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Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs

Sep 24, 2019

If you already have plans to attend graduate school in your chosen field, then you could consider an accelerated bachelor's to master's program that shortens the timeframe for earning these two degrees compared to earning them separately.

Accelerated bachelor's to master's programs are designed to help you earn two degrees at a quicker pace and usually for less money. This type of program will allow you to begin graduate-level coursework while you are still earning your bachelor's degree, sometimes also allowing you to double count credits towards both degrees. In this article, we will discuss several types of accelerated bachelor's to master's programs in different fields of study, what their requirements are in terms of credits, coursework, and time commitment, and what some common entrance requirements could be for these programs.

Examples of Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Programs

Bachelor's to Master's in Criminal Justice

Accelerated programs in criminal justice will allow you to earn both a Bachelor of Science/Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Arts/Science in Criminal Justice. In this type of program, you will usually be required to earn a number of undergraduate credits first, including core classes required by the university and core classes that complete the criminal justice major. You will then need to be admitted to the master's program sometime around your junior year, and the number of credits that will count towards both degrees will differ by individual program, with some allowing you to double count up to 12 credits. During the course of this program, you will likely take classes in corrections, criminology, law, and crime prevention and you might need to complete a research paper or internship.

Bachelor's to Master's in English

You could possibly earn a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in English in only about five years in an accelerated program. Usually, for this accelerated program, you will need to declare your intentions early in your undergraduate career in order to obtain advising and complete all your undergraduate coursework. You will then apply to the master's program and begin graduate English coursework in your last undergraduate year before completing your master's degree, including a thesis, during your fifth year of study. Around 12 credits will then fulfill requirements for both degrees, which could include classes on British literature, American literature, or literary theory.

Bachelor's to Master's in Computer Science

An accelerated bachelor's to master's program in computer science could also take only 5 years to complete. Like the above-mentioned programs, an accelerated computer science program will allow you to double count credits towards two degrees with some programs counting 12 credits and others 6 credits. You will also need to complete your core undergraduate courses first, and then spend your fourth- and fifth-years taking graduate-level classes. Throughout your entire program, you could likely take courses on algorithms, programming languages, and software. These programs might also let you choose a thesis or non-thesis option; however, a non-thesis option will usually include more elective coursework or might require some kind of research report.

Bachelor's to Master's in Accounting

An accelerated accounting program will lead to both a bachelor's and a master's in science, usually in only 5 years. Similar to other programs, you will first need to complete accounting and core undergraduate coursework before applying to the master's program, which will then double count 6-9 credits towards both degrees. Your accounting coursework could cover a range of topics, including income taxation, auditing, and financial accounting. Also, some programs might require an internship in the accounting field.

Entrance Requirements of Accelerated Programs

The first step to attending an accelerated program is to first apply as an undergraduate student in your chosen major. Once accepted, you will usually apply to the accelerated and graduate program in your junior year; although, the timeline of this requirement will vary by program. The accelerated program will then have its own requirements, including that you have completed the correct coursework credits and have met a certain GPA minimum in that undergraduate coursework. Also, some programs may require other application materials, including letters of recommendation, an interview, or GRE scores.

If you are already sure of the career you want to pursue and that you want to attend graduate school, an accelerated bachelor's to master's program may be the right choice for you. In these programs, you will earn two degrees in a shorter period of time than earning them separately by double counting course credits.

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