Accelerated Degrees: FAQs

Take the Fast Lane to a Graduate Degree


What are the benefits of enrolling in an accelerated graduate degree?

Typically, to apply for a Master’s degree, students must already hold an undergraduate degree. Accelerated Degrees allow qualified students to begin taking coursework for a master’s degree or graduate certificate as an undergraduate student.

Admitted students begin taking graduate coursework at undergraduate tuition rates in their senior year. These credits count towards both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements, translating to accelerated completion of graduate education as well as savings in tuition funds. In some cases, students may earn their MA degree in as little as one year after BA completion (typically, master’s degrees require 1.5 to 2 years of full-time study).

Finally, graduate degrees and certificates may be necessary to advance within some fields. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, those with a Master’s degree earn on average over 15% more per year than those with a baccalaureate degree, and enjoy a lower unemployment rate at 2.4%.

Am I eligible to enroll in an accelerated graduate degree?

If you are a Queens College student in upper sophomore or lower junior standing (45 – 75 credits) with a GPA of 3.0 or above, you may be eligible to enroll in an accelerated graduate degree. Additional admissions criteria vary from program to program. See our Accelerated Degrees page to learn more about admissions criteria for the accelerated degree that interests you.

How do I enroll in an accelerated graduate degree?

Admissions criteria vary from program to program. Students that meet the admissions criteria of an accelerated degree program should consult with the graduate program’s advisor prior to enrolling in graduate coursework. Graduate program advisor information and admissions criteria can be found on the Accelerated Degrees page. To apply to an accelerated program, students must submit an application via the the Accelerated Degrees Online Application System. To access the online application, login with your QC username and password (CAMS account credentials, not CUNYfirst).

Are there scholarships for students admitted to an accelerated graduate degree?

Scholarships may be available to fund partial tuition costs. Admitted students should consult with their program’s graduate advisor as soon as possible.

What happens when I receive my baccalaureate degree?

Upon receiving their B.A. or B.S. degree, students will move immediately into graduate student status and complete the remaining requirements for their Master’s degree or graduate certificate.

However, students must be in good academic standing with a 3.0 GPA or better in the graduate coursework taken as an undergraduate in order to move into full graduate student status. Students who do not maintain a 3.0 average in their graduate courses will not be permitted to move immediately into graduate student status upon receiving their baccalaureate degree, though any graduate credits earned as an undergraduate will still fulfill undergraduate degree requirements. Of course, students who do not maintain the requisite GPA may still apply to an MA program through the standard process.

What if I change my mind about the graduate degree or certificate?

Students may opt out of their accelerated graduate degree at any time by ceasing to register for graduate courses.
It is strongly advised, however, that students speak with their graduate program advisor beforehand so that they can make an informed decision.

What is the difference between an Accelerated MA and a BA/MA?

An Accelerated MA allows an undergraduate student to take up to 12 graduate credits as part of his or her undergraduate degree. Assuming good academic standing, matriculation into the appropriate MA is seamless upon completion of the undergraduate degree. The Bachelor’s is granted when the undergraduate degree is completed, and the Master’s is granted when the graduate program is completed.

In contrast, a BA/MA is (typically) a five-year program, at the end of which a BA/MA is granted. In other words, the BA is not granted until the end of the degree program, unless special arrangements are made. Departments that offer BA/MA programs include Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Computer Science, History, Music, Philosophy, Physics, and Urban Studies.

Who can I speak with if I have additional questions?

Please email the graduate program advisor of the accelerated Master’s degree program that interests you.

Who can I contact to add/update an Accelerated Program?

Please send your inquiries to Natasha Rhodes in the Graduate Studies Office.