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UVA Masters Program Opens Doors for Veterans

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The program helps advance veterans' careers The program helps advance veterans' careers
The program offers students a master's in systems engineering The program offers students a master's in systems engineering
Classes are held at the Darden School of Business Classes are held at the Darden School of Business
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

An accelerated masters program at the University of Virginia is paving the way for veterans who are looking to advance their careers.

This group meets every other week running for a year and offers students a master's degree in systems engineering.

The classes are held at the Darden School of Business but the program is conferred by the School of Engineering at UVA.

“We look for people who can travel within three to four hours because it is an every other week program,” says Tom Brett, the veterans coordinator.

What makes this program special is the number of veterans it has attracted over the years.

“They've come into this program and they've merged very nicely with civilian students and when they come out with the masters in systems engineering, they have a different perspective,” says Brett.

And with that new perspective and experience, some students go on to start their own company or take on new roles within their existing company.

“Right now - I was working as a quality engineer - while in this program actually this past week was my new start date for a new job within the same company,” says Zachary Fern, a UVA grad student in the program.

Since 1999, the program has graduated over 500 people and 65 veterans.

“What stands out with me is that I've been able to meet a diverse group of veterans - both men and women,” says Brett.

Thanks to the G.I. Bill, veterans receive education benefits after serving their country.

“As a veteran, again, this program has been extremely welcoming,” says Pete Beaumont, a UVA grad student in the program. “People come from all over just because of the reputation the program and the quality of the instructors.”

Brett says that in recent years people have traveled from Tennessee and flown in from Buffalo, New York, to attend the bi-weekly course.

The program is currently looking for new students for the upcoming semester.