Accelerated Degrees (Undergraduate to Graduate Programs)

Accelerated degree programs allow qualified students to earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in a related subject area in approximately five years. Programs can apply up to 15 graduate credits toward the student undergraduate major in the bachelor’s degree program.

Which programs offer an accelerated master’s option?

Programs being offered in this accelerated format are listed in the online University Catalog.

How do I qualify to be in an accelerated program?

Undergraduate students must have completed a minimum of 60 undergraduate credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher. Some accelerated programs do require a higher cumulative GPA for participation. Students should meet with their undergraduate advisor or the department chairperson/head in their major to learn whether an accelerated program is a good fit. If so,

  1. Students will complete the Combined/Accelerated Degree Program Declaration Form.
    • This form requires the student to obtain the signature of the participating departments chairperson/head and to identify the graduate courses (up to a maximum of 15 credits) that will be taken and used as a substitute for undergraduate courses.
    • The declaration form does not automatically register you for the courses indicated. You will have to register for them in your graduate career per the usual process in Campus Connection.
  2. If declaration is approved, the student will make formal application to the NDSU Graduate School for the intended master’s degree program.

Does being in an accelerated program impact my federal financial aid?

Yes, until you have earned a bachelor’s degree and moved on to the graduate portion of your program, you are viewed as an undergraduate for financial aid purposes. With that said, it is highly recommended that accelerated students receiving financial aid take a minimum of six credits (half-time) toward their undergraduate degree to be eligible for financial aid. Students who take more than six credits toward their undergraduate degree may maximize their financial aid eligibility in a given term. The credits that count toward the undergraduate degree may include credits listed on the declaration form as courses being used towards the graduate and undergraduate degrees.

It is important to plan which courses you will take in your last year of your undergraduate program to ensure you take at least six credits towards your bachelor’s degree each semester.

Does being a dual career student impact my tuition and fees?

Students enrolled in multiple careers (e.g., both undergraduate and graduate) may be billed separately for each and the tuition cap does not apply across careers. Mandatory student fees do cap across careers. Exception: Architecture students in multiple careers will have their tuition capped at the graduate tuition rate. Students on a Graduate Assistantship should refer to their academic college for tuition waiver eligibility.

What do I need to know about applying to the master’s degree program?

  • Accelerated students are admitted to the graduate program in conditional standing. To move to full standing, students must:
    • Complete the bachelor’s degree (Note: a student must complete a bachelor’s degree at least one semester prior to the term in which a graduate degree is to be conferred. Students cannot earn their undergraduate and graduate degrees in the same semester.)
    • Maintain a 3.00 cumulative GPA in graduate classes
    • Complete any other conditions outlined in the graduate admission letter.
  • Accelerated students must meet all requirements that would ordinarily be expected of those enrolled in the master’s program.
  • No undergraduate courses can be counted toward a master’s degree.
  • Students MUST enroll in graduate courses on the graduate record. No graduate courses can appear on the undergraduate record. If graduate courses appear on the undergraduate record they will not count toward the master’s degree.
  • Only a maximum of 15 graduate credits may count toward the bachelor’s degree.
  • Graduate courses will not be considered for undergraduate Dean’s List or undergraduate Graduation with Honor eligibility.
  • Before receipt of the bachelor’s degree, the graduate credit included on the declaration form will appear on the undergraduate record as NDSU transfer credit for inclusion on the undergraduate record for degree totals. A transcript note will be added to the NDSU graduate transfer credit to indicate this credit is applied to the undergraduate degree totals.