Five-Year Master Program Sees First Graduates


A photo of Professor Bruce Porter with the Five-Year Master Program's first graduates.  The Department of Computer Science will graduate the first cohort of the Five-Year Integrated BS/MS program this weekend. Ferner Cilloniz (not pictured), Sarah Imboden, Adam Setapen and Drake Dowsett will be awarded their Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science degrees simultaneously on Saturday, May 22nd.

These highly motivated students completed 12 hours of graduate coursework in the senior year of their Bachelor of Science degrees. “It was weird at first being an undergraduate in a graduate class, until I realized they’re not that different from me,” commented Drake. The following year, they were full-fledged graduate students in their fifth year.

The primary goals of the integrated program are to better prepare students for competitive Ph.D. programs and provide stronger technical depth to students entering professional positions. Adam said, “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to get my Ph.D. right away, so I had an extra year to focus on my research. It also confirmed that I did want to get my Ph.D.” Sarah noted, “When I was in my job interview, I thought ‘Hey, I’m equipped for this job’.”

Dr. Bruce Porter commented that there is a more significant salary differential between the BS and MS than there is between the MS and the Ph.D. Since becoming chair of the department, Dr. Porter has continually emphasized the strong employment opportunities for computer science majors: http://www.cs.utexas.edu/oea/press_desk/utcs_spotlights/2010/want_a_job/

Sarah will take her degrees in computer science, along with her digital arts & media certification from the Bridging Disciplines Program to Apple in California; Drake will continue his work with Intel here in Austin; and Adam will go on to pursue his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If you are interested joining these prestigious graduates, you are encouraged to apply for the Five-Year Integrated Program. Applications are open only to current, degree-seeking computer science majors at the University of Texas at Austin. There will be information session in Fall 2010, but students are welcome to contact one of the undergraduate academic advisors, Rob Poynor and Jennifer Martinson, at (512) 471-9509 for more information.