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Accelerated Degree Programs (4+1 MBA, 4+2 BFA/MArch)


An accelerated 4+1 or 4+2 program allows students to earn both a bachelor's and master's degree in less time than it would normally take to complete each degree separately . Examples of current RIT programs are:

NYSED Guidance

Registration is not required for institutions of higher education to advertise and offer students the following pathways to earning two general academic degrees in less time:

  • Shared-credit combinations of registered programs offered by one, or more than one, institution; and
  • Admission and credit transfer articulation agreements between registered programs offered by one, or more than one, institution.

See additional guidance from NYSED regarding accelerated pathways for general academic programs. This guidance is not applicable to professional programs.

Required Approvals

4+1 and 4+2 degree proposals are typically reviewed and approved by the department curricular committee. They do not require approval from the college curricular committee, ICC/Grad Council, Faculty Senate, RIT Provost or NYSED. However, approval of an exception to RIT's course waiver policy D05.0, Section IID, WV will be needed from the applicable college Dean and the Dean of the RIT Graduate School (on behalf of Grad Council).

Requirements when Waiving Courses for a 4+1 or 4+2 Program

Courses are not double-counted in both the undergraduate and graduate programs, as they would be in a dual degree program. Instead, courses can be waived per the following guidelines:

  • In order to be eligible to be part of a 4+1 or 4+2 program, the standalone graduate program MUST have more than 30 credit hours. Required graduate courses may be waived because of previously completed academic work, but in no case shall the resulting graduate program requirements be reduced below 30 graduate semester credit hours. Waiver credit for graduate courses cannot be applied to electives - see RIT University Policy D5.0 Section IIB, WV
  • Undergraduate courses cannot be used to waive courses in a graduate program. Exceptions requests must be approved by the applicable college Dean and the Dean of the RIT Graduate School on behalf of Graduate Council- see RIT University Policy D3.0 Section III and RIT University Policy D2.0, Section IIA. Note: The RIT MBA Business Administration 4+1 programs have an approved exception.
  • If waiving a course for experience, evaluate the equivalent experience and which graduate course it refers to - see RIT University Policy D5.0, Section IB, WV
  • Ensure that the upper limit for transfer credit and waived courses do not exceed policy stipulations - see RIT University Policy D2.0, Section IIB
  • Ensure that there is a clear indication on the student's record of what is being waived and which requirement the waiver applies to
  • Ensure that no more than 1/3 of the courses in the master's level program are graduate courses which are cross-listed with undergraduate courses (note: cross-listed studio courses do not count towards this limit) - see RIT University Policy D3.0, Section C
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