Two years after agreeing to launch an accelerated dual-degree program in physics, Clemson University and South Carolina State University signed an agreement Monday to begin a similar Mathematical & Statistical Sciences Accelerated Collaborative Degree Program.

The new program allows math students at SC State to earn their bachelor’s combined with their master’s degrees in just five years. Undergraduate students will study at SC State for three years, then transfer to Clemson, earning a bachelor’s degree from SC State and their master’s degree from Clemson by the end of the fifth year.

The programs give students a cost-effective way to receive the personalized support available in a smaller program at SC State and benefit from the resources available at Clemson.

Leaders from both universities met virtually for the agreement signing, including Clemson President Jim Clements; SC State President James Clark; Bob Jones, Clemson executive vice president for academic affairs and provost; SC State Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Learie B. Luke; College of Science, Mathematics & Technology Dean Stanley Ihekweazu; College of Science Dean Cynthia Young; Kevin James, founding director of Clemson’s School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences; and Nik Swain, chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at SC State.

Clements said he recently talked to Clark about the collaboration between Clemson and SC State.

“Last week, we had a great discussion and we just want to keep ramping it up. There’s so much that we can do together,” Clements said. “In terms of research, in terms of fundraising, in terms of outreach and service and agriculture, and the list goes on.

“We’re already doing a lot, but we just want to continue to do more. And as our fellow land-grant university in South Carolina, it makes perfect sense for Clemson and SC State to work together to benefit the state.”

He noted the dual-degree programs will save students time and money as they work toward advanced degrees and will help produce the highly educated workforce South Carolina needs.

Young told the group the first SC State student has joined the physics dual-degree program and she plans to come to Clemson next fall.

Young also thanked the academic leaders who worked together to make the programs possible.

“It’s not just an MOU [agreement] you’re signing today. It’s actually a strong partnership, and the impact you all will have collectively on the lives of the students, particularly those who will serve as role models for the students who follow, really can’t be understated.”