Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Fall 2017 - 40
Smith to reduce his master's studies by two semesters and save an estimated $50,000 in tuition costs.
"Some students in the program don't come to Rensselaer with plans to stay on for their master's,
but they decide they need more education to increase their credentials and better position themselves
in the job market. They stay with us for their graduate work because they like the experience at
Rensselaer, and they want to continue to work with the faculty," says Connie Grega, director of
graduate student services.
Generally, to qualify for co-term, undergrads must have 90 credits in progress (B.Arch must have
101 credits), including AP credits, transfer credits, and credits in progress; a minimum 3.0 GPA; and
meet any additional requirements mandated by their individual departments. In all cases, students
must apply no later than the first semester of their senior year, but it's strongly suggested that they
begin talking with their undergraduate adviser in their sophomore or junior year.
Some co-terminal students pursue a master's degree in the same academic discipline, while others
take an interdisciplinary approach and pursue a graduate program outside of their undergraduate
Many high-profile, high-paying companies have hired Rensselaer co-terminal graduates in recent
years, including Bechtel, Bank of America, Cisco, IBM, Ralph Lauren, and Tesla.
Rensselaer is among
the few institutions
in the country
that provide their
BUILDING ON A BACHELOR'S
Andrew Eagan '17 had a clear-cut plan when he enrolled at Rensselaer: to complete a bachelor's
degree in chemical engineering and immediately find a job in his field. A master's degree was not on
his radar. But after deciding in his first year to add a minor in management, Eagan became particularly
interested in high-tech entrepreneurship. He was gifted with excellent people and communication
skills and wanted to combine those with his chemical engineering background. He knew, though, that
without a business degree, the path to a good management position could take several years.
"I knew it was common for engineers to start in a technical role and eventually move to
management as they moved along in their careers. I didn't want to wait that long. The Lally School
of Management has a strong co-term program, and I wanted a career path that allowed for project
management positions and other entrepreneurial possibilities later in my career," Eagan says.
With plans to pursue an M.S. in technology commercialization and entrepreneurship, Eagan
applied to the co-term program in the fall semester of his senior year. He was accepted for the following
semester. Another advantage of the program is an early decision into a graduate program.
Eagan's graduate work included a solid mix of startup and corporate entrepreneurship courses, and
Lally's mentorship program paired him with an alumnus who offered him a real-world window into the
A quick search by Eagan on LinkedIn revealed that his mentor, Doug Grose '72, is the former
CEO of GlobalFoundries, the massive chipmaker located in neighboring Saratoga County. Grose, who
is currently CTO of BessTech, a battery energy storage startup in Troy, holds a bachelor's and master's
in materials engineering, an MBA, and a Ph.D. in materials engineering from Rensselaer.
The two communicated through emails and phone calls, and in the spring of Eagan's fifth year,
Grose met with Eagan during a campus visit. Grose then forwarded Eagan's resume to a former
colleague at GlobalFoundries.
In August of this year, two months after his Rensselaer graduation, Eagan started as a program
management engineer at GlobalFoundries. After completing a two-year rotation designed to expose
him to a mix of positions, he expects to settle into a permanent role in the company's Program
"I couldn't have hoped for a better job right out of college. Lally gave me an incredible opportunity
to expand my network and meet influential people. Plus, there are so many brilliant professors and
classmates at the graduate level. Rensselaer provided me with a perfect marriage of technical skills and
managerial acumen. I couldn't have done it without the co-term experience," Eagan says.
Many colleges offer co-terminal programs, but Rensselaer is among the few institutions in the country
that provide their accelerated master's students with financial support. Participation in co-term
increased 60 percent between 2013 and 2016, with more than 350 students enrolling during the fall
and spring semesters of 2016-17.
Stanley Dunn, vice provost and dean of graduate education, says there are several reasons for
40 RensselaeR/ Fall 2017