Accelerated Master's Program

Highly-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to the bachelor's/accelerated master's program. While there are four concentrations in the graduate program, opportunities for the accelerated master's degrees are currently limited to those students that wish to obtain an MA in Psychology, with a concentration in Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience.

This program is open to students who wish to get a BA or a BS, as long as they fulfill the requirements of the degree. 

In exceptional cases, the degree is open to other majors (Psychology, Neuroscience and Biology majors might find this program particularly appealing), provided that the appropriate prerequisite courses have been taken. Note that this is a joint undergraduate/graduate degree program.

Admission Requirements

For information specific to this accelerated master's program, see https://psychology.gmu.edu/programs/la-ma-acel-psyc/overview

The first step in applying to the program is for students to meet with their advisors to see if they qualify for application to the bachelor/accelerated master's program. As part of the advising session the student and advisor will fill out the Bachelor to Accelerated Master's Planning Form to help map out their remaining semesters that will incorporate the graduate courses students will take as an undergraduate. While students are not required to follow this plan, having this form filled out will be required as part of their application. 

In order to be considered for the program students will need:

  • At least 60 credits, but no more than 90 credits
  • 12 hours of Psychology Coursework
  • Have completed PSYC 300-Statistics
  • Completed the PSYC 375-Brain and Sensory Processes and PSYC 376-Brain and Behavior two course sequence (this is the recommended path)
  • Alternatively, students can have completed PSYC 372-Biopsychology and still be eligible for the program. 
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member who will serve as their advisor. 

In addition to these things, students are strongly encouraged to have obtained previous lab experience.

Undergraduate Requirements

Once students have been accepted into the Bachelor/Accelerated Master's Program, they will be given the opportunity to take up to 18 Credits total in Undergraduate status, but will be required to take at least six credits of graduate courses prior to transitioning into the graduate program.

Twelve of these credits can be taken in Advance Standing Status. This means that students will allowed to take graduate level courses that will count towards both their Undergraduate and Graduate degree. Students are required at least six credits in Advanced Standing Status in order to transition into the master's part of the program. 

Six of these credits can be taken in Reserve Status. These courses will not count towards their Undergraduate degree, but will be held in reserve until they transition into the graduate program. 

The courses students will be able to choose from for either Advanced Standing or Reserve Status are listed below.

  • PSYC 531 - Mammalian Neurobiology Credits: 3
  • PSYC 558 - Neuronal Bases of Learning and Memory Credits: 3
  • PSYC 555 - Neuroimaging Credits 3
  • PSYC 559 - Behavioral Chemistry Credits: 3
  • PSYC 592 -Special Topics Credits: 3 (When the topic is Animal Behavior, Biological Bases of Alzheimer’s Disease, Human Brain Stimulation, Cognitive Electrophysiology or Comparative Cognition.) Can be repeated if the topic differs.

One class can be taken as an undergraduate, but can only count towards reserve status.

  • PSYC 611 - Advanced Statistics Credits: 4

Undergraduate to Graduate Requirements

In their final semester as an undergraduate, students will be given the designation of senior plus. When students have completed the requirements for the Bachelor degree, they will register to graduate as they usually would. 

However, in order to continue into Master's program, students will need to complete and turn in the Bachelor to Accelerated Master's Transition form. 

Deadlines: Please note that Students graduating in Fall should submit the form by October 1st, in Spring by March 1st, and in Summer by July 1st."

The form will verify the following requirements.

  • Students have maintained a 3.25 overall GPA
  • Students have maintained a 3.25 content GPA their Psychology courses
  • Courses that will count towards Advance Standing Status
  • Courses that will count towards Reserve Status.

While students will receive full credit for all classes taken in Advance Standing Status, grades for these courses will not be moved into the graduate program. The graduate GPA will be calculated from grades received only while in graduate status.   

If students do not fill out this form prior to the start of the semester they are slated to start their master's degree, they will not be allowed to continue in the program

Once this form is turned in and the student has completed all degree requirements, they will transition into the Graduate Program and will continue as usual towards their Master's Degree in Psychology.