Florida Polytechnic University students who have their sights set on a graduate degree now have a head start on the competition thanks to recent changes made to the University’s graduate program.
The updated program increases the graduate assistantship stipend amount for thesis-track students from $2,400 to $4,000 per semester.
“With this change, our graduate programs now offer some of the most competitive stipend packages in the state,” said Emily Lowers, graduate program coordinator.
These students also have their graduate tuition waived. With about half of the graduate population pursuing a thesis, Florida Poly has also set aside funds to send students to attend relevant conferences.
But the biggest change may be formalizing and publicizing the priority admission status the University gives to graduating Florida Poly students, program officials said. This includes waiving the required letters of recommendation and transcripts. These undergraduate students need only to submit an application and statement of purpose summarizing their research interests and goals, easing the sometimes-arduous process.
“From an admission standpoint, the University is really focused on streamlining the process, especially for our own undergraduate students,” said Ryan Sullivan, associate director of graduate and transfer admissions.
Each incoming graduate student is assigned a faculty advisor, who works directly with the student throughout the course of their program and directs the student through degree completion.
"Especially for students who are at the academic level needed for the thesis pathway, having a faculty advisor who helps hone their research skills and provides feedback to strengthen their work can be invaluable,” Sullivan said.
The first priority deadline to apply for this fall’s graduate program is Thursday, Feb. 15. Students who apply by that deadline will receive decisions by Feb. 29.
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