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Accelerated Degree Policies & Procedures


Binghamton University's Accelerated Degree programs offer motivated students the opportunity to meet all undergraduate requirements and complete a focused master's-level program in as short a time as possible. It is important to identify qualified students early (as freshmen and sophomores) in order to provide them with appropriate advising. The responsibility for advertising and establishing procedures for admission to Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's degree programs will rest with the administering department, with additional promotion by The Graduate School as appropriate.


Departments and programs will create Bulletin copy that conforms with the policies as summarized here.


Admission to the Accelerated Degree program involves two parts:
Step 1: Admission as an undergraduate to the Accelerated Degree program (which occurs during the sophomore or junior year)
Step 2: Admission to The Graduate School for the fifth year (application begins during the undergraduate senior year)

Step 1

Admission, as an undergraduate, to the Accelerated Degree program: Generally during an undergraduate student's sophomore or junior year, the undergraduate applies for admission to the Accelerated Degree program directly to the department that administers the specific graduate program of interest.

The admission process may vary from program to program; each Accelerated Degree program must define and advertise the specific admission requirements and process. The individual program will review applications for the program and communicate decisions to applicants. (For the Watson School, the program will also communicate the decision to the advising office.) These communications should include appropriate details from this document that explain how the program is structured over the student's academic career.

Once a student is admitted to the Accelerated Degree program, the administering department (or, for the Watson School, the advising office) will update the student's record with the correct Accelerated Degree undergraduate major code. This is done by entering the code into Banner.

Note: Because there is no specific undergraduate Accelerated Degree major code for the School of Management, undergraduate students admitted to the Management Accelerated Degree program will not be identified in the system by a specific major code; the School of Management will track these students manually.

Step 2

Formal admission to The Graduate School for completion of the Accelerated Degree program: During the undergraduate senior year, undergraduates complete The Graduate School application for admission (and pay the application fee). Application should be made for the first semester of the student's fifth year. This admission process is exactly the same as for all other graduate applicants. It is important for the administering department to inform students of this requirement.

Depending on the student's performance at the undergraduate level, the administering program will admit or deny the student to graduate studies. For each student who is admitted, The Graduate School will change the student's major code to the graduate Accelerated Degree code.



Accelerated Degree students complete all requirements for the undergraduate degree during the first four years. The Accelerated Degree curriculum is defined in such a way that undergraduate students can begin taking graduate-level courses during their third and fourth years, some of which meet both undergraduate and graduate requirements, as defined by the specific Accelerated Degree program. During these first four years the student is considered an undergraduate student, pays undergraduate tuition and fees, and registers according to their undergraduate level.

The undergraduate degree must be conferred before students are advanced to graduate student status. During the fourth (undergraduate senior) year, Accelerated Degree students must apply for conferral of the undergraduate degree (using the Application for Undergraduate Degree form available from the Registrar's Office or at The Registrar's Office will certify the conferral of the undergraduate degree and list the student in the commencement program. These students are invited to participate in commencement, along with other recipients of the bachelor's degree.

During the fifth year, the student is advanced to graduate student status and pays graduate tuition and fees. Accelerated Degree graduate students cannot take undergraduate courses during this fifth year. Doing so has negative implications for financial aid, transcripts, and GPA.



As undergraduates, Accelerated Degree students may encounter registration restrictions when attempting to register for graduate courses. Administering departments should plan to advise these students and register them for courses as necessary.



Two transcripts, one undergraduate and one graduate, will show the completed coursework for Accelerated Degree students. Undergraduate transcripts will contain all courses taken as an undergraduate, including any graduate courses taken during the first four years. Graduate transcripts will contain all courses taken as a graduate student. All courses shown on the undergraduate transcript (including graduate courses) will be used to calculate the undergraduate GPA. Graduate GPA will be calculated using only the graduate courses taken during the fifth year.

Unless the student makes a specific request for an undergraduate or graduate transcript, both sets will be issued together.



Students admitted to the Accelerated Degree program, who decide not to pursue a graduate degree, or who are not admitted to the graduate program, may change majors back to a regular undergraduate program at any time. If an Accelerated Degree student chooses not to pursue a graduate degree, the student should notify the administering department in writing of this decision; this notification should include the specific undergraduate major that the student intends to pursue. At that time, the department will change the student's major code back to a regular undergraduate major (as specified by the student, in consultation with the department/advisor).

Likewise, if the student is denied admission to The Graduate School, the administering department should confer with the student and agree on an appropriate major program; the department then makes the appropriate major code change in CICS.

When a student leaves the Accelerated Degree program, no additional tuition charges will be levied for graduate courses taken in excess of undergraduate policy.



Undergraduate students may receive federal financial aid (through the Office of Student Financial Aid and Student Records) for both undergraduate and graduate courses.

However, once a student becomes a graduate student, financial aid is not available for undergraduate courses. In addition, financial aid as a graduate student is not available until an undergraduate degree has been conferred. This is why it is important for Accelerated Degree students to complete all undergraduate degree requirements and apply for an undergraduate degree during the first four years. Consultation with a financial aid counselor during the fourth and fifth years is strongly advised.

TA and GA positions funded by The Graduate School are not available to students in the Accelerated Degree programs. The Accelerated Degree programs are designed as "fast track"; that is, so the bachelor's and master's degrees can be obtained in five years. This concentration requires full-time work toward the degrees. Although academic units or others may employ these students part-time, The Graduate School cannot provide tuition scholarships.

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Last Updated: 4/30/12