In the spring of 2016, Haverford sophomores from the Class of 2018 found themselves scrambling to declare a major and plot their courses for the remainder of their time in college. Physics major Josiah Legaspi ’18, however, had just found out that he had been admitted to the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering graduate program.
Through Haverford’s 4+1 Master’s Program with Penn, Legaspi is able to follow up his bachelor’s in physics with a master’s in mechanical engineering in just five years. From that moment in the spring of his sophomore year when he discovered his acceptance to this unique program, Legaspi took full advantage of the ability to explore Penn’s courses while an undergraduate at Haverford.
“During my junior year, I took undergraduate level courses through the Quaker Consortium to supplement my engineering knowledge and moved on to the graduate level courses in my senior year,” he said.
Legaspi came into Haverford knowing he ultimately wanted to pursue engineering, and the opportunity to pursue participation in the 4+1 program was an important factor in his choice of college.
“I knew even before I came to Haverford that I wanted to end up in engineering, but I did not want to limit myself with the specialization and narrow curriculum that so many engineering schools offer,” said Legaspi. “I came to Haverford intending to participate in the 4+1 program so I could get a strong, liberal arts foundation and finish off with a full year at Penn to learn all the important engineering concepts I might otherwise miss.”
While his time at the University of Pennsylvania is brimming with intensive coursework, Legaspi finds time to attend engineering talks to broaden his knowledge beyond the classroom.
“I hope to gain all the specific knowledge that I need to thrive working as an engineer,” he said. “I know Haverford has given me a rock-solid education, so I see this year as more of a training year than another year of study.”
While Legaspi is not sure what job he will pursue after receiving his master’s, he is confident that the education he received at Haverford and Penn will afford him plenty of opportunities within the field of mechanical engineering.
“I think this extra year at Penn will significantly alter my plans going forward,” he said. “Having a master’s degree opens a lot of doors and puts me in a different job applicant pool, which will definitely change the type of job I will get after finishing up with school.”
“Where They’re Headed” is a blog series reporting on the post-collegiate plans of recent Haverford graduates.
Photo courtesy of Josiah Legaspi ’18