COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES TARLETON STATE UNIVERSITY

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1 COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES TARLETON STATE UNIVERSITY The 5-year bachelor s to master s degree program is a way to support and encourage the most talented of our undergraduate students to pursue a master s degree in an accelerated format. Please consult the Tarleton State University catalog for participating departments. Accelerated Bachelor s to Master s Degrees Approved by the Graduate Council September 28, 2011 and the Academic Council, Introduction and Overview a. Creating an Accelerated Bachelor s to Master s Program b. Application to the Accelerated Bachelor s to Master s Program c. Graduate Work Plan d. Student Eligibility Requirements e. Requirements for Participation and Graduation f. Continuing Eligibility g. Withdrawal h. Next Steps 2. Departmental Responsibilities Contact Information: Dean of the College of Graduate Studies or the graduate advisor in your degree program 1. Introduction and Overview The Accelerated Bachelor s to Master s (ABM) degree program allows talented undergraduates at Tarleton State University an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor s and master s degrees at an accelerated pace. These undergraduate students may double-count up to 12 graduate credit hours and obtain a non-thesis master s degree in the same field within 12 months of completing the bachelor s degree or obtain a thesisbased master s degree in the same field within 18 months of completing the bachelor s degree. Students entering the participating programs are encouraged to focus on research as a part of their undergraduate/graduate plan. This degree program also provides an opportunity for the Directors of Graduate Programs at TSU to recruit to their graduate programs rising juniors in their major. However, permission to pursue an ABM degree program does not guarantee admission to the College of Graduate Studies. Admission is contingent on meeting eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program. 1

2 a. Creating an Accelerated Bachelor s to Master s Program i. Sponsorship. The same department or program that awards the bachelor s degree must sponsor the master s degree. This does not preclude master s degrees in interdisciplinary graduate programs in which the sponsoring department participates, nor acceptance of the student in a closely related field, if the department granting the graduate degree recommends admission to Graduate Studies. ii. Approval. Prior to admission of any student into such a degree program, the program must be developed by the cooperative undergraduate and graduate units and approved by the associated college(s), the Graduate Council, the Graduate Dean and the Academic Council. The advantage of this model is that the program can be advertised and used as a recruiting tool for prospective undergraduate students. iii. Admission. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5/4.0 at TSU. No GRE or other standardized test score will be required unless the participating program or department requires it for admission to their program. Students must have completed a minimum of 75 and a maximum of 108 credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of two semesters as full-time students at Tarleton, a minimum of 24 hours. b. Application to the Accelerated Bachelor s to Master s Program A prospective student who meets the eligibility requirements (see admission criteria) must initiate a meeting with his/her undergraduate advisor, the Department Head or the Director of the Graduate Program in the program of interest. The prospective student will be given a copy of the department s program guidelines. The advisor will provide an overview of the degree pathway. Before admission to a preferred program can be finalized, students must submit the standard application for admission to Graduate Studies which includes: i. Graduate application ii. Application fee iii. Official transcripts (should already be on file, including transfer work if applicable) iv. A plan for graduate work, signed by the prospective student, the undergraduate advisor or department head and the graduate advisor 2

3 c. Plan of Graduate Work The plan of graduate work for the master s degree must clearly indicate the following: i. The courses (maximum of 12 graduate hours) that will be double- counted for both bachelor s and master s courses ii. The graduate courses (maximum of 6 additional graduate hours) that are taken at TSU as an undergraduate student that will not be counted toward the bachelor s degree (this could be leveling courses) iii. The undergraduate courses being substituted by the graduate work iv. The courses that will be taken after matriculating into the graduate program v. The graduation date for the master s degree that meets the time limit for the 5-year master s program (obtaining a nonthesis degree in the same field within 12 months of completing the bachelor s degree or obtaining a thesis based master s degree in the same field within 18 months of completing the bachelor s degree) Any changes to the plan of graduate work must be submitted in writing and approved by the graduate advisor and the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies. Many combinations of undergraduate and graduate programs may be possible and are not restricted to the confines of a single discipline or major. For example, an integrated undergraduate/graduate program may be developed for a Bachelor of Science leading to a Master s in Business Administration or Environmental Science. d. Student Eligibility Requirements Permission to pursue a 5-year master s degree program does not guarantee admission to the Graduate School. Admission is contingent on meeting the following eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program: i. Students must have completed a minimum of 75 and a maximum of 108 credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement ii. Transfer students must have completed a minimum of two semesters as full-time students at Tarleton with a minimum of 24 completed hours iii. Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.5/4.0 at TSU. iv. No GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores are required unless the graduate program wishes to include this requirement. 3

4 e. Requirements for Participation and Graduation i. Students must complete the bachelor s degree prior full admission to the master s program. Students in the 5-year master s program may not elect to by-pass the bachelor s degree. ii. Students must earn a grade of B (3.0/4.0) or better in the double-counted graduate level courses. Courses with a grade below B cannot be double-counted between the two degrees. iii. No more that twelve (12) hours of graduate work may be counted towards the requirements of both degrees. iv. Students must complete the master s degree within 12 months from the completion of the bachelor s degree for the non-thesis master s degree and within 18 months for the master s programs requiring a thesis. If the master s program is not completed within these time limits, none of the courses can be double-counted. f. Continuing Eligibility It is the responsibility of the student to recognize his/her eligibility status. However, students in the honors program or classes may be informed by their professors if there are accelerated programs compatible to the students interest areas. Advisors in undergraduate programs may be the program liaisons for master s program information. If a student completes the bachelor s degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.0/4.0, then he/she is no longer eligible to double-count credit hours and is automatically terminated from the 5-year program. Individual departments may have higher requirements and must be in writing. Failure to meet these requirements will make a student ineligible to participate in the 5- year program. A student who is ineligible to participate in or withdraws from the 5- year program cannot double count any courses for both bachelor s and master s degrees. (However, courses successfully completed with a 3.0 or better may count toward the bachelor s degree as appropriate substitutions.) If a student becomes ineligible to participate in the 5-year master s program, the graduate advisor must inform the student in writing of his/her ineligibility. A copy of the letter to the student must be sent to the College of Graduate Studies. g. Withdrawal A student may at any time withdraw from an approved 5-year master s program by informing the graduate advisor or Department 4

5 Head and the Graduate Program Director in writing. A copy of this request to withdraw must be sent to Graduate Studies. h. Next Steps i. Upon receiving student application materials the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies will forward copies of all materials to the appropriate departmental graduate program director/ advisor/coordinator. ii. Within two weeks of receipt of application materials, the graduate advisor/ program director/ departmental graduate admissions committee will notify the graduate admissions coordinator in Graduate Studies in writing (can be by memo attached to ) of the admission decision. iii. Upon acceptance, the student should schedule a meeting with the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies to discuss course registration. iv. The Dean or the coordinator for graduate admissions will work with the student and the Office of the Registrar to ensure the students are properly registered for courses. Applications should be submitted to the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies no later than the following dates: July 15 for fall term admission November 15 for spring term admission April 15 for summer term admission Note: This program is not available to those wishing to pursue a Master of Education degree unless the student has the required certification for admission to the program. 2. Departmental Responsibilities if this Degree Option is Chosen a. Determine graduate courses and sequencing applicable for their master s program(s). b. The information is submitted to the University Curriculum Committee for the approval process. c. Include information about this degree option in their portion of the university catalog and program web pages. d. 8.3 Designate a point faculty member in the department who will be the information source for questions and student monitoring for the degree pathway. e. 8.4 The department and advisor should encourage research/scholarship/internship as a part of the degree planning. 5

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