Policy Number: III-2.20(A)
University of Maryland, College Park Policy and Guidelines for Combined Bachelor’s/Masters Programs
(Approved By The President Amended )
In a combined bachelor's/master's program, some graduate level courses initially taken for undergraduate credit may also be applied towards the graduate credit requirements for a master's degree program at the University of Maryland. A bachelor's/master's program may be developed for an individual student, or it may be a structured program.
Individual Student Bachelor's/Master's Program:
A program may be developed by an individual student in consultation with his/her academic advisor. Such a program is available only to students whose academic performance is exceptional. It is to be developed according to the individual career interests and goals of the student and should be an integrated learning experience rather than merely the completion of a certain number of graduate and undergraduate credits. The proposed program requires the approval of the directors of both the undergraduate and the graduate programs involved and of the Dean for Undergraduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School. Normally no more than nine credits of graduate courses applied to the bachelor's degree may be counted also for graduate credit in an individual student program. Courses to be double-counted must be at the 600 level or above and must be passed with at least a "B" grade. Individual study courses, internships, or courses given credit by examination are not eligible. The credits to be double-counted will be designated as applicable to the graduate program after the student receives the bachelor's degree and matriculates in the Graduate School. This designation will be canceled if the student withdraws from the graduate program before completing the master's degree.
Structured Bachelor's/Master's Program:
A structured bachelor's/master's program is an articulated curriculum combining an existing undergraduate program and an existing master's program at the University of Maryland, offered by the same or by different departments. Such a program is to be designed for students whose academic performance is exceptional and should be an integrated learning experience rather than merely the completion of a certain number of graduate and undergraduate credits. A proposal for such a program should be submitted by the college(s) housing the academic programs concerned and requires the approval of the Graduate Council, the Graduate Dean, the Senate PCC Committee, and the Provost.
Necessary features of a structured bachelor's/master's program include the following:
- There must be specific requirements for admission to the combined program that speak to the exceptional performance of the students to be admitted. At a minimum, students accepted for the program must be clearly admissible to the graduate program portion.
- The program should be designed so as not to unduly delay the students' receipt of their bachelor's degrees. Taking graduate credits should not unduly limit the breadth of the student's experience through premature specialization.
- All requirements of the bachelor's program and of the master's program must be completed to receive the two degrees. Where appropriate, graduate courses taken while an undergraduate may substitute for courses required in the undergraduate major program.
- The students may be offered deferred admission to the graduate school at the end of the Junior year program, subject to completion of the senior year program in a timely fashion and with a specified level of achievement. Formal admission to the graduate school will require completion of all requirements for the bachelor's degree.
- The credits to be double-counted will be designated as applicable to the graduate program after the student receives the bachelor's degree and matriculates in the Graduate School. This designation will be canceled if the student withdraws from the graduate program before completing the master's degree.
A structured bachelor's/master's program may normally include up to nine credits of graduate level courses (600 level and above) that are counted both for the bachelor's program and the master's program. More than nine double-counted credits may be allowed if both of the following conditions are satisfied.
- The additional graduate credits applied to the undergraduate program do not unduly limit the breadth of the student's experience through premature specialization. This condition may be satisfied, for example, if the graduate credits substitute for courses required in the undergraduate program that would have been taken in any case, but at a less advanced level.
- The master's program requires substantially more than thirty credits. This condition will be deemed to be satisfied if the combined program, with double-counting, still requires 150 or more credit hours to complete.