COMBINED BACHELOR-MASTER PROGRAMS
Undergraduate Villanova students are eligible to apply to a combined bachelor-master program in many academic disciplines. These programs provide the opportunity to complete an undergraduate and graduate degree in as little as five years for most programs with significant cost savings.
1) The university does not guarantee that a student will finish both degrees in five academic years.
2) Summer Courses: Enrolling in summer courses both after the fourth and fifth years of study is extremely common for combined bachelor-master candidates. In some cases due to course scheduling and thesis completion, beginning a sixth year of study may be necessary for a student to complete both degrees.
3) Double-Counting: Up to nine hours or nine credits of graduate courses taken by undergraduates may count for both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree, whether or not a student is formally enrolled in a bachelor-master program. Any additional graduate courses taken while an undergraduate will count toward the undergraduate requirements and will be included in the student’s undergraduate record, but will not be allowed to “transfer” or count toward a subsequent graduate degree. (Exceptions to this policy have been approved for certain combined programs). University policy concerning undergraduate students in graduate level courses can be found on the Provost's website Undergraduates in Graduate Courses).
4) Grades: Students enrolled in the combined bachelor-master programs are required to maintain a graduate grade-point average of at least 3.0. Please carefully review the graduate student grading system and GPA policy.
Students whose graduate GPA falls below 3.0 are notified by letter that they are on academic probation, and are given nine credits to bring their GPA up to a 3.0; if they fail to do so, they are dismissed from their graduate program. Students who succeed in raising their GPA above 3.0 for one or more semesters after being on academic probation, but who in a later semester fall below a 3.0 GPA for a second time, will be dismissed from the graduate program. See policy on Academic Progress, Probation, and Dismissal.
5) Time to complete master's degree: Once the student becomes a master’s level student, he/she has six calendar years to finish the master’s degree requirements. So, students may choose to take a gap year or semester after completing their undergraduate degree before returning to complete the master’s degree.
6) Students are permitted to enroll in only one combined bachelor-master program. Double majors may NOT enroll in two bachelor-master programs simultaneously.
7) Contract: When students are formally admitted into the combined program, they will receive a letter from the Graduate Studies Office outlining the specific policies and procedures that pertain to their program. This letter serves as the contract between Graduate Studies and the student and will explain:
- how many courses the student may take while still an undergraduate.
- how many courses taken as an undergraduate will double-count for undergraduate and graduate credit.
- how many courses may or may not be “free” during the last term of the student’s graduate program.
8) Exceptions to the written combined bachelor master policies/contract are not permitted. Only written policies will be followed.
Procedure for Admission
Students should review the application requirements and procedures listed on the program pages linked above. After the department has reviewed the applicant’s credentials, the names of those formally accepted into the Combined Bachelor-Master program (typically no more than five) are sent to the Graduate Dean’s Office. At this time, the student will receive the admissions letter/contract from Graduate Studies regarding the specifics of their program (see #7 above).
Procedure for Registering for Graduate Courses While an Undergraduate
Undergraduates accepted into a Combined Bachelor/Master program typically enroll in nine graduate credits in their senior year. Before enrolling in graduate courses as an undergraduate, a Permission to Enter a Graduate Course form must be filled out and approved by the department, Undergraduate Dean's Office and forwarded to the Graduate Dean’s Office for approval and submission to the Registrar. This form can be accessed via myNova. Typically, those three graduate courses taken as a senior are counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Procedure for Change of Status from Undergraduate to Graduate Student
When the student enters the last semester of senior year, it is not necessary for the student to submit a graduate application form to the Graduate Studies Office, but the graduate program must send Graduate Studies the Undergraduates Enrolled in Graduate Course Transfer Form listing the graduate courses taken as an undergraduate which are to be applied toward their graduate program. The student will then receive a modified/updated acceptance letter indicating their formal admission into their respective graduate program. At the conclusion of the student's undergraduate degree, the Graduate Studies Office will forward the Combined Bachelor-Master form to the Registrar's Office so that appropriate courses will be double-counted towards both degrees.
Procedure for Financial Arrangements
For students accepted into Combined Bachelor-Master programs, in most cases, the tuition for the last two courses is covered by the University.* After students have registered for their final semester of graduate courses, they must report to the Office of Graduate Studies to complete a tuition remission form. This form will be approved by the Dean and forwarded to the Bursar's Office to make the appropriate adjustment to the student's account.
*For some programs, one course is covered, and for a few programs, no final courses are covered. Please check with your individual Program Director for details.
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Tuition and Fees
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