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.
Program Credit Requirements
The Accelerated Master’s Degree Option requires 30 minimum total credits, taken across both programs, 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.
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.
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, please consult the Office of the Bursar’s Tuition & Fees page.