Horticulture and Crop Science Graduate student Todd Peterson
Todd is completing a dual major a Bachelor of Science in Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics and Masters of Science in Horticulture and Crop Science.
What made you decide to do a dual bachelors and master's degree?
The answer to this question requires some back story but I'll do my best to explain. I came to OSU with a lot of CCP credit hours from high school, so I was on track to graduate in 3 years. I didn't want to cut my college experience short, so I investigated ways to maximize my time here, such as double majoring in undergrad, spending a semester abroad, picking up multiple minors and the likes. At one point my mom even suggested getting a masters but as 18-year old's do, I thought it was a dumb idea (funny how things come full circle isn't it?). Anyway, I ended up deciding not to do any of these things and just planned on graduating early but get involved a bunch so I could make the most of the short time at OSU. One of the things I became involved in was the Crops and Soils Club which is where I met John Craft (who at the time was a combined BS/MS student in Dr. Laura Lindsey's Lab). At one point on the way to a meeting, John told me that Laura was hiring for undergrad workers in the lab, and he thought I should apply. So, I emailed Dr. Lindsey expressing interest and eventually got hired as an undergrad worker.
I worked as an undergrad for just under a year. At one point during a meeting with Laura to discuss lab work she mentioned that if I ever wanted to go to grad school, she could have a position for me. She also mentioned that she would be able to get me an assistantship to cover my tuition. The assistantship really caught my attention but the thing that sealed the deal was she told me I could start as quickly as the next semester. What that meant, is that I could attend OSU for the normal 4 years, but I would graduate with a bachelors and a masters. This seemed like a pretty good deal to me because I could get the benefits of having a masters without the extra time. So after giving it some thought I decided to do it. Laura and I worked through the paperwork and in the fall of 2019, I began as a dual enrolled student. I am currently expected to graduate in December of 2021.
Why did you pick the MS in Horticulture and Crop Science?
Growing up on a grain farm, I've always been interested in plant science, but it wasn't until I joined the FFA agronomy team in high school that my interest was really peaked. On the FFA agronomy team I learned enough to want to continue learning about agronomy, so I decided to study it at OSU.
How are you handling the two degrees? Is it fun? Challenging? etc.
Balancing the two degrees has definitely been challenging. I've had to work closely with Regina Vann Hickok and my undergrad advisor to ensure that all my classes will count, and the timing will work so I can graduate on time. The fun part of the dual enrollment program has been being able to learn about things that I would not have otherwise gotten in my BS degree program. Overall, this dual degree program has given me a unique perspective because I still have one foot in the undergrad world and another in the grad school.
What are you future goals with your dual degrees?