Science division graduate programs to launch in fall 2021



Photo Credit Calvin Marketing

Calvin will launch master’s programs in public health, exercise science, geographic information systems and business administration in fall 2021. An online master’s of speech pathology will launch in spring 2022 and a data science program will begin in fall of 2022. 

Programs range in length from 30 to 42 credits, allowing students to complete most of the programs within a year.

Eah program contains multiple concentrations, according to the graduate curriculum guide. Public health students choose between concentrations in global health and infectious disease. Exercise science students can concentrate in sport and performance, sport and exercise or health and exercise rehabilitation.

Kevin den Dulk, associate provost, said that the master’s programs are being offered asynchronously online. “We are able to provide these opportunities to students wherever they happen to be, and whatever stage of life they may be at,” he said. “We’re reaching out to working adults, whoever and wherever they are.”

“These programs stand alone, but they also borrow from each other,” den Dulk said. Students who are taking courses in one discipline may be able to count electives from a different program towards their degree. For example, students in the MPH program would be able to take nonprofit management courses from the MBA program.

Although the new programs are available to a wide audience, den Dulk said that there has been a strong interest from current Calvin students. “One key aspect of these programs is making them hospitable to current undergraduates,” he said. 

Some undergraduate courses may allow students to start with advanced standing in a corresponding graduate program, according to den Dulk. For example, if students complete advanced GIS courses at the undergraduate level, they can transfer up to nine credits into the graduate program. 

“Every program has a way in which it is trying to ease undergraduates into the graduate program,” den Dulk said. 

According to Renee De Vries, graduate studies coordinator, students will be allowed to enroll in graduate courses before they complete their undergraduate degree.

Undergraduate scholarships and financial aid, however, do not cover the costs of the graduate programs, even if students enroll in graduate classes as undergraduates, according to De Vries. 

If a student wishes to count an undergraduate course towards a graduate degree, the course will not count towards the 17 hour credit limit for the semester. The student will instead pay the graduate tuition rate for the course in addition to their undergraduate tuition, according to Kerrie Berends, kinesiology professor and program director for the master’s in exercise science.

“We are hoping to expand Calvin’s audience with these programs,” den Dulk said. “By providing opportunities for undergraduates and students around the world, we are expanding Calvin’s impact through the global campus.”