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Jacob Freitas is the first graduate of Northwest’s 4+1 accelerated master’s program in mathematics.

Jacob Freitas is the first graduate of Northwest’s 4+1 accelerated master’s program in mathematics.

April 21, 2021

Accelerated master’s program helps Freitas deepen knowledge of mathematics

By Edidiong Idong-Bassey, communication assistant

Following the advice of his instructors and academic advisor, Jacob Freitas enrolled in Northwest Missouri State University’s 4+1 accelerated master’s program in mathematics and will graduate this spring.

Freitas, a native of Joplin, Missouri, arrived at Northwest as a chemistry major and quickly realized his preference for mathematics. He completed his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in last fall and says his master’s level classes gave him a practical and applicable perspective to his undergraduate classes in math. 

“I like the depths of the graduate classes I get to take during my undergraduate,” Freitas said. “I also really liked the smaller class sizes. The classes in the program focus a lot more on projects rather than exams, which was an aspect I really liked.”

He added, “It made sense to me. That has always been how my brain works and every class just felt like another puzzle.”

Northwest’s Board of Regents approved the creation of the accelerated master’s degree program in mathematics in 2018. It allows junior and senior undergraduate students to complete graduate coursework that counts toward their bachelor’s degree as well as a Master of Science degree. Students then complete the remaining credit hours of graduate coursework during their fifth year at Northwest.

Dr. Justin Hoffmeier, an associate professor of mathematics and statistics who is Freitas’ academic advisor, said the accelerated master’s program benefits students by offering a blend of data science and pure mathematics coursework. 

“With a degree in mathematics you’re qualified for a wide range of jobs and very few of which are mathematicians,” Hoffmeier said. “Master’s degrees are becoming a lot more common, and lots of people are getting master’s degrees because the job market is competitive. It gives you a leg up on the competition.”

Hoffmeier added, “Jacob has just been a great student, and we’ve been happy to have him. We know he will be very successful going forward, and he did a great job working through this program as our first accelerated student.”

Media contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | | 660.562.1704