The Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program

Nadia Rajan '23
Nadia Rajan will earn her master’s degree in kinesiology this May thanks to URI’s 4+1 Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program. Photo by Nora Lewis

When Nadia Rajan ’23 finished high school, she wanted more than to go to college. She wanted an adventure.

A world-class tennis player from Perth, Australia, Rajan is finishing a master’s degree in kinesiology and playing a fifth year of tennis at URI. All this is made possible through 4+1, URI’s Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s Program, ABM, for short. The ABM program enables students to earn both degrees in five years.

“My options were to stay at home and play tennis nationally or come to America and put myself out of my comfort zone out here, by myself, in a new country far from home,” Rajan says. “I knew I wanted to continue to play the sport I loved at a high level, as a Division I athlete. Further, I wanted a future in which I could help other athletes reach their potential. And make my parents proud.”

The ABM is designed for undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in their undergraduate studies and are ready for advanced-level scholarship. Pursuing a master’s degree through the ABM program saves students time and money without sacrificing research and scholarship opportunities or access to internships.

For now, professional tennis is not in Rajan’s future. After graduation, she intends to stay in the United States and get a job in athletic training and plans to return to school one day to pursue an advanced degree in physical therapy. 

Rajan’s advice to students thinking about the ABM is this: Prepare to work harder than ever before. Being a Division I athlete and a graduate student makes for long days. “A 12-hour day is a light schedule,” Rajan says and laughs. “The ABM’s an accelerated program; it moves fast, but if you stay on top of your work, you’ll be okay. And you have your master’s by age 22 or 23.”

Rajan had offers from more than a dozen colleges and universities when she graduated high school. She had accepted an offer from a different school but ultimately chose URI for the care and warmth her coach and teammates conveyed long before she’d even arrived.

“I felt loved straight away. That was my big reason for committing—just knowing my coach really cared and my team really wanted me.”

Rajan came for the tennis and stayed for the opportunities.

“URI has been really good to me,” Rajan says. “It fits me perfectly. I’ve built good relationships with my professors, advisors, teammates—everyone. I’ve had a lot of support. The AMB program is tough, but you can do it.”

—Marybeth Reilly-McGreen