Accelerated MS Program

Juniors and Seniors currently working towards BA or BS degrees with a major in Physics at UMass Amherst may apply to the Accelerated MS program, also called a 4+1 program.  This program provides a route for motivated students to obtain both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in 5 years.

The accelerated M.S. program is a course-based program (no thesis required), with the same graduation requirements as the regular course-based M.S. program. Note that students in this program can take up to 6 independent study credits, including research.

The standard application procedures for admission to graduate programs apply to the Accelerated Master's Degree Option. Students are encouraged to apply by November 30 of their junior year and receive a conditional admission to the Accelerated Master's Degree Option for the semester after they complete their baccalaureate degree. Students may opt to apply later, with alternate deadlines of April 1 in their Junior year or November 30 of their Senior year. Students are strongly encouraged to use the earlier deadline because of rules around transfer credit noted below.

To apply to the program, students must have completed at least two 400 level courses by the end of the semester in which they apply.  Decisions for the November deadline will be made in late January.  Decision for the April deadline will be made in late May.

The advantage of the accelerated degree is that up to 12 credits of graduate work (500 level courses and above), taken while enrolled as an undergraduate, may be counted toward the Master's degree.  Up to six of these may also be used to satisfy the baccalaureate degree requirements. Students are therefore encouraged to apply early and complete their Bachelor's degree requirements before taking too many graduate level courses, to be sure that the maximum number of credits is transferable to the Master’s program.