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Accelerated Degree Programs

  • Revision Approval Date: 9/6/16
  • Revision Effective Date: 9/6/16
  • Issuing Authority: Provost
  • Implementing Office: Office of the Provost

PURPOSE AND APPLICATION

Academically qualified students at Drexel have the opportunity to pursue an undergraduate and graduate degrees within established accelerated degree programs. In these programs students are exposed to rigorous graduate-level courses, engage with faculty mentors, and often participate in research opportunities.

POPULATIONS AFFECTED

Undergraduate students.

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Drexel University offers five types of Accelerated Degree Programs:

  • 4-year Co-op + Graduate Accelerated Sequential Degree
  • 5-year Co-op + Grad Accelerated Program – Co-terminal Degree
  • 3-year + Graduate Accelerated Sequential Degree
  • Accelerated Clinical Track Options (Physicians Assistant and Physical Therapy)
  • Custom Designed Accelerated BSMS

Admission

Qualified students may be admitted to an accelerated degree program in one of two ways:

  • Provisional Admission of New Freshmen
    Provisional admission into an accelerated degree program by the Office of Enrollment Management and Student Success is based on students’ timely application to an accelerated degree program by December 1st of the application year – prior to matriculation in fall of the subsequent year – and academic profile (including High School GPA and standardized tests).

    Official acceptance into the accelerated degree program is granted by the Graduate College upon completion of 90-120 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (although some programs may require a higher GPA). It is the student’s responsibility to coordinate with his or her advisor to complete this process.
  • Admission of Matriculated Students
    Matriculated students may apply for admission and official acceptance into an accelerated program in accordance with the guidelines established by their college or school. Students can apply to the Graduate College upon completing 90-120 credits with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (although some programs may require a higher GPA). It is the student’s responsibility to coordinate with his her advisor to complete this process.

Specific Considerations by Program Type

4 year Co-op + Graduate Accelerated Sequential Degree

The 4-year Co-op + Graduate Accelerated Program allows a student to enroll in a 4-COP undergraduate program, which includes one 6-month cooperative education experience, and obtain acceptance into a graduate program while an undergraduate. Students in a 4 year Co-op + Graduate Accelerated Program are designated at undergraduate level for four years and, upon completion of the undergraduate requirements at the end of the fourth year, become eligible to receive the undergraduate degree. They transition sequentially to the graduate program in which they are designated at the graduate level for a duration that may consist of one or more years of graduate coursework as established in the plan of study. Upon successful completion of the graduate coursework, the graduate degree is awarded.

Up to 12 quarter credits of graduate coursework may be completed as an undergraduate. For financial aid consideration, eligibility is based on the classification of undergraduate or graduate level as outlined above. When a student’s classification is updated to graduate level, the student is considered as a graduate student for all federal financial aid programs.

A sample term-by-term degree plan (as described above) is provided below (refer to the legend at the end of this document):

C
C
C
V
C
C
C
C
CG
CG
EG
EG
CG
CG
CG
G
G
G
G
 

For financial aid consideration at the undergraduate level, a student must be registered for at least 6 undergraduate credits for each class term averaged over the academic year. Co-op employment terms are not factored into the registration requirements for undergraduate course work.

Sample plans of study for approved BS/MS programs are available. Official plans of study for each student must be built in DegreeWorks and reviewed each quarter.

5-Year + Graduate Accelerated Program-Co-terminal Degree

The 5-Year + Graduate Accelerated Program-Co-terminal Degree program allows an undergraduate student to progress in both undergraduate and graduate courses simultaneously while remaining designated as an “undergraduate” student in a 5-year plan of study. This program includes three 6-month co-op experiences; in some cases, the third co-op experience may be waived for the student to pursue coursework. Upon successful completion of all required coursework, both the bachelor and master degrees are awarded.

A sample term-by-term degree plan (as described above) is provided below (refer to the legend at the end of this document):

C
C
C
V
C
C
E
E
CG
CG
EG
EG
CG
CG
EG
EG
CG
CG
CG
X

For financial aid consideration, a student in this degree program must be registered for at least 6 undergraduate credits for each class term (C) averaged over the academic year. Co-op terms (E) are not factored into the registration requirements for undergraduate course work.

For example, a student must be enrolled in:

  • at least 12 undergraduate credits each academic year if attending two class terms (e.g., CCEE)
  • at least 18 undergraduate credits each academic year if attending three class terms (e.g., CCCX)
  • at least 24 undergraduate credits each academic year if attending four class terms (e.g., CCCC)

Undergraduate course credits during co-op are counted in the average over class terms enrolled. Students who do not meet this requirement are not eligible for any federal grants or loans. Deviation from the plan of study from this requirement will result in the cancellation of all federal aid, retroactive to the beginning of the academic year.

Sample plans of study for approved BS/MS programs are available online. Official plans of study for each student must be built in DegreeWorks and reviewed each quarter.

