A Master’s in Five Years

In addition to double majoring in art history and psychology, Elliott enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts and Master of Public Health (BA/MPH) five-year (4+1) program. This means he took graduate courses in public health while completing his undergraduate degree.

“I’ll attain my MPH in one year rather than two, saving my parents a lot of money and graduating with a BA and a master’s degree in five years instead of the usual six-year track,” he explains.

The plethora of research and internship opportunities drew Elliott to BU.

“In my first three years at BU, I had the opportunity to hold four research positions, pursue three internships, and enjoy one study abroad experience, making my time at BU incredibly worthwhile.”

What kinds of research and internship opportunities?

“Because of my close relationship with my Psych 101 Teaching Fellow, I became a volunteer research assistant in the Boston University Twin Project Lab, where I learned early childhood psychology and research methodology while networking with fellow volunteers and research coordinators. At the same time, thanks to support from the Center for Career Development, I started a year-long internship at Fenway Health doing community outreach for a youth HIV project called Connect to Protect. In my junior year, I continued my research as a clinical research coordinator intern at the Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.”

Elliott hopes to continue his research in the future.

“With the help of Dr. Mercurio, I’m developing a randomized clinical intervention study to evaluate whether art appreciation as a form of therapy can increase happiness among elderly patients in nursing homes. Hopefully, with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, this undergraduate project will become the basis of my PhD dissertation. BU has provided me with the skills required to thrive in my graduate program and has given me the research foundation I need to be a competitive applicant to Clinical Psychology PhD programs.”