Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree Program?

Exclusively for Clark undergraduates, the Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree, or fifth-year free, program gives you the chance to earn a bachelor's and a master's degree in five years with the fifth year tuition-free. If you meet the eligibility requirements, you'll begin taking graduate level courses during your senior year then continue completing degree requirements in a fifth year of study. Depending on whether you started at Clark as a first-year or transfer student, you'll be eligible for a full- or partial-tuition scholarship during your fifth year.

What programs are available?

These are the 14 programs available within the Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree program. Not all majors on campus offer an accelerated degree, and each of the programs has different requirements, so be sure to review the program you're interested in.

Biology (M.S.)
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (M.S.) Chemistry (M.S.)
Community Development and Planning (M.A.)
Environmental Science and Policy (M.S.)
Geographic Information Sciences (M.S.)
History (M.A.)
International Development and Social Change (M.A.)
Management (M.B.A.)
Finance (M.S.)
Physics (M.S.)
Professional Communication (M.S.P.C.)
Public Administration (M.P.A.)
Teaching (M.A.T.)

When do I get started if I am interested?

You can start preparing during your first year at Clark, but you don't apply until your junior year. Here's a rough timeline:

  • FIRST YEAR: Discuss this with your undergraduate faculty adviser and read through the program options above.
  • SOPHOMORE YEAR: Contact the adviser for the Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree Program in which you are interested.
  • JUNIOR YEAR: Submit your online application for the program you plan to pursue.

Do I need to major in that specific field as an undergraduate?

This varies by program. Some programs don't require you to major in that specific field as an undergrad and others suggest that you do NOT major in that field as an undergraduate. You should check early on with a program adviser in the program to which you plan to apply. Also note, not all majors on campus offer an Accelerated B.A./Master's Degree (see the list above).

What are the eligibility requirements?

Though tuition remission eligibility amounts can differ depending upon whether you are a transfer student or began at Clark as a first-year, all GPA and application requirements are the same, regardless of program. Learn about the requirements for transfer and regular students.

If I don't retain eligibility for the tuition scholarship can I still pursue an accelerated degree?

If you don't meet the eligibility requirements for the fifth-year tuition scholarship, you can apply to some graduate programs on a tuition-paying basis. Acceptance of such students into the graduate program is made on the recommendation of the graduate department involved. You can check with the program of interest early on to see if it allows applications on a tuition-paying basis.

What's the deadline to apply?

The deadline for applications is May 1 of your junior year (or Nov. 1 if the second semester of your junior year is in the fall semester). Learn about how to apply.

How do I apply?

If you're a current Clark undergraduate student, you can create an account on our online portal to start your application. Choose the application period for the year you'll be starting your fifth year. For more detailed information, check this website. You should plan to begin your application in the spring of your junior year.

What if I'm studying abroad then?

If you're planning to study abroad during the spring of your junior year, you should make plans to have your adviser form completed either before you leave or make arrangements with the program adviser to have the form completed via email. The application is done completely online and can be accessed anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

What are the application requirements?

First, you'll need to meet the eligibility requirements for either first-year or transfer students. Then, check the departmental requirements for the program you're interested in (they're different for each program) and have your Accelerated Degree Program Adviser Form signed by the specific program adviser. After that, gather your information and sign in to the online portal to apply.

Are there any costs associated with the program?

You'll pay a one-time program fee of $1,000 in the first semester of graduate study. You'll also pay a $15 activity fee in the fall and spring semesters as well as a one-time enrollment fee of $100. Certain departments require additional fees; for more information, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office. You're also responsible for paying for housing, food, books and other personal items.

How will I know my application is complete and can I track its progress?

You can check the status of your application via the online application portal to ensure all of your credentials were received and review your decision notices.

How will I find out if I've been accepted?

You'll receive an email and can check your status via the online application portal.

Can I call the office to find out if I'm admitted?

We aren't able to release decisions via phone; applicants will receive an email letting them know to check the online application portal for a status update. If you have any other questions, please contact the Graduate Admissions Office.