By Lilia Zacchia
Did you know that you might have the opportunity to earn your bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just five years through one of ASU’s accelerated degree programs? According to Admissions at Arizona State University, accelerated programs offer highly committed students the same high quality curriculum as the regular degree path options. Some programs enable you to combine undergraduate and graduate coursework to accelerate completion of a master’s degree. You’ll earn both degrees in five years rather than the typical six.
A 4+1 program is a great way to gain additional knowledge in a targeted field of interest, expand your opportunities and advance your career. Despite this, it is important to remember that each program has requirements you must meet to be eligible for consideration. While such a program has a host of advantages, before you make the time and financial commitment to a 4+1 program, there are several things we encourage you to consider:
- Are you eligible to participate in a 4+1 program?
- Your academic advisor is a great resource to see if a 4+1 program is a prospect for you during the course of your academic journey.
- Are you able to dedicate the time it takes to pursue a master’s degree?
- Often, graduate degrees are more time-intensive than undergraduate level courses. Additionally, you want to be able to dedicate the time it takes to learn, do well and get the most out of your program. So, ask yourself: are you able to dedicate the time necessary to do well in your program and get what you want to get out of it?
- Does your program require an internship?
- Some graduate programs require an internship or practicum/field component. Consider how this will impact your schedule, especially if you are already working and/or doing an internship.
- Is a masters degree required to advance in your field?
- Will a masters degree advance your career? Will it give you the opportunity to grow in your career? Does your employer/field value experience or education more? These are good questions to ask yourself when considering the option of an accelerated masters degree.
- Have you taken a personal and professional assessment to determine the best path for YOU?
- How will this master's degree advance my career?
- What will I learn from this advanced degree opportunity?
- What skills will I gain from this master's degree?
- What networking opportunities are available for students in this master's degree?
- What are graduates of this program doing now?
Understanding whether or not to pursue your accelerated masters degree is a big decision. Asking yourself the right questions can lead you in the right direction. Remember to think about: program eligibility, the time and financial commitment of the degree, whether or not a program requires an internship, whether a masters is required to advance in your field, and broadly, what skills you will gain from graduating from a 4+1 program. What some support making your decision? Remember that you can always go on Handshake and schedule an appointment with a professional career advisor to review your questions and concerns about entering graduate school.