Through the Accelerated Undergraduate-to- Graduate Pathways, Buffalo State undergraduates get a head start in completion of graduate study by taking graduate level courses during the senior year, offering motivated students an expedited way to earn a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree in just five years.
Students accepted into the 4+1 Pathways are provided with seamless entry and an accelerated course of study toward an advanced degree. Students commit to following the curriculum (i.e. academic roadmap) detailed by the respective 4+1 Pathway. Information sheets outlining admission requirements, for the 4+1 Pathway and the graduate program of choice, are available for all currently approved Pathways and accelerated program options.
Options for accelerated undergraduate-to-graduate pathways are determined by individual departments and programs, who also determine the policies, degree requirements, and admissions criteria to be followed. Students will be provisionally admitted to the pathway only by approval of the undergraduate program adviser and the appropriate graduate school program director.
The principal distinction between this program and the standard graduate program is two-fold: (1) students are allowed to take master’s courses while completing the bachelor’s degree; and (2) students are thereby enabled to complete both degrees within five years.
Students who take advantage of Accelerated Undergraduate-to-Graduate Pathways:
Students interested in the pathways are required to meet with their department's undergraduate adviser to learn more about their options. Together, with your adviser, you must complete the fillable or printable Accelerated and 4+1 Pathway Application for your chosen degree. (The application will need to be signed by both your undergraduate department chair and graduate department chair/program coordinator).
Pathway options are currently available for students in a wide range of undergraduate degree programs, including, but not limited to:
|Undergraduate Major||Graduate Program|
|Applied Mathematics, B.S.||Professional Applied & Computational Mathematics, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Art Education, B.F.A.||Literacy Specialist (Early Admission)||Info Sheet|
|Biology, B.A.||Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Biology, B.A.||Science Education, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Chemistry, B.S.||Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Chemistry, B.S.||Science Education, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Childhood Education, B.S.||Childhood and Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Childhood Education, B.S.||Literacy Specialist (Early Admission)||Info Sheet|
|Childhood Education, B.S.||Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languagues (TESOL), C.A.S.||Info Sheet|
|Communication Studies, B.A.||Data Science & Analytics in Multidisciplinary Studies, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Didactic Program in Nutrition and Dietetics, B.S.||Adult Education, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Early Childhood Education, B.S.||Childhood and Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Early Childhood Education, B.S.||Early Childhood Exceptional Education, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Early Childhood Education, B.S.||Literacy Specialist (Early Admission)||Info Sheet|
|Early Childhood Education, B.S.||Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), C.A.S.||Info Sheet|
|Childhood and Early Childhood Curriculum and Instruction, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Early Childhood & Childhood Education (Combined Program), B.S.
||Literacy Specialist (Early Admission)||Info Sheet|
|Early Childhood & Childhood Education (Combined Program), B.S.
||Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languagues (TESOL), C.A.S.||Info Sheet|
|Earth Sciences, B.S.||Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Earth Sciences, B.S.||Science Education, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Exceptional Education and Childhood Education, B.S.Ed.||Literacy Specialist (Early Admission)||Info Sheet|
|Geography, B.A.||Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Geology, B.A.||Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Health and Wellness, B.S.||Adult Education, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Mathematics Education, B.S.||Mathematics Education, M.S.Ed.||Info Sheet|
|Music Education, Mus.B.||Literacy Specialist (Early Admission)||Info Sheet|
|Public Administration and Nonprofit Managment (Minor)||Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.||Info Sheet|
Many graduate programs have a variety of undergraduate programs from which a student may enter a pathway.
|Data Science & Analytics in Multidisciplinary Studies, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Higher Education & Student Affairs Administration, M.S.||Info Sheet|
|Literacy Specialist, M.S.Ed.*||Info Sheet|
|Public Administration in Public & Nonprofit Management, M.P.A.||Info Sheet|
*The Literacy Specialist, Early Admission Pathway is restricted to undergraduate students seeking a degree in any secondary education subject area.
Other departments and programs are expected to participate in the 4 + 1 Option at a later date.
Students who are receiving scholarship or other forms of financial aid as undergraduates are advised that such aid applies in most cases only toward the completion of the bachelor’s degree or the first four years of their studies (which may include their taking some graduate courses during their senior year). Graduate courses that are taken while completing undergraduate courses will be billed at undergraduate tuition rates and subject to financial aid guidelines for undergraduates.
Students wishing to pursue the 4+1 option are strongly advised to seek support for their fifth year of study through student loans and other financial aid, and should confer with a Buffalo State financial aid advisor prior to initiating and/or making any changes to their prescribed program of study.
When should I apply for the 4+1 Option?
Students interested in the pathways are required to meet with their department's undergraduate adviser to learn more about their options. Upon approval of the adviser, you must complete the 4+1 Pathway Application for your chosen degree. You may apply as early as your freshman year, but generally no later than your sophomore year.
When should I apply to Graduate School?
Approved pathway students must apply online for graduate admission to their chosen accelerated master's degree program as early as the senior year, but not later than the established deadlines. As a 4+1 candidate, you will be reminded when to submit your application.
What are the requirements for Graduate School?
Applicants for graduate study must meet all required guidelines for admission to the college and their graduate degree program.
Is there a fee for applying to the Graduate School?
Yes; however, the graduate application fee for approved 4+1 candidates will be waived.
How many graduate credits can I take during my senior year?
4+1 students can take a maximum of nine credit hours (divided between the first and second semester) during the senior year.
Are there any grade requirements for students enrolled in the 4+1 pathways?
You must earn at least a B in each graduate level course required for the pathway.
Can I use my graduate courses toward completion of my undergraduate degree requirements?
Graduate courses required for your master’s degree cannot be used for your undergraduate degree.
As a 4+1 pathway student, can I be admitted to a graduate degree program prior to completing my undergraduate program?
Note that no matter when you apply for graduate study, you must remain an undergraduate, complete all undergraduate degree requirements and be conferred for graduation before being admitted into the graduate program and taking courses in your fifth year.
Students interested in the pathways should contact the appropriate undergraduate department advisor, the graduate advisor of their anticipated graduate degree (see the information sheets for each pathway), or the Graduate School for more information.
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