St. Cloud State University Policies & Procedures

5 Year Accelerated Degree (Bachelor’s to Master’s Track) Link☍

Create PDF: 5 Year Accelerated Degree (Bachelor’s to Master’s Track)

Current Status: Approved

Policy Type: Academic

Department/Division: School of Graduate Studies

Effective Date: 02/04/2019

Last Updated: 03/16/2021

Applies To: Students, Faculty, Staff

Responsible University Officer: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Policy Owner: Associate Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies

Policy Contact: Director of Graduate Student Services


St. Cloud State University endeavors to provide options for students to continue their education and pursue marketable graduate degrees in less time than through a conventional path.


The Five-Year Track is an accelerated, rigorous program option available to St. Cloud State undergraduates who maintain a 3.0 GPA and who show the ability and discipline necessary to successfully complete an accelerated combination undergraduate and graduate program. The programs that offer Bachelor’s to Master’s degrees are governed by this policy.

  • Provisionally admitted students will be coded as 5 year students using a program specific cohort code and a degree audit (DARS) created to reflect the requirements of the accelerated track.
  • Students will complete the bachelor’s degree with 9-15 fewer required semester credits than if they chose to complete the bachelor’s and master’s degrees through the traditional tracks.
  • Students remain in undergraduate student status through the fourth year/senior year of the program which may affect financial aid eligibility.
  • Students will register for approved courses listed with the associated cohort code. Alternate courses can be requested by permission of the advisor and graduate program director by submission of the Undergraduate Permission to Enroll form (see Supporting URLs).
  • Credits completed at the graduate level are used to fulfill requirements at the undergraduate level. Programs should identify which undergraduate requirements are met by completion of the 500/600 level graduate courses.
  • All credits required for the graduate degree will be completed at the graduate level.
  • Students may opt out early with a bachelor’s degree provided certain course requirements are satisfied. Graduate level courses used to complete the undergraduate degree may not be applicable to a graduate degree program in the future. The GPA required to earn the bachelor' degree may not be higher for 5 year accelerated students than the GPA required to earn the bachelor's degree alone. 
  • Students may enroll in culminating project credits, such as thesis, starred paper, or internship courses between their fourth and fifth years. Students will be encouraged to begin work on their culminating project during the summer between their fourth and fifth years.
  • Five-year students are eligible for graduate assistantship funding after completion of the Bachelor’s degree.
  • Students must maintain at a minimum a 3.0 GPA in all 500 and 600 level courses to be eligible for full admission to the master’s degree. 
  • Students must meet the 2.75 minimum GPA required for graduate admission but are not held to a higher standard than other graduate admits in the same program.


Students interested in the five-year track are encouraged to make an appointment with the graduate director of the program during their sophomore year. This will allow for correct selection of undergraduate course work. Students should apply for early provisional admission through the School of Graduate Studies online application (see Supporting URLs) upon successful completion of 75 undergraduate credits. Please note that programs may have additional early admission requirements such as successful completion of core courses, successful completion of prerequisites or a minimum undergraduate GPA.


fast track, finish early, five year, 

Supporting URLs

Websites, Related External Documents, Statutes


Responsible University Officer
   Gregory, Daniel D.
   Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs
   Tomany, Maria-Claudia C.
   Associate Provost for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies
   Guentzel, Melanie J.
   Director of Graduate Student Services

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