 more in annual earnings.

“This program represents a departure from the conventional, subject-specific master's degrees, opening up new possibilities for those seeking a broader, more adaptable education,” said Rebecca Schroeder, interim associate dean of the University College.

She added that expanding on the college’s existing undergraduate-level multidisciplinary studies degree program framework to create a similarly flexible and customizable option for graduate students was a natural step.

“UTSA’s graduate certificate programs are already highly curated as upskilling opportunities for working professionals,” Schroeder said. “This new program creates an additional pathway for students to combine complementary skillsets based on their career aspirations and become even more competitive in the workforce.”

For example, educators might combine graduate certificates in higher education administration and program evaluation to create a degree that could help them become competitive candidates for administrative roles in either higher education or education-based nonprofits or government agencies. Or a student might combine graduate certificates in data science and nonprofit administration and leadership to become a more effective organizational leader who makes data-driven decisions.

Applications for the M.A. or M.S. in multidisciplinary studies are now open for the 2024-2025 academic year.

⇒ Learn more about the University College.
⇒ Explore how UTSA is preparing Career-Ready Roadrunners.

The University College promotes student-centered learning through academic excellence and dynamic, engaged curriculum, offering students lifelong tools for academic inquiry, advancement and leadership. Its programs include the Academic Introduction and Strategies (AIS) program, the Multidisciplinary Studies program, the Writing Program, the Air Force and Army ROTC, and the Dual Credit program.

In addition to offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in multidisciplinary studies, the University College offers an M.S. in artificial intelligence, a Ph.D. in translational science, and certificate programs in community-engaged leadership, data science and legal studies.

UTSA offers more than 180 degree programs across its seven colleges, including 28 doctoral programs, 76 master’s degrees, and 38 graduate certificates.

KC Gonzalez

UTSA Today is produced by University Strategic Communications,
the official news source
of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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