4+1 Degree Program

Complete your bachelor's degree and your master's of Sustainable Communities (SUST) in just five years.

The 4+1 programs within CCPA allow you to take undergraduate classes for your first three years, then get a head start on your graduate coursework during your senior year. In your fourth (senior) year, you combine bachelor- and master-level courses into your schedule and graduate with your bachelor’s degree. In your fifth year, you are admitted to the Graduate School and focus solely on the coursework to complete your master’s degree.

If you have declared one of these majors, you are eligible to apply for a 4+1 track:

  • Any Harpur BA major
  • BS or BA in Environmental Studies

Benefits of pursuing a 4+1 degree:

  • Save time: Earn your master’s degree in one year instead of two.
  • Save money: Pay graduate tuition for only one year.
  • Take advantage of the value: Binghamton offers an Ivy-caliber education at a state university tuition.
  • Strengthen your marketability: Graduate degrees hone job-related skills in communications, research methods, data analysis, teamwork and big-picture thinking — skills sought out by employers worldwide.
  • Increase your earning potential: Salaries for people holding master’s degrees are on average $10,000 higher than for those with bachelor’s degrees.

If you are interested in applying & your major is not included in the list above, let us know!


Admissions process and timeline

It's best to start thinking about applying to the SUST program early. You must inquire about pre-admission in your junior year so you can enroll in master's classes your senior year.

Junior year

  • You must have completed a majority of your undergraduate major requirements and all or a majority of general education requirements

  • You must show evidence of superior undergraduate academic achievement, normally signified by having a minimum 3.5 GPA in your undergraduate major and a minimum 3.2 GPA overall, or a 3.5 GPA overall.

  • State your interest in the accelerated Sustainable Communities program and set up a pre-interview with Graduate Director George Homsy

Submit the following pre-admission materials to George Homsy via email:

  • Professional or academic writing sample or essay of 500-800 words on a relevant sustainability topic. This can be something that you have already written for a class or in a work setting

  • Personal statement (300-500 words stating your interests in the program and career goals)

  • Current résumé

  • A letter of recommendation from a University faculty member or instructor

Senior year (if accepted for pre-admission)

  • You will be able to register for SUST courses during your first semester of your senior year

  • During your senior year (88+ undergraduate credits), you must formally apply to the Graduate School via the link on your BU Brain account and submit the online application and all required application materials, including any required letters of recommendation