For Ammishaddai Grand-Jean, the Double Dawgs program provides an opportunity to deepen his understanding of economic policy so that after graduation he can make a positive impact on communities. Ellen Everitt sees the linked bachelor’s/master’s degree program as a pathway to effective leadership in the arts, while Jessica Ho said the opportunities the program provides bring her closer to her goal of becoming a physician epidemiologist.
Launched last fall, the Double Dawgs program was created to help University of Georgia students such as Grand-Jean, Everitt and Ho save time and money by enabling them to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years or less. The program offered just over 100 dual degree pathways at its inception, but that number has since grown to exceed 150, with faculty members and department heads continuing to propose new linked-degree programs.
“The Double Dawgs program offers another great example of how the University of Georgia is prioritizing student learning and success,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I am pleased by the commitment of our faculty to enable this innovative program to expand the number of opportunities for UGA students to challenge themselves academically and gain a competitive advantage in the workplace.”
The Double Dawgs program comes at a time when the advanced skills and knowledge that graduate education provides are in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the number of jobs typically requiring a master’s degree is expected to grow by 17 percent in the coming years, compared to 10 percent for a bachelor’s degree alone.
“In addition to positioning students for greater career success, the Double Dawgs program helps students deepen their knowledge and create meaningful connections among separate but related fields,” said Vice President for Instruction Rahul Shrivastav. “This kind of broad-based knowledge applied with deep, critical thinking helps students thrive in a world that is constantly changing.”
Ho, an Honors student and a recipient of UGA’s prestigious Foundation Fellowship, says that complementing her undergraduate degree in cellular biology from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences with a Master of Public Health degree from the College of Public Health will provide her “a more holistic conceptualization of health care, from discoveries at the bench to population-level interventions.”
Everitt is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in theatre from the Franklin College along with a master’s degree in nonprofit management and leadership from the School of Social Work. “My goal is to explore the ways nonprofits can benefit the artistic communities they serve to create innovative and exciting theatre that sustains a community,” she said.
Spurred by the aftermath of the 2008 recession, Grand-Jean is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science from the School of Public and International Affairs, a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Terry College of Business and a master’s degree in public administration from SPIA.
“I would like to gain a deeper understanding of policy and how to create, implement and evaluate public policy that affects a vast number of people,” he said. “I am sincerely passionate about leaving places and people enabled, unified and proficient.”
Interim Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Libby V. Morris emphasized that the Double Dawgs program reflects the university’s broader commitment to fostering student success, both during their time on campus and after graduation.
“Through experiential learning, the Double Dawgs program, active learning and a host of other programs and initiatives, our faculty create extraordinary learning experiences that enable students to achieve their full potential,” she said. “The quality of instruction at the University of Georgia is rooted in our dedication to students.”
To learn more about the Double Dawgs program and to read Q&As featuring Grand-Jean, Everitt and Ho, visit doubledawgs.uga.edu.