Earn Your Master’s Faster in a 4+1 Program at IUP

  • Student teacher helping a young student

    Get Admitted to a Master’s Program While Applying for College

    You may think that it’s too early to start thinking about a master’s degree during your senior year in high school. After all, you will have four years of college to decide what to do after commencement.

    But what if you could get admitted to your master’s program of choice before you even enter college? It’s possible, thanks to our 4+1 programs.

    Within these programs, highly qualified college applicants can gain admission for a related master’s degree at IUP. That, in turn, will accelerate your studies and allow you to increase your qualifications for a future career.

    Even if you are not yet considering a master’s degree, the cost savings and career benefits in our 4+1 program can be significant.

    Alexander Minnis

    “The 4+1 program has provided me with not only the necessary tools to be a successful educator, it has opened doors for my career that otherwise would have remained closed. I am now able to use more tools and skills in the classroom that I would have not received in my undergraduate studies. For any student who is interested in furthering their education right away, there is no better option than the 4+1 program.”

    Alexander Minnis
    Early Childhood/Special Education
    MEd in Literacy

  • Why Earn a Master’s?

    It’s never too early to start thinking about a master’s degree. Even as you start thinking about college, it makes sense to consider the benefits an advanced degree can provide:

    • Professionals with a master’s degree earn $12,000 more per year on average than those with only a bachelor’s degree (CGS).

    • Unemployment rate drops to 3.4 percent for professionals with a master’s degree, compared to 4.0 percent for those with only a bachelor’s degree (BLS).

    • Employment in occupations that typically require a master’s degree will increase 22 percent by 2020, compared to 14 percent for those requiring only a bachelor’s degree (BLS).

    As much as a master’s degree matters today, it will matter even more once you earn your bachelor’s degree. Our 4+1 programs accelerate your studies, helping you prepare better for a future career.

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    Financial Benefits

    Students who enroll in a 4+1 program will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate until they earn their bachelor’s degree. Because graduate classes during your senior year count toward both degrees, the setup of this program can result in significant cost savings for you.

    More specifically, you will save on graduate tuition for every master’s-level class you take during your senior year. If you take 12 credits (4 classes) during that year, you will save more than $8,500 in graduate tuition.

    Because tuition rises slightly most years, these cost savings could be even more significant once you reach your senior year.

    To calculate master’s-level tuition rates, visit our Graduate Costs and Financial Aid page. Please contact the Office of Financial Aid for any potential implications on your existing aid.

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    Participating Programs

    Currently, four programs participate in our 4+1 program. The class sequence to graduate within five years is pre-determined, and you can talk to your advisor about how to schedule your classes when that time comes.

    Criminology, BA and Criminology, MA

    Develop your skills and knowledge criminal justice in our Criminology BA with a wide range of courses that range from Juvenile Justice to Cybersecurity. By the time you earn your bachelor’s degree, you will be well on your way to become a leader in the criminal justice system thanks to our Criminology MA, which can prepare you for a career in the field or doctoral studies.

    Early Childhood Education, BSEd and Literacy, MEd

    Our Early Childhood Education programs prepare you to become an effective teacher for all types of learners through eighth grade. Meanwhile, our MEd in Literacy is specifically designed to help current and aspiring teachers improve in literacy theories, research, and instructional practices. Combine both, and you get everything you need for a long and successful career.

    Kinesiology, BSEd or BS, and Sport Science, MS

    Students in any kinesiology major except for Athletic Training can fast-track their master’s degree in either Sport Management or Exercise Science. Either track significantly increases your career chances in the vast field of sport science. Graduate assistantships and an a vast internship network ensure practical experience before you start your career.

    Special Education, BSEd and Literacy, MEd

    Use your Special Education major and teaching certification to help millions of children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities. Then, increase your teaching qualifications with a master’s degree in Literacy. A master’s degree will not just increase your salary, but is actually required to continue teaching after your first few years in most states.

    If your program of interest is not among the above, you can still take advantage of many benefits provided by our 4+1 program. During your junior year in college, you will become eligible for Early Admission to a wider range of master’s programs. You will have to apply to the program at that point, but can still take graduate classes during your senior year.

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    How do I indicate my interest in pursuing the 4+1?

    You need to do nothing right now! Students with an outstanding academic record who are admitted to relevant programs are automatically eligible for our 4+1 option. The threshold for students eligible to receive a 4+1 admission offer is a high school GPA of 3.25 or greater, as well as an SAT score greater than 1,000.

    Students admitted to the program will be able to discuss their continued eligibility, and next steps necessarily, with their faculty advisor. After completing your first 90 credit hours at IUP, you will receive an electronic form to fill out, which will confirm your interest in pursuing your master’s degree.

    Will my advisor know if I was offered 4+1 admission?

    Yes. If you have been admitted to the 4+1 program, your faculty advisor and the coordinator of the master’s program for which you will eventually enroll will be notified, and receive copies of your invitation to the 4+1 option. You can discuss your interest in the program and what classes to take with your advisor once you get to campus.

    What if I change my mind during my senior year, after starting graduate coursework?

    In that case, your progress towards earning a bachelor’s degree will not suffer. The graduate courses you take during your senior years are specifically designed to apply toward both your undergraduate and graduate degrees.

    Prior to scheduling your senior-year classes, you will meet with both your undergraduate and graduate advisors to determine which classes meet these criteria. Once you complete your first graduate classes, you will be eligible to earn your Bachelor’s degree even if you choose not to move forward.

    What is my tuition rate when I’m taking graduate course work as an undergraduate?

    IUP students are billed at their official “level”. Therefore, you will be billed at the undergraduate rate for any classes you complete before earning your bachelor’s degree. You will only be billed at the graduate rate once you are officially a graduate student, during your 5th and final year of study.

    This tuition structure can result in significant savings for you. If you take 12 credits (4 classes) of master’s-level coursework during your senior year in college, you could save more than $8,500 in graduate tuition and fees!

    What if I want to change my major?

    The 4+1 option is designed for a specific course sequence that takes you through your bachelor’s and master’s degree studies. As a result, changing your major would nullify your 4+1 offer.

    However, IUP offers “Early Admission” to some master’s-level programs. Under this option, you may still be eligible to take graduate course work at the undergraduate level, which will apply to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Learn more about our Early Admissions program.

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