Accelerated master’s programs, which expedite the completion of both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree over a 5-year span, can place UGA at a competitive advantage relative to other institutions in drawing high quality UGA undergraduates into UGA graduate programs. Units are free to choose whether to participate in the accelerated master’s program.
Accelerated master’s programs at the University of Georgia may be one of two types:
- Some disciplines, while maintaining distinct bachelor’s and master’s degrees, may permit highly qualified students to move rapidly into graduate level work in the same major as they have accomplished prerequisites. This may occur as early as the beginning of the junior year.
- Students may complete a bachelor’s degree in one major while starting a master’s program in another major if the graduate major is supported by electives taken for the bachelor’s degree. These students may begin the master’s program as early as the beginning of the junior year.
In both types of programs, the following rules apply:
- Students will not use any courses to satisfy degree requirements for both degree programs (no double-using courses).
- Students will take courses for graduate credit only after being admitted to the Graduate School.
- Students will submit an online application to the Graduate School for the program of their choice adhering to deadlines established by the academic unit administering the program and the Graduate School. The deadline shall be the earlier of these two deadlines (for example: If a departmental deadline is 1 January and the Graduate School deadline is 1 July for admission for the Fall Semester, the deadline for applications will be 1 January.)
- Students will take the standard entrance test acceptable for the graduate program prior to admission to the Graduate School.
- Students must have a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and entrance test scores that meet established guidelines of the academic department and the Graduate School.
- Students must submit other criteria for admission as required by the academic department.
- Students will be billed at the graduate tuition rate for all hours enrolled after admission to the Graduate School.
A preliminary plan of study must be approved by the undergraduate advisor, the departmental graduate coordinator and the dean of the Graduate School prior to the student submitting an application for admission to the Graduate School. A signed copy of the approved preliminary plan of study will be returned to the academic department. The original will be maintained in a graduate admissions file in anticipation of receipt of the application for admission.
Students in the Accelerated Master’s Program must complete all requirements established by the Board of Regents for both the bachelor’s and the master’s program. The master’s degree will not be conferred until after the bachelor’s degree is conferred in the UGA Student Records System.
Notes on funding for students in accelerated programs:
The HOPE scholarship funds a maximum of 127 hours for students who have not completed a bachelor’s degree. Once admitted to the graduate program, HOPE will cover both undergraduate and graduate hours to the 127-hour limit, but will pay only the undergraduate rate and the student must pay the difference between the undergraduate rate and the graduate rate.
After admission to the Graduate School, students will not be eligible for federal financial aid programs that are specifically need based for undergraduate students (PELL Grant), but these students can apply for federal loans to pay the difference between the undergraduate tuition (covered by HOPE) and the graduate tuition rate. These students are required to register for a minimum of 5 hours per semester. Both undergraduate and graduate courses count toward this requirement.