In the Department of Statistics at Western Michigan University, the Accelerated Graduate Degree Program allows you to begin accumulating credits towards a master’s degree while still enrolled as an undergraduate. If you are admitted to the AGDP with senior standing, you can take up to 12 hours of designated 5000- or 6000-level courses for graduate credit which can be used in both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree. The Accelerated Graduate Degree Program Course Approval form should be completed when admitted to the AGDP.
Accelerated graduate degree programs mean that the masters is accelerated, not the bachelor’s degree. Students in AGDPs are considered undergraduates for tuition purposes until they receive their bachelor’s degree.
Up to 12 hours of graduate credit can be double counted in both the bachelors’ degree and the master’s degree. The AGDP course approval form must be completed and submitted to the registrar’s office before the student takes graduate courses to be double counted.
Those graduate courses which are double counted will appear on the student’s graduate transcript and will be part of the graduate GPA. The hours that are double counted will be added to the undergraduate transcript and the grades will be included in the undergraduate GPA. This will be done manually when the student completes the graduate degree.
It is important that both the application and the letter of acceptance from the department clearly indicate that the student is in an AGDP.
- The student applies for graduation by completing their undergraduate audit with the College of Arts and Sciences advising office staff and returning the audit to the registrar’s office. The registrar’s office staff will update the Banner degree screen (SHADEGR) with the anticipated graduation date for the bachelor’s degree. The semester following that anticipated graduation date will be effective term of the graduate admission.
- The student’s undergraduate program and degree code will remain the same until completion of the bachelor’s degree.
- The student completes the online graduate application and within the application selects the application type “Accelerated degree seeking – only available to current WMU undergraduate student.”
- The department approves a conditional admission to the accelerated master’s program and sends a copy of the departmental conditional admission letter to the Office of Admissions. Both the departmental admission form and letter should indicate that the student has been accepted to the accelerated master’s program.
- Admissions staff confirms the entry term based on anticipated graduation term on SHADEGR, and admits the student to the master's for the term immediately following the anticipated graduation term. The student’s admission will be provisional pending completion of the bachelor’s degree.
- The student will be considered a graduate student the first semester after the bachelor’s degree is awarded and will assessed graduate tuition from this point forward.
- The department advisor will meet with the student to complete the AGDP Course Approval form. This completed form must be sent to the registrar’s office to become part of the student file.
- When the undergraduate student needs to enroll in 5000- or 6000-level courses for graduate credit (as listed on the AGDP course approval form) the student will need to process the registration in the registrar’s office. The AGDP course approval form must be on record in the registrar’s office before the student enrolls in courses for graduate credit.
Criteria for admission
Permission to pursue an AGDP does not guarantee admission to the master’s program. Admission is contingent on meeting the following eligibility requirements at the time of entering the graduate program:
- Students must have completed a minimum of eighty and a maximum of ninety-six credit hours in their undergraduate programs, including credits earned from advanced placement.
- Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours as a full-time student at WMU.
- Students must have a minimum accumulated GPA of 3.5 at WMU.
Requirements for participation and graduation
Complete the bachelor's degree prior to entering the master's program. Students in the AGDP may not elect to by-pass the bachelor's degree.
You will be allowed to count only a maximum of 12 credit hours of 5000- or 6000-level courses taken during your undergraduate studies toward your master's degree. These credits will be waived toward your master's degree.
No more than 12 hours of graduate work may be counted towards the requirements of your bachelor's degree.
Complete the master's degree within 24 months from the completion of the bachelor's degree. If the master's program is not completed within these time limits, none of the 5000- or 6000-level courses specified can be counted toward the master's degree. Extension to this time-line may be granted by the graduate advisor only in special circumstances.
- It is your responsibility to recognize your eligibility status.
- If you completed the bachelor's degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.25, you will automatically be terminated from the AGDP program.
- If you do not follow the approved AGDP plan, you may become ineligible to participate in the AGDP program.
- If you are ineligible to participate in (or you withdraw from) the AGDP program, you can no longer qualify for waiving any of the courses specified toward a master's degree. These courses, however, may be counted toward your bachelor's degree upon the discretion of the undergraduate advisor.
- If you become ineligible to participate in the AGDP, you will be informed by the graduate advisor in writing. A copy of this letter will be sent to the Graduate College.
You may at any time withdraw from an approved AGDP by informing the director of undergraduate programs and the graduate advisor in writing. A copy of this request to withdraw must be sent to the Graduate College for approval.
A typical plan of study
If you are planning an undergraduate major in statistics, it is recommended that you select additional electives from the list of STAT 5000-level courses that are approved for both the undergraduate major and the master’s program, such as STAT 5610, STAT 5630, STAT 5650 and STAT 5660. Other courses that could be selected are STAT 5620, STAT 6600, STAT 6620, STAT 6640 and STAT 6800. These classes would count in both programs. Up to six remaining courses could be completed in two semesters.
An alternate undergraduate major
If you have an undergraduate major or minor which includes a substantial amount of mathematics (MATH 1220, 1230, 2300, 2720 and STAT 3620, 3640), you could consider this AGDP program culminating in an M.S. in statistics. This would require that your undergraduate advisor agree to replacements similar to those outlined above. Such courses could count as electives in your undergraduate program. For example, in the AGDP program you could obtain a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in statistics.