Rollins Announces New Accelerated Graduate Degree Programs

March 17, 2021

By Elsa Wenzel

Rollins commencement walk in front of Knowles Memorial Chapel.
Photo by Scott Cook.

Through Rollins’ Hamilton Holt School’s new accelerated graduate degree programs, students have the opportunity to earn a master’s degree alongside a bachelor’s, allowing them to save time and money while jump-starting their careers.

Rollins is launching a new accelerated graduate degree program—available exclusively through the Hamilton Holt School—designed to enhance and expedite students’ personalized pathways to success. Promising flexible schedules and significant cost and time savings, this innovative program allows qualified Rollins seniors to simultaneously earn undergraduate and graduate credits toward one of five master’s degrees on an accelerated timeline.

Participating graduate programs include applied behavior analysis, teaching, human resources, liberal studies, and public health.

“Regardless of the path they choose, students can be assured that the graduate program here will reflect what Rollins values,” says Robert Sanders, dean of the Hamilton Holt School, “and will be qualitatively different from the same program offered at a non-liberal-arts school.”

Mehdi Taifi ’07 ’15MLS pictured in a local coffee shop.
Mehdi Taifi ’07 ’15MLS combined undergraduate degrees in business and international affairs with a master’s in liberal studies.Photo by Scott Cook.

Benefits Abound

The new accelerated program furthers Rollins’ mission of educating students for responsible leadership and global citizenship. By choosing this new option, students continue to reap the benefits of the College’s signature personalized learning environment, opportunities for hands-on experience, and the expertise of the best professors in the South.

Business and international affairs double major Mehdi Taifi ’07 ’15MLS worked in finance at BNY Mellon while earning a master’s of liberal studies from Rollins.

“Combining these degrees really infused me with critical thinking skills and a broad appreciation of arts and sciences that has set me apart in the finance industry,” says Taifi, now a senior clearing operations manager at investing startup Robinhood.

The numerous practical gains—competitive advantage in the marketplace, increased technical acumen, fine-tuning of soft skills—make a difference to a student’s financial well-being as well. This accelerated program may save up to one year of time and $8,000 in tuition and other costs. In addition, graduates enter the workforce with polished credentials and likely higher earnings potential and higher-level opportunities.

“I definitely would’ve taken advantage of that kind of opportunity at Rollins—financially it makes sense,” says Taifi of the new accelerated graduate degree program. “It's a great initiative that shows Rollins actually cares about its students to make things as convenient and beneficial as possible.”

Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science program director Michelle Williams pictured giving a lesson at the white board.
Michele Williams, director of the Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science program.Photo by Scott Cook.

Participating Programs

Rollins’ Applied Behavior Analysis and Clinical Science (ABACS) graduate program is designed for students interested in understanding how human behaviors are learned and how they can change over time. Demand for behavior analysts, especially those specializing in autism, has more than doubled in recent years. Rollins’ ABACS program is one of just 22 master’s programs in the country and the only program in Orlando to earn accreditation from the Association for Behavior Analysis International. 

Recognized by gold standards in the world of human resources like the Society for Human Resource Management, Rollins’ Master’s of Human Resources program equips students with a strategic-level perspective on HR issues. Faculty who are experts in the nuances of human dynamics and management work with students in an intimate learning environment preparing them for highly marketable positions within communities, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.

Preventing disease and promoting health and wellness have never been as paramount as we confront a once-in-a-century global pandemic. With a foundation formed by industry-leading faculty and real-world learning opportunities, students emerge from Rollins’ Master’s of Public Health program ready to serve as community leaders, policymakers, and clinical practitioners devising solutions in everything from epidemiology and biostatistics to global and environmental health.

A student in Rollins’ master of arts in teaching program engaging with elementary students in a local classroom.
Pursuing a master’s in teaching at Rollins means getting hands-on classroom experience.Photo by Scott Cook.

Rollins’ Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) enables passionate educators to earn their Florida Professional Teaching Certificate concurrently with their master’s so they’re ready to jump right into their own classroom. In classes no larger than 12, students receive personalized, cutting-edge instruction from mentors who prioritize their professional growth while also engaging in fieldwork everywhere from Florida to the Netherlands. Rollins’ long-standing connections with local schools offer a direct path to employment.

Having investigated and debated ideas in philosophy, history, art, literature, religion, and politics, students with a Master’s of Liberal Studies from Rollins tackle any problem in any field both creatively and critically. Developing skills in communication, problem solving, research, and persuasion prepares students for a rapidly evolving job market that demands adaptable thinkers with a broad knowledge base.

Nancy Niles, chair of the Department of Health Professions, pictured engaged students in class discussion.
Nancy Niles, director of the Department of Health Professions.Photo by Scott Cook.

Eligibility and Requirements

Available to both College of Liberal Arts and Hamilton Holt School students entering their senior year, the accelerated graduate program is a part- or full-time option for all majors who have not yet completed all of their electives.

Students can enroll in up to 18 hours of graduate coursework, which can be submitted toward the 140 hours required for a bachelor’s degree. That amounts to a maximum of nine credits per senior semester. In addition, students may keep and apply those credits toward the graduate degree. Transfer students will be expected to complete at least 12 hours at Rollins prior to participating in the program.

Exceptions to the eligible graduate work include credits for a thesis, independent study, tutorial, or internship. Students keep the graduate credits they have completed as an undergraduate regardless of whether they ultimately enter the accelerated graduate degree program.

Admission counselor conducting a virtual information session with a prospective student.
Photo by Scott Cook.

How to Apply

Eligible students should apply in their third year by submitting their application directly to the Hamilton Holt School. Applications for fall 2021 enrollment are due by April 2.

A cumulative GPA of 3.0 with good academic standing is required, as are two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a resume. A plus? Rollins students don’t need to submit standardized test scores or pay a deposit or application fees to apply to the accelerated program. Plus, transcripts are already seamlessly shared within Rollins.

Rollins students walking to class.

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