Accelerated Masters Degrees for Mason Undergraduates
Accelerated master’s degree programs (also called "BAMs," for Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's) are designed for Mason’s highly qualified and highly motivated undergraduates.
Interdisciplinary Studies offers a BAM option in 7 concentrations.
BAM pathways are appropriate for high-performing Mason undergraduates who seek a master’s degree and want to save time and money. Students who maximize their BAM opportunity can earn their master’s degree in less time and pay graduate tuition rates for fewer credits.
Saving Time: BAM undergraduate may take up to 12 credits of graduate courses in “advanced standing.” These credits will count towards both their undergraduate and graduate degrees, enabling them to graduate with their BA (or BS) and their Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) in 144 credits instead of 156.
Saving Money: BAM degree pathways save students money by enabling them to take up to 18 credits of graduate courses at undergraduate tuition rates. Twelve of these graduate credits are taken in “advanced standing” and count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degree. The other 6 graduate credits are taken as an undergraduate, but are held in “reserve graduate credit,” meaning they will not count towards the undergraduate degree. They are held “in reserve” to count towards the student’s master’s degree, at Mason or even at another university.
Getting Started with the BAM Process
- Research your intended Interdisciplinary Studies concentration, including degree requirements and program requirements, so you can make an informed decision about applying.
- Reach out to the head of the concentration(s) you’re interested in, to discuss whether this program is a good fit for you.
- Contact the Interdisciplinary Studies graduate coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions and to indicate your interest in applying to a BAM degree pathway.
Using the concentration specific Accelerated Advising Form located to the right, set an appointment to talk with your undergraduate academic advisor. In this conversation, you will:
- Confirm the remaining degree requirements of your bachelor’s degree.
- Determine, based on your GPA and credits, whether you are a suitable candidate for a BAM degree pathway.
- Confirm the timing of your impending bachelor’s degree conferral and transition into the BAM degree pathway, should you be approved for participation.
- Discuss how graduate credits that you earn towards your master’s degree can also count towards your bachelor’s degree.
- Initial that you have discussed and understood all of the above.
- Get the signature of your undergraduate academic advisor on the Accelerated Advising Form.
Once you have your undergraduate advisor's signature on the Accelerated Advising Form, set an appointment to talk with the Interdisciplinary Studies graduate coordinator. The timing of this meeting is important. We recommend setting this meeting before October, if you intend to apply for Spring admission, and before February, if you intend to apply for Fall admission. In this conversation, you will:
- Discuss Interdisciplinary Studies application requirements.
- Discuss Interdisciplinary Studies program requirements.
- Discuss graduate courses that you plan to take while still an undergraduate.
- Will they count towards both your undergraduate and graduate degrees? (“advanced standing”)
- Will they count only towards your graduate degree? (“reserve graduate credit”)
- How will these credits count towards your graduate degree? That is, what graduation requirements will they fulfill for your master’s degree?
- Submit your completed Accelerated Advising Form to the Interdisciplinary Studies graduate coordinator at email@example.com.
- Submit a completed BAM graduate application (March 15 deadline for Fall; October 15 deadline for Spring)
- If you are approved for participation and choose to accept, continue to excel in your remaining classes.
- In your final undergraduate semester, you must complete the Registrar’s Bachelors/Accelerated Master’s Transition Form and submit it to the Interdisciplinary Studies graduate coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org for processing. You will not be able to register for your first semester as a fully realized graduate student without it.
- Once your bachelor’s degree has been conferred, you are required to enroll in at least one course towards your graduate degree in the following semester (Fall for Spring/Summer graduates; Spring for Fall graduates). Failure to do so may result in you being dropped from your graduate program. Contact email@example.com if you need to delay beginning the graduate program for any reason.