Accelerated MS Program

Juniors and first-semester Seniors currently working towards BA or BS degrees with a major in Physics at UMass Amherst may apply to the Accelerated MS program, also called a 4+1 program.  

What is the 4+1 program?

  • Students obtain both their Bachelor and Master of Science (M.S.) degree in 5 years.
  • Students take graduate level courses to complete their degree.  No thesis is required.
  • Graduation requirements are the same as for the course-based M.S. program.
  • Information about tuition and costs can found on the Bursar's website.

How is this different from the traditional M.S Program?

  • Of 30 credits required for the degree, up to 12 credits (500 level and above) can be transferred from undergraduate work.  The traditional M.S. allows only 6 transfer credits.
  • Up to 6 credits of work at the 500 level or above can be used to satisfy both the undergraduate and graduate degree (grade must be B or higher).

Who can enroll?

  • Juniors, and Seniors in their first semester, currently working towards a BA or BS degree in Physics at UMass Amherst.
  • Students must have completed at least two 400-level courses by the end of the semester in which they apply

How to Apply?

  • The standard application procedures for admission to graduate programs apply to the Accelerated Master's Degree Option.
  • Students may apply as Juniors or first-semester Seniors with Nov 30 or April 1 deadlines.
  • Students should apply at the earliest possible time to be sure to graduate in 5 years and make full use of the program.
  • Students must inform the Graduate Program Manager, Katie Bryant, of their intention to apply for 4+1 status. Email the GPM at

Decisions for the November deadline will be made in late January; Decision for the April deadline will be made in late May.