Fast-track Degrees Gain Popularity at Binghamton University (newswise.com)
Read what the Press says about Accelerated Degrees! (pdf, 140kb)
If you are a Binghamton undergraduate and you plan to get a master's degree, consider speeding up your education by enrolling in one of Binghamton University's Accelerated Degree Programs. You can complete your bachelor's degree and a focused master's program in a total of five years.
HOW IT WORKS
You finish the coursework for your bachelor's degree in a little over three years. In your fourth year, you combine bachelor's- and master's-level courses. In your fifth year, you are admitted to the Graduate School and focus solely on graduate work. Students in these programs typically complete a capstone project instead of a master's thesis.
IT'S WORTH IT
By choosing an Accelerated Degree, you get all the benefits of Binghamton's world-class graduate school at a SUNY price. And there's no penalty if you change your major or opt out of the Accelerated Degree program.
SAVE TIME - earn your bachelor's and master's degrees in less time than it takes for two separate degrees.
SAVE MONEY - in your fourth year you still pay undergraduate tuition, even though you take graduate courses. You'll spend less time in school-five years instead of six-and pay less tuition. You'll hit the job market sooner, ready to earn a higher salary with your master's degree.
*pending final approval
You should apply to an Accelerated Degree program late in your sophomore year or early in your junior year. An Accelerated Degree advisor will help you with these steps:
Accelerated Degree students complete all requirements for the undergraduate degree during the first four years. You can begin taking graduate-level courses in your third or fourth year, some of which meet both the undergraduate and graduate requirements of the specific degree program. During the first four years you are considered an undergraduate student, you pay undergraduate tuition and fees, and you register according to your undergraduate level.
Your undergraduate degree must be conferred before you are advanced to graduate student status. During your fourth (undergraduate senior) year, you must apply for conferral of the undergraduate degree. The Application for Undergraduate Degree form is available from the Registrar's Office or at (http://registrar.binghamton.edu). The Registrar's Office will certify the conferral of your undergraduate degree and list you in the commencement program. You are invited to participate in commencement along with other recipients of the bachelor's degree.
During your fifth year, you are advanced to graduate student status and you will pay graduate tuition and fees. Accelerated Degree graduate students must maintain full-time registration for two semesters, fulfill the university residency requirement of 24 credits, and follow the course sequence outlined by the specific program. You cannot take undergraduate courses during this fifth year.
The department in which you are getting your Accelerated Degree will help you get the necessary approvals to register for graduate courses while you are still in your undergraduate years.
Two transcripts, one undergraduate and one graduate, will show your completed coursework. Your undergraduate transcripts will contain all courses taken as an undergraduate, including any graduate courses taken during the first four years. Your graduate transcripts will contain all courses taken as a graduate student during the fifth year. All courses shown on the undergraduate transcript (including your graduate courses) will be used to calculate your undergraduate GPA. Your graduate GPA will be calculated using only the graduate courses taken during your fifth year.
Unless you make a specific request for an undergraduate or graduate transcript, both sets will be issued together.
If you are not admitted to the graduate program, or you change your mind about pursuing the graduate degree, you may change your major back to a regular undergraduate program at any time. You must notify the administering department in writing of this decision. Your letter should include the specific undergraduate major that you will pursue.
When a student leaves an Accelerated Degree program, no additional tuition is charged for the graduate classes taken during the undergraduate years.
As an undergraduate student, you may receive federal financial aid for both undergraduate and graduate courses. However, once you becomes a graduate student, financial aid is not available for undergraduate courses. In addition, financial aid as a graduate student is not available until your 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 fourth year. We strongly suggest that you consult with a financial aid counselor during your fourth and fifth years.
Note that Accelerated Degree students are not normally awarded teaching/graduate/research assistantships because those responsibilities make it difficult to complete the Accelerated Degree program in 5 years. The university is already subsidizing the Accelerated Degree by allowing some graduate courses to double count for the undergraduate degree and at the undergraduate tuition rate.
Last Updated: 4/15/09