1. We seek to encourage more OU students to pursue careers in public service, broadly defined.
Many students who are considering careers in public service, along with other career options, would be prepared to enter the job market with an advanced degree. Similar programs at other institutions have reported great success in attracting top students and believe that more of their graduates have entered public service because of their experiences in the five-year program.
2. Our program offers a more efficient path to the completion of a marketable advanced degree, reducing overall cost and time to graduation.
Both accelerated programs allow students to continue making progress toward graduation in a timely manner and decreases the total amount of time required to earn a masters degree. Additionally, many students enter the university with a large number of Advanced Placement hours but have four-five years of funding (i.e. National Merit Scholars). The accelerated programs allow students to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in a maximum of five years.
3. This program equips students with the skills needed to make meaningful contributions to efforts to strengthen communities, improve the efficient and effective delivery of public services, contribute to domestic and international organizations engaged in philanthropy and advocacy, and inform policymaking at the federal, state, and local level.
OU attracts many of the best and brightest students in the state, region, and nation, and our undergraduate curriculum does an excellent job of giving these students a strong foundation in liberal arts, critical thinking, global awareness, and analytical skills. This five-year program will allow students to couple their broad undergraduate training with a more focused, practitioner-oriented skill set that will make them more competitive in the job market and even more skilled when entering the workforce. Our core curriculum requires students to build a portfolio of experience in managing organizations, problem solving, evaluating programs, financial management, statistical expertise, and a more advanced understanding of the ways in which the political environment influences public and nonprofit organizations.