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Pursuing a 5 Year Master's Program

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

Lydia Parker

PHHS '18, Montclair State University '22

Thinking about doing a five-year master’s program right now may seem a little premature but having to apply for one comes sooner than you think! For me I chose my school specifically based on if it had this type of program or not and you’d be surprised how many colleges offer this program for numerous majors. I personally am in the program for education. Which means that after my fifth year of school I will have my bachelor’s degree in my major of English, a Master’s in the Art of Teaching, certification to teach middle school and high school, then finally I’ll be certified to teach special ed as well. This may sound like a lot but if you are planning to be a future educator all of these degrees and certifications will make you more desirable to a possible employer. So, if education and the possibility of a five-year program is something you are thinking about, I’m going to take you through the process to help you choose what you’d like to do.

At my school of Montclair State University one thing that is different about their education five-year program is that you have two different options of the type of program you can apply for. You can apply to a program that will give you your special ed certification, or one that does not. Special ed may make you more desirable for employment, but it is not for everyone. This is why the University offers a program without the certification as well. Since the program without the certification is so new, I don’t have a lot of information on the actual process of application.

What’s important to remember for five-year programs is pre-rec classes, testing, and your GPA. All of those are main determining factors of if you’ll be not only accepted, but even allowed to apply. So make sure if this is what you want to do, you keep track of all of those aspects in your first year of college because you’ll have to apply to these programs in February of your sophomore year.

Once you have all of those aspects in order, the rest of the process is rather simple. You have to write two essays, submit a resume, and a letter of recommendation. Those, plus test scores, and grades determine if you make it to part two of the application process. The next steps are two interviews, usually group style, and an impromptu writing; which is just a timed essay.

This all may seem overwhelming but if you use the resources your school offers to prepare, you should have no trouble with any part of the process. Schools typically offer help with writing essays, testing, and have interview prep sessions. These are all great resources that should be taken advantage of. Plus, when it comes to making decisions the administration is aware of who puts in more effort than those who don’t; so, do not be afraid to get help.

What’s most important is to think about whether you really do want to pursue this type of program. A master’s degree with multiple certifications will really help with finding a job, and a fifth year of college could make all the difference for your future in the adult world.

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