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.
Credit Requirements and Credit Transfer
All courses applied to the Accelerated Master’s Degree Option must be graduate level courses, numbered 500 or above. Upon departmental recommendation, up to 12 credits may be transferred to an Accelerated Master's Degree program requiring 41 or fewer credits. For Accelerated Master’s of 42 credits or more, the Graduate School will accept up to 18 transfer credits. 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.
Of those transfer credits, 6 to 12 credits (depending on the number of credits required for the Accelerated Master's program) can be double counted toward both the baccalaureate and master's degrees. Up to 6 credits can be double counted for accelerated master's degree programs requiring 30 - 32 credits, 9 credits for accelerated master's degree programs requiring 33 - 35 credits, and 12 credits for accelerated master's degree programs requiring 36 or more credits.
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.
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.