Accelerated Master’s Degrees

Bright, highly motivated students with clear academic goals can capitalize on UWM’s prestigious designation as a top-tier “R1” research university. In accelerated master’s degrees, students can fast-track their graduate studies by starting their master’s degree before completing their bachelor’s. Accelerated master’s degrees can save up to a full year of enrollment and tuition. Some students can graduate with both degrees in as few as five years. Accelerate your career at Milwaukee’s premier research university today!

Benefits

  • Join gifted students in a rigorous curriculum
  • Graduate with your master’s degree up to a year earlier
  • Save tuition by combining requirements
  • Enjoy continuity of instruction with familiar teachers
  • Launch your career sooner
  • Earn more with a master’s degree

How It Works

Most programs require that students:

  • Indicate their intention to pursue an accelerated master’s
  • Meet minimum requirements, such as GPA and prerequisites
  • Complete most general education requirements prior to graduate work
  • Enroll in designated graduate courses that double count toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Apply early for Graduate School
  • Complete required coursework to finish both undergraduate and graduate degrees

Each accelerated master’s degree pairs a single undergraduate degree with a single graduate degree.

Eligibility, double counting, and application procedures differ. See individual programs for details.

Accelerated master’s degrees at UWM

This is a sample of how requirements from two degrees can be double counted in an accelerated master’s degree. Actual requirements can differ from program to program. Some programs combine more requirements, and others fewer. See accelerated master’s degrees overview for details.


Accelerated Master’s Degree (AMD) Frequently Asked Questions

What is Forward Double Counting and Backward Double Counting in an Accelerated Master’s Degree?
Both terms refer to the limited amount course credit that can count both toward the bachelor’s and the master’s degree. This credit must be from courses identified and approved for the AMD in advance, as specified in the Catalog. Forward double counted credit is earned by a student while still in their undergraduate career, and is used to fulfill bachelor’s requirements and, later, can also be used to fulfill master’s requirements. Backward double-counted credit is earned by a student in their graduate career and is used to fulfill master’s requirements as well as unfinished requirements from the bachelor’s degree.

All forward and backward double-counted credit must be completed at the G level. Students in U/G courses must be sure to enroll in the G-level section. All forward and backward double-counted credit must be used only to meet bachelor’s and master’s degree requirements as specified for the AMD.

In addition, forward double-counted credit must be earned with a grade of B or better (B- is not acceptable) and be taken within five years of admission to the master’s program.

How does an undergraduate student enroll in G-level sections to take graduate work for forward double counting?
Department or program staff (schedule builders) or individual instructors provide permission for each undergraduate student to enroll in PAWS. To do this they provide student-specific permission in PAWS with the “Career Override” box checked. Students will not need a Registration Change Form when they have permission number. Student-specific permission instructions

Note that programs are responsible for monitoring AMD requirements for permitting undergraduates to take graduate-level courses eligible for forward double counting. These include:

  • Students must meet the minimum GPA requirements for Graduate School of 2.75 at time of enrollment, or any higher minimum GPA requirements that the program has specified.
  • Students must have completed any pre-requisites for graduate level work specified by the undergraduate program.
  • UG students enrolled in G-level courses are held to graduate academic standards

Do undergraduates in graduate-level courses pay undergraduate tuition?
Yes. Tuition is determined by the student’s career, not by the level of the course. As a result, students taking graduate-level courses while still in their undergraduate careers will normally remain eligible for any forms of financial aid they already receive. Once students start their graduate career, they may become ineligible for some forms of financial aid, such as Pell Grants.

What administrative responsibilities does the Undergraduate Advisor have?
Undergraduate advisors attach the subplan code to the standard plan code for their major in PAWS. This can happen at any point during undergraduate career. Some AMDs require it to happen sooner than others.

They also help track students intending to complete the AMD, advise appropriately, and communicate with the Grad Rep about who is in the pipeline.

What issues should undergraduate advisors monitor and address for students considering AMDs?

  • What GERs, major, and school/college requirements must be completed during undergraduate career.
  • What graduate requirements can be fulfilled while the student is still in the undergraduate career through forward double counting.
  • What undergraduate requirements can be deferred until later and fulfilled through backward double counting after the student starts the master’s degree.
  • Whether a student has completed all required undergraduate credits minus those credits that can be backward double counted from master’s degree before starting Graduate School. For instance, in an AMD that permits 15 credits to be backward double counted from the master’s degree, the student must have completed at least 105 undergraduate credits before starting their graduate career.
  • Are there any other special requirements that a student must meet as an undergraduate to qualify for the AMD, such as a higher minimum GPA or specific pre-requisites?

Where can I find the requirements for each individual AMD?
Requirements for all AMDS are now stored in the UWM Catalog:
catalog.uwm.edu/opportunities-resources/accelerated-masters-degrees/#programstext

If I have questions about AMD requirements or procedures, who should I contact?
Start with undergraduate and graduate program representatives for the AMD in question, who should know both sides of the AMD best. If you still have questions, or if you have questions about the broader AMD policy requirements, contact Kate Negri, the Master’s Retention Specialist at the Graduate School at kmnegri@uwm.edu.