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Accelerated Master’s Programs

Accelerated master’s degree programs provide high achieving Mason undergraduates with the opportunity to earn a Schar School master’s degree in a substantially reduced period of time. The benefits of the accelerated program include:

  • A streamlined master’s application process.
  • No application fee.
  • The ability to take up to 12 graduate credits (4 courses) while completing a bachelor’s degree. Six of the graduate credits apply toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The remaining six credits are held as reserve graduate credit to count toward the master’s degree.
  • Undergraduate tuition rates for graduate courses taken while completing bachelor’s degree.
  • A head-start on the master’s degree program with up to 12 credits earned in advance of master’s degree matriculation.

Schar School programs offering an accelerated option

  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Policy (MPP)
  • International Commerce and Policy (MA)
  • Political Science (MA)
  • Biodefense (MS)
  • International Security (MA) (Beginning Fall 2017)

Eligible applicants

Mason undergraduates –

  • Who have earned between 75 to 100 credits toward their bachelor’s degree
  • Who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Who have completed the following course prerequisites:
    • At least 12 credits of undergraduate Government, Economics, and/or Global Affairs courses for the International Commerce and Policy program
    • At least 12 credits of undergraduate Government and/or Economics courses for the Master of Public Policy Program
    • At least 12 credits of undergraduate Government courses for the MPA or Political Science programs

For all students who have already been ADMITTED to the Accelerated Master’s program and are completing their transition form, you will still complete the transition using the paper-based transition form.

For those students who are applying to the Accelerated Master’s program, you will need to complete the process online through the Office of Graduate Admissions website following the steps below:

How To Apply

Step one: Determining Eligibility

  1. Review the university catalog’s Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s program guidelines for the program you are interested in applying for.
  2. Review the deadlines and requirements for your program.
  3. Once you have read over the requirements and confirmed that you are within the deadlines, submit our Accelerated Master’s Inquiry form.
  4. Upon submission of your form, your eligibility will be reviewed by the Office of Graduate Admissions in accordance with the guidelines in the university catalog.
  5. Within three or less business days, the Office of Graduate Admissions will then notify you, via e-mail, if you are eligible to apply to the Accelerated Master’s program. This e-mail will include the link to the online application. If you are not eligible, you will be notified.

Step two: Applying

  1. Schedule a meeting with your undergraduate academic advisor. Bring an unofficial copy of your transcript (printed from Patriot Web) and be prepared to pull up your online application. At this meeting you will:
  2. Complete as much of the online application as you can. Save as you are filling out the application. DO NOT SUBMIT until following the items detailed in number 4 below.
  3. Please visit Application Deadlines and Requirements page to determine the application deadline and requirements for your desired program.
  4. If you are granted eligibility in the process above, you will now have the online application link. You will only receive this link once you have been granted eligibility by the Office of Graduate Admissions.
    • Ensure they are willing to approve your participation and, if approved, confirm that they have returned your letter of recommendation to the program on the online application.
    • Receive guidance on which courses will best suit your desired program and interests.
    • Receive confirmation on which Master’s level courses will be applied to your Bachelor’s degree.
    • Complete and submit your online application.
  5. Once submitted online, the Office of Graduate Admissions will review your application for all required materials. When your application is complete, meaning all supplemental materials are received, your application will be sent to the appropriate graduate program faculty to approve your participation in the Accelerated Master’s program.

Step three: If admitted, enroll in approved graduate coursework after completion of 90 undergraduate credits. See table of coursework below.

Step four: In the beginning of your final undergraduate semester, submit the Bachelor’s/Accelerated Master’s Transition form to your undergraduate advisor for approval and routing.

Graduate courses that can be taken as an accelerated program student

Master of Public AdministrationPUAD 502, PUAD 511*, PUAD 520, PUAD 540
Master of Public PolicyPUBP 500, PUBP 503, PUBP 511*, ITRN 503
International Commerce and Policy, MAITRN 500, ITRN 503, ITRN 504, PUBP 503
Political Science, MAGOVT 500, GOVT 510, GOVT 520, GOVT 530, GOVT 540 (select maximum of 4)
Biodefense, MSGOVT 500, BIOD 604, BIOD 605, GOVT 540
International Security, MAGOVT 540, GOVT 511 or PUAD 511 or PUBP 511*, PUBP 504, PUBP 506

*Students must first pass a Statistical Screening Exam before being allowed to register for this course.

Upon Bachelor’s Degree Conferral

Upon completion of all requirements for the bachelor’s degree, accelerated students will be fully admitted to the master’s degree program for the fall or spring term (not summer) following bachelor’s degree conferral. The policies below govern accelerated matriculation into graduate degree status:

  • Students must pursue their master’s degree in the semester immediately following their bachelor’s degree conferral.
  • Students admitted to an accelerated master’s program must continue satisfactory performance in undergraduate course work in order to progress to matriculated graduate status. A grade of B or better must be earned in all undergraduate course taken after application to an accelerated master’s program.
  • Students must earn a B or better in all graduate coursework taken while in accelerated status.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 18 credits after matriculation into master’s degree status.

Questions? Contact your undergraduate advisor or the Schar School Graduate Admissions (703) 993-8099.

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