MSOE to offer free graduate school for its undergrads next fall

Students at the Milwaukee School of Engineering could be getting more bang for their buck next year, thanks to a new program offering them a graduation education for the low, low price of $0.

Next fall semester, students who graduate with an MSOE bachelor’s degree and plan to continue on to graduate school at MSOE can earn a tuition-free master’s degree if they maintain good grades.

The program will cover all tuition expenses for nine to 15 credit hours per term for all but two master’s degree programs. The two master’s programs not provided are medical-related and would be too costly to offer for free, according to Tim Valley, vice president of enrollment management at MSOE.

Due to the number of students with bachelor’s degrees from other universities that come to MSOE for graduate school, the program will not impact the university negatively, according to Valley.

The school hopes to use this new program, estimated to be worth about $32,000 to each student, to attract incoming undergraduates from around the nation and worldwide.

“Our current students are definitely excited about the grant, and we are hearing a lot of positive feedback from prospective students and parents when we give them campus tours and correspond with them,” said JoEllen Burdue, MSOE director of media relations.

The new program is designed to benefit students in various ways, Valley said.

“Free tuition for a master’s degree will provide a bridge for students who don’t find jobs right after graduating with a bachelor’s degree, and will give a boost to those who need a master’s degree because of rising industry standards,” he said.

“Master’s degrees are becoming the norm, and we want our students to reach their fullest potential in industry,” Burdue said.

MSOE hopes this new program will help students on the fence about which school to attend to choose MSOE, especially if they plan to move on to the master’s program after undergraduate school.

“We are expanding our undergraduate student-recruitment efforts nationwide. This grant, along with our placement rates and starting salaries, is helping us attract top-tier students from across the country,” Burdue said.

Students eligible for the MSOE Graduate Tuition Grant must earn an undergraduate degree from MSOE, have a cumulative and major grade-point average of at least 3.25, get accepted into their graduate program and start the master’s program within one year of graduation from their undergraduate program. After being accepted into the master’s program, students must maintain an overall grade-point average of 3.5 to stay in the program.

Marquette undergraduates hoping to move on to a master’s program find MSOE’s new program helpful and a sign of good investment in education.

“If I went to graduate school here, free of charge, I would definitely be more likely to make donations after graduation,” said Monica Skibba, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences.

“Not only would it probably make students more likely to donate when they become alumni, but it would draw in a ton of undergraduates,” she added.

Currently, there is no talk of a tuition-free master’s degree program at Marquette, according to Erin Fox, Marquette director of graduate admissions.