3-year + Graduate Accelerated Sequential Degree (BS/MD, BS/JD)

Students in the 3-year 4-COP/NCOP accelerated degree program progress according to the program plan established for the 4-COP program for the first three years of study. The 3-year 4- COP program of study includes one 6-month cooperative education experience. Participants in the 3 year 4-COP program will maintain undergraduate status in the first three years of study and convert to graduate status at the end of the spring term of the third year of study. Students in this program will have graduate status according to the plan of study for the graduate degree being sought

For financial aid consideration, eligibility is based on the classification of the student at the “undergraduate” or “graduate” level. When a student’s classification moves to graduate level, the student becomes a graduate student for all federal financial aid programs.

Sample plans of study for approved BS/MD and BS/JS programs are available. Official plans of study for each student must be built in DegreeWorks and reviewed each quarter.

Accelerated Clinical Track Options (Physicians Assistant and Physical Therapy)

Physicians Assistant

Drexel’s undergraduate Health Sciences program and graduate Physician Assistant (PA) program offer an Accelerated Dual-degree BS/MHS Option available to high achieving students enrolled in the Health Sciences program. The Accelerated BS/MHS PA Option is an accelerated academic track that enables students to complete their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Health Sciences, including sitting for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), in 5 1⁄4 years as opposed to the traditional 6 1⁄4 years. Students pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences during their first three years of study, and a Master of Health Science degree during the final 2 1⁄4 years of study.

The Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences is awarded following completion of year four (first year of graduate study), and the Master’s degree is awarded following completion of the Physician Assistant program.

For financial aid consideration, eligibility is based on the classification of undergraduate or graduate level as outlined above. When a student’s classification is updated to graduate level (in the summer quarter of the fourth year), the student is considered as a graduate student for all federal financial aid programs.

Sample plans of study for approved BS/Professional programs are available online. Official plans of study for each student must be built in DegreeWorks and reviewed each quarter.

Physical Therapy

Drexel’s undergraduate Health Sciences program and graduate Physical Therapy (PT) program offer an Accelerated Dual-degree BS/DPT Option available to high achieving students enrolled in the Health Sciences program. The Accelerated BS/DPT Option is an accelerated academic track that enables students to complete their Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees in 5 1⁄2 years as opposed to the traditional 6 1⁄2 years. Students pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences during their first three years of study, and a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree during their final 2 1⁄2 years of study.

The Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences is awarded following completion of year four (first year of graduate study), and the Doctoral degree is awarded following successful completion of the Physical Therapy program.

For financial aid consideration, eligibility is based on the classification of undergraduate or graduate level as outlined above. When a student’s classification is updated to graduate level (in the fall quarter of the fourth year), the student is considered as a graduate student for all federal financial aid programs.

Sample plans of study for approved BS/Professional programs are available. Official plans of study for each student must be built in DegreeWorks and reviewed each quarter.

Custom Designed Accelerated BSMS

The opportunity for a matriculated student at Drexel University to create a customizable BA/BA/MS degree is extremely valuable in encouraging interdisciplinary study across academic units. This program allows majors and disciplines to collaborate in a novel and non-traditional way. A student, working with advisors in both disciplines, may propose a BS/MS accelerated degree combining an undergraduate discipline and graduate discipline to the Graduate College. The respective programs must agree on a plan of study and course offering to satisfy both degree requirements. Undergraduate students interested in this program must follow the same application process as defined for the Admission of Matriculated Students.

Official plans of study for each student must be built in DegreeWorks and reviewed each quarter.

Financial Aid and Billing

Students at the undergraduate level are billed as undergraduate students. Upon conversion to the graduate level, student are billed on a per credit basis as a graduate student [except programs which are billed by term], and will no longer be eligible for undergraduate level aid, including federal and institutional aid. For this reason, the Graduate College requires that students explore the billing and financial aid impacts of the conversion to graduate status at the time of application.

Additional Stipulations

A student is required to fulfill the cooperative education experience(s) established by his/her program of study. Should a student appeal to waive a co-op experience, and should that petition be granted, the student will be required to meet with a representative from Drexel Central to discuss any impact to billing and financial aid.

Program Progression (except JD/MD programs)

Once a student has been officially accepted in the respective accelerated program by the Graduate College,, the student must earn a minimum 3.0 term GPA in both undergraduate and graduate level courses; thereby, they will maintain a cumulative GPA for all subsequent terms

Plan of study and all notes must be recorded in DegreeWorks for quarterly review.

With advisor approval, graduate courses may be designated in DegreeWorks to satisfy undergraduate requirements; these will be considered undergraduate course for the purposes of transcript, GPA, and financial aid.

Student-initiated withdrawal from Accelerated Degree Program participation or removal from Accelerated Degree Program participation due to academic performance

Students who do not complete the entire accelerated program are required to complete all requirements for their undergraduate program before the bachelor’s degree will be awarded. Billing, financial aid and cooperative education impacts, if any, should be explored by the student when making the decision to forgo the graduate degree in the accelerated program.

Legend: Term designations (TPAR)

  • C = class term, undergraduate level
  • CG = class term and enrolled in a graduate course, undergraduate level
  • E = co-op employment term undergraduate level
  • EG = co-op employment term and enrolled in a graduate course, undergraduate level V = vacation
  • X = no enrollment, degree completed