Accelerated and Combined Degree Programs

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s (ABM) 5 year degree program

The Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master's (ABM) degree program allows exceptional undergraduate students at UND an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor's and master's degrees at an accelerated pace. These students may double count up to 12 graduate-level credits and obtain a non-thesis master's degree within 12 months of completing the bachelor's degree. Master’s thesis degree programs may also participate in the 4+1 ABM, provided that the degree requirements can be completed in the 4+1 timeframe.

This degree program therefore provides an opportunity for the Directors of Graduate Programs at UND to recruit high achieving undergraduates in their major and high achieving high school students to their graduate programs. The degree program may thus be advertised and used as a recruiting tool for prospective undergraduate students. High achieving high school students are identified as students who have a GPA of at least 3.5/4.0 and an ACT score of 25 or higher.  Admission is contingent on meeting eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program.

Creating an Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program: Two Models

There are two options for creating ABM programs. The first option is a disciplinary model in which a bachelor's program and a master's program in the same department or in departments of closely related disciplines establish an ABM degree. 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 Dean of the College(s), Graduate Committee, Graduate Dean, and University Curriculum Committee.

The other option is to design a specialized plan between the student, the undergraduate department, and the graduate department for those cases in which a student is in a department that has not established a formal ABM program or is in a department in one discipline and wants to take a master's degree in a different discipline. For this option, an ABM arrangement must be made between the student and the director of the graduate program granting the graduate degree and must be approved by the Department Chair of the undergraduate program, prior to and as part of the application process. The director of the graduate program must recommend admission to the Graduate School.

NOTE: The 4+1 ABM program is only available to students in departments/programs that have chosen to participate and create a 4+1 option.  Students interested in a cross-department ABM must first speak to, and request approval from, the Department Chair of their undergraduate program and the Graduate Program Director of the desired graduate program.  The decision whether to approve a student’s request is entirely that of the two departments involved. 

Admission to an ABM Program: Student eligibility requirements

NOTE: High achieving high school students successfully recruited to the 4+1 ABM program will be in an “identified” status within their undergraduate departments, and should be assigned an advisor familiar with the ABM program in their freshman year. Provided that the student maintains the necessary minimum GPA, the student’s formal admission to the 4+1 ABM program will follow the process outlined below.

  • Students must meet all graduate admissions eligibility requirements. Students will not be required to prove English Language Proficiency a second time.
  • Students must have completed a minimum of 60 credits, including credits earned from advanced placement and dual credit. Students must apply before completion of the undergraduate degree.
  • Transfer students with a minimum of 60 credits—whether from the transfer institution alone or in combination with UND credits—and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0.
  • Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 at UND at the time of admission into the ABM degree program
  • Individual departments may impose stricter minimum admission requirements

Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Application:

  • A prospective student that meets the eligibility requirements above should schedule a meeting with his/her Department Chair and/or Director of the Graduate Program to develop a plan of work for his/her bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
  • Before admission to an ABM program can be finalized, students must submit, while still an undergraduate, the standard application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies, including an application, application fee, personal statement, and transcripts. Individual departments may choose to require GRE scores or other information.
  • A Program of Study, signed by the applicant, the graduate advisor, and the Director of the Graduate Program must be submitted. If the student is in a specialized plan, the signature of the undergraduate advisor and undergraduate department chair are also required.
  • The Program of Study must clearly indicate:
  • The courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credits) that will be double counted for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These courses will be taken prior to completing the bachelor’s degree.
  • The courses that will be taken after being accepted into the graduate program. These courses will be taken after completing the bachelor’s degree.
  • The graduation date for the master’s degree that meets the time limit for the ABM program (i.e. completing the non-thesis master’s degree within 12 months for a 4+1 program.)
  • After review of the materials submitted by the Department Chair and Director of the Graduate Program to the School of Graduate Studies, a letter of acceptance (or denial) to the master’s program, contingent upon meeting the ABM requirements, is issued.
  • Applications accepted for admission to the Graduate Program will not be matriculated until completion of the bachelor’s degree.

Requirements for Completion of the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Program:

  • Students must complete the bachelor’s degree prior to entering the master’s program. Students in the ABM may not elect to bypass the bachelor’s degree.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 at UND to remain eligible for the ABM degree program.
  • Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 or better in the double counted graduate level courses.
  • Individual departments may impose stricter minimum GPA requirements.
  • No more than twelve (12) credits of graduate work may be counted toward the requirements of both degrees.
  • For a 4+1 program, students must complete the master’s degree within 12 months from the completion of the bachelor’s degree for a non-thesis master’s degree.

Continuing Eligibility for Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Programs:

  • If a student completes the bachelor’s degree requirements with a cumulative GPA of less than 3.0/4.0, then he/she needs program approval to continue to pursue the ABM degree program.
  • If a student becomes ineligible to participate in the ABM degree program, the Director of the Graduate Program must inform the student, the Department Chair, and the School of Graduate Studies in writing of his/her ineligibility.
  • A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the ABM program, cannot double count any courses. The courses that were identified as double counted will remain on the undergraduate transcript only.

Exceptions to the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Program Time Limits:

For those programs with a 4+1 structure, the School of Graduate Studies may grant exception to the above time limits. The Dean will consider and evaluate the specific nature of the extenuating circumstances and the compelling reasons that prompted the Director of the Graduate Program and/or the advisory committee to make the request. Requests may be submitted formally and should explain the extenuating circumstances and provide a reasonable timeline for completing the work within the limits of the extension.

Combined Bachelor's/Master's program

The Combined Bachelor's/Master's (CBM) program allows undergraduate students at UND an opportunity to complete the requirements for both the bachelor's and master's degrees at an accelerated pace. These students may double count up to 6 graduate-level credits for both degrees. The completion of this program differs from the Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's program in that it is not constrained to the 4+1 time frame. This format may be used for thesis track or other programs that do not fit in the 4+1 structure.

Admission to a CBM program: Student eligibility requirements

  • Students meet all graduate admissions eligibility requirements. Students will not be required to prove English Language Proficiency a second time. 
  • Students must have completed a minimum of 60 credits, including credits earned from advanced placement and dual credit. Students must apply before the completion of the undergraduate degree.
  • Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 at UND at the time of admission to the program.
  • Individual departments may impose stricter minimum admission requirements.

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Application:

  • Student must submit the standard application for admission to the School of Graduate Studies, including an application, application fee, personal statement, and transcripts. Individual departments may choose to require GRE scores or other information.
  • A Program of Study, signed by the applicant, the graduate advisor, and the Director of the Graduate Program must be submitted. 
  • The Program of Study must clearly indicate:
    • The courses (a maximum of 6 graduate credits) that will be double counted for both bachelor's and master's degrees. These courses will be taken prior to completing the bachelor's degree.
    • The courses that will be taken after being accepted into the graduate program. These courses will be taken after completing the bachelor's degree.
  • After review of the materials submitted by the Department Chair and Director of the Graduate Program to the School of Graduate Studies, a letter of acceptance (or denial) to the master's program, contingent upon meeting the CBM requirements, is issued.
  • Applications accepted for admission to the Graduate Program will not be matriculated until completion of the bachelor's degree.

Requirements for Completion of the Combined Bachelor's/Master's Degree Program:

  • Students must complete their bachelor's degree prior to entering the master's program. Student in the CBM may not elect to bypass the bachelor's degree.
  • Student must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0/4.0 or better in the double counted graduate level courses.
  • No more than six (6) credits of graduate work may be counted toward the requirements of both degrees.
  • A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the CBM program, cannot double count any courses. The courses that were identified as double counted will remain on the undergraduate transcript only.  

Office of the Registrar

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