Accelerated Master’s Degree Option

Accelerated Master’s Degree Option

The Accelerated Master’s Degree Option allows undergraduate students with top academic records to remain at UMass Amherst for a graduate degree, enabling you to earn a higher degree more quickly and cost-effectively. Through the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option, graduate programs can identify potential candidates as early as the junior year of study by extending an “early” (conditional) offer of admission.

Application and Admission

The standard application procedures for admission to graduate programs apply to the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option. You are encouraged to apply by November 30 of your junior year and receive a conditional admission to the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option for the semester after you complete your baccalaureate degree. At their discretion, programs may consider applications at any point during the student’s junior or senior year.

Admission to the graduate program remains conditional until the applicant completes the baccalaureate degree and fulfills the requirements of the Graduate School and graduate program for admission.

Program Credit Requirements

The Accelerated Master’s Degree Option requires minimum total credits, taken across both programs, equal to 30 plus the minimum baccalaureate credit requirement.  The typical undergraduate degree requires 120 credits, so the credit minimum for accelerated option would be 150 unless a higher undergraduate requirement applies.

Credit Transfer

All courses applied to the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option must be graduate level courses, numbered 500 or above. Upon departmental recommendation, 9 credits may be transferred for programs with up to 36 credits required; 12 credits can be transferred to the graduate degree program for programs with over 36 credits required. Those credits that are to be transferred must be taken as an undergraduate at UMass Amherst while enrolled in the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option.

Transfer Credit Form for Accelerated Master's


Graduate internship credits, if required for the master’s degree, must be registered while the student is a graduate student. For students graduating in May, the program may wish to admit the student for the summer term and allow the student to do the internship that same summer.

Five College Students

Qualifying undergraduate students from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke or Smith colleges may be considered for enrollment in the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option at the discretion of the program offering the option. The standard UMass Amherst Graduate School admission and program requirements will apply to these students as well. For more information, please visit the Five College Consortium site.

Fees Charged

All applicants are required to pay the Graduate Application Fee and the Graduate Entering Fee. Graduate-level tuition and fees will be charged each semester after matriculation as a graduate student. Students not enrolled for at least one course per semester must pay the Graduate Continuous Enrollment Fee. For more information on tuition and fees, please consult the Office of the Bursar’s Tuition & Fees page.