3.12 Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program

[Recommended by the Administrative Board of the Graduate School and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School on 3/7/02, revised 9/10/2008.]

A. Creating an Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program
B. Student Eligibility Requirements
C. Application to the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program
D. Requirements for Participation and Graduation
E. Continuing Eligibility
F. Withdrawal

The Accelerated Bachelors/Master's (ABM) degree program allows exceptional undergraduate students at NC State an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor's and master's degrees at an accelerated pace. These undergraduate students may double count up to 12 graduate-level credits (500 or 700 level) and obtain a non-thesis master's degree within 12 months of completing the bachelor's degree or obtain a thesis based master's degree within 24 months of completing the bachelor's degree.

This degree program also provides an opportunity for the Directors of Graduate Programs (DGPs) at NC State to recruit rising juniors in their major to their graduate programs. However, permission to pursue an ABM degree program does not guarantee an admission to the Graduate School. Admission is contingent on meeting eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program.

A. Creating an Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program
There are two options for creating ABM programs. The first option is a disciplinary model in which a bachelor's program and a master's program in the same department or in departments of closely related disciplines establish an ABM degree. Prior to admission of any student into such a degree program, the program must be developed by the cooperative undergraduate and graduate units and approved by the associated college(s), the Administrative Board of the Graduate School, and the dean of the Graduate School. The advantage of this model is that the program can be advertised and used as a recruiting tool for prospective undergraduate students.

The other option is an individualized model in which a student is in a department that has not established a formal ABM program or is in a department in one discipline and wants to take a master's degree in a different discipline. For this option, an ABM arrangement must be made between the student and the director of the graduate program granting the graduate degree and must be approved by the coordinator of the undergraduate program. The director of the graduate program must recommend admission to the Graduate School.

All ABM eligibility requirements apply to students in either option.

B. Student Eligibility Requirements

  1. Students may apply once they have completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement, but they must apply before completion of the undergraduate degree.
  2. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of two semesters as a full-time student at NC State, a minimum of 24 hours.
  3. Students must have a minimum accumulated grade point average (GPA) of 3.500 at NC State at the time of admission into the ABM degree program.
  4. Individual departments may impose stricter admission requirements.

C. Application to the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program

  1. A prospective student that meets the eligibility requirements above should schedule a meeting with his/her Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs to develop a tentative plan of work for his/her bachelor's and master's degree programs.
  2. The prospective student should be given a copy of these guidelines.
  3. Before admission to an ABM program can be finalized, the student must submit, while still an undergraduate, the standard application for admission to the Graduate School including an application, application fee, and transcripts. In addition, a Plan of Graduate Work (as described below), signed by the prospective student and the Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs must accompany the application on the ABM Plan of Work form. Some programs may require GRE scores or other information.
  4. The ABM Plan of Graduate Work should clearly indicate:
    • (a) the courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours, 500 or 700 level) that will be double counted for both bachelor's and master's degrees,
    • (b) the courses (a maximum of 6 additional credit hours) that are taken as an undergraduate student at NC State and that will not be counted towards the bachelor's degree (credit hours at the 400 level are subject to the restrictions state in Section 3.1 subsection D.4),
    • (c) the courses that will be taken after matriculating in to the graduate program,
    • (d) the graduation date for the master's degree that meets the time limit for the ABM program (i.e. obtaining a non-thesis master's degree within 12 months of completing the bachelor's degree or obtaining a thesis based master's degree within 24 months of completing the bachelor's degree).
  5. Upon review of the materials submitted by the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate programs to the Graduate School, a letter of acceptance (or denial) to the master's program, contingent on meeting the ABM requirements, will be sent to the student with a copy to the Directors of Graduate and Undergraduate programs.
  6. Any changes to the courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours, 500 or 700 level) that will be double counted for both bachelor's and master's degrees or the graduate courses (a maximum of 6 additional credit hours) that are taken as an undergraduate student at NC State and that will not be counted towards the bachelor's degree must be approved by the Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate Programs and submitted in writing to and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

D. Requirements for Participation and Graduation

  1. Students must complete the bachelor's degree prior to entering the master's program. Students in the ABM may not elect to by-pass the bachelor's degree.
  2. Students must receive a grade of B or better in the double counted graduate-level courses (500 or 700 level). Courses with a grade of B- or below cannot be double counted between the two degrees.
  3. No more than twelve (12) hours of graduate work (500 or 700 level) may be counted towards the requirements of both degrees.
  4. Students must complete the master's degree within 12 months from the completion of the bachelor's degree for a non-thesis master's degree and within 24 months for master's programs requiring a thesis. If the master's program is not completed within these time limits, none of the courses can be double counted.

E. Continuing Eligibility

  1. It is the responsibility of the student to recognize his/her eligibility status.
  2. If a student completes the bachelor's degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.50/4.00, then he/she needs program approval to continue to pursue the ABM program. Individual departments may have higher requirements and a failure to meet these requirements will make a student ineligible to participate in the ABM program.
  3. If a student becomes ineligible to participate in the ABM degree program, the DGP must inform the coordinator of the undergraduate program and the student in writing of his/her ineligibility. A copy of this letter to the student must be sent to the Graduate School.
  4. A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the ABM program, cannot double count any courses for both bachelor's and master's degrees.

F. Withdrawal
A student may withdraw at any time from an approved ABM program, by informing the Directors of Undergraduate and Graduate programs in writing. A copy of this request must be sent to the Graduate School.