WIU launching bachelor’s-to-master’s-degree program

Western Illinois University is adding a new 4+1 integrated bachelor’s-to-master’s-degree program to help students earn both degrees in five years. CREDIT DAVE THOMPSON

Western Illinois University officials say the school needs to change as the world becomes more fast paced. To that end, WIU will make it quicker for students to get both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in some programs.

The WIU Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration (RPTA) and the university’s Master of Science Sport Management program will introduce a new accelerated degree program. The 4+1 integrated bachelor’s-to-master’s-degree program will help students earn both degrees in five years.

“This 4+1 integrated degree program with RPTA demonstrates our unwavering commitment to listen to the needs of our students and to meet the constantly changing challenges of today’s fast-paced and increasingly competitive global world,” said Kinesiology Department Chair Renee Polubinsky in a news release.

WIU’s Sport Management graduate program is one of the oldest and most established programs in the nation. Similarly, RPTA boasts a long tradition as one of the first 10 programs of its kind in the country to be accredited by the National Recreation and Park Association.

Both programs expect this partnership to be prosperous, fostering increased engagement between the departments, students, faculty and staff.

Admission into the program is limited, and students seeking to enroll must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25. RPTA students should apply to the Sport Management program when in junior standing; however, students may be eligible at varying times. 

“While RPTA will continue to offer its own integrated B.S. to M.S. in RPTA for those seeking careers in the leisure industries, we are excited to partner with Sport Management to provide this opportunity for students who are interested in careers in collegiate sport and sports administration. Allowing students opportunities to hone their education to meet their career needs through interdisciplinary programs is vital to meeting industry needs,” Interim RPTA Chair Mike Lukkarinen said in the release.

An integrated 4+1 baccalaureate and master’s degree program is already available for the Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Journalism (Sports Broadcasting option) and Master of Science in Sport Management.

For more information about the sport management graduate program, visit wiu.edu/graduate_studies/programs_of_study/sptmgt_profile.php.

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