VCU offers a number of accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s degree programs that allow academically talented undergraduate students to earn both degrees in a minimum of five years by taking approved graduate-level courses during the senior year of their undergraduate program. Accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s programs must be approved by both the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and the University Graduate Council. Full descriptions for accelerated programs are included in the Undergraduate and Graduate Bulletins.
To be eligible to apply for an accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s program, undergraduate students must have successfully completed a minimum of 30 hours of course work at VCU and be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Individual programs may require higher academic achievement and/or standardized test scores for admission to accelerated programs. Prospective applicants should refer to the individual program section of the Bulletin for specific information on eligibility criteria and admission process, including application deadlines. Undergraduate students must have departmental approval and must apply for admission to the master’s program for a future term prior to beginning their final year of full-time undergraduate study. Admission to the master’s program is provisional until the undergraduate degree has been conferred. Upon completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree, students are fully admitted to the master’s program.
Once accepted into an accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s program, students may enroll in the shared graduate course work identified in the approved curriculum outlined in this Bulletin (or on the student’s plan of study approved at the time of admission). Students may complete a maximum of 12 hours of approved graduate course work during the final year of their undergraduate career, which may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees, based on the standards specified below. Individual programs may set additional restrictions on the number of graduate credits that can be completed while the student is an undergraduate and applied to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Students in accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s programs may not utilize the undergraduate students in graduate courses option to complete more than 12 hours of graduate courses before conferral of the undergraduate degree. Graduate courses at the 600-level that have not been identified as part of the shared course work should not be attempted until the undergraduate degree has been conferred and the student’s status has changed from undergraduate to graduate. No graduate-level course work should be taken before the senior year. No undergraduate course work may be counted toward the master’s degree.
In order to meet continuance standards, students in accelerated bachelor’s-to-master’s programs must achieve a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in each graduate course identified in the approved curriculum in the Bulletin (or the student’s plan of study approved at the time of admission) and attempted while in undergraduate status. Students who do not receive a minimum grade of 3.0 (B) in graduate course work taken in undergraduate status will be reviewed for possible dismissal from the accelerated program. Substitutions for any of the shared graduate course work must be approved by the undergraduate and graduate advisers before the last day of add/drop registration of the semester in which the student wishes to take the substituted course(s).