Integrated Degree Program Guidelines
Integrated Degree Program (IDP) Definition:
Integrated degree programs bridge undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Minnesota, offering eligible University undergraduates the opportunity to transition to a master’s degree and complete both degrees in a shortened amount of time. These programs are also commonly referred to in the higher education community as 4+1 programs, early-admission pathways, combined degrees, Bachelor-Plus-Master’s, or accelerated degrees. Integrated degree programs encourage the retention of our best and brightest students. Conversely, they are not about expediency or creating degrees that could be perceived as “Masters-lite."
Proposals for new, changed, and discontinued Integrated Degree Programs (IDPs) at the University of Minnesota must go through the formal Executive Vice President and Provost and Board of Regents program approval process.
The following guidelines govern creation of early-admission graduate or professional programs. If your department or college is considering proposing an integrated degree program, please review the below best practices and download the MOU template.
- There will be clear criteria for admission, and students will apply to these programs like any other potential graduate/professional student.
- These programs will be available only to currently enrolled University of Minnesota undergraduate students.
- There will be a clear point in time when graduate/professional student status begins.
- Students must be awarded their undergraduate degree no later than the four-year mark. Integrated Degree Programs must be structured to ensure this schedule of undergraduate degree progress and completion .
- During the graduate/professional portion of the program, students will be advised by appropriate post-baccalaureate-level advisors.
- Program curricula should be designed so that undergraduate-level and graduate-level credits taken concurrently can be applied toward either the undergraduate or master’s degree requirement (not both) in order to comply with the University’s Application of Credits for Students Earning Graduate Degrees Policy. Programs that wish to request consideration for an exception to the double-counting provision of University policy must follow the Double-Counting Credit Exceptions Request and Review Process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Integrated Degree program?
University of Minnesota Board of Regents-approved integrated degree programs are intentionally designed to serve as a bridge between undergraduate and master’s programs. Integrated degree programs allow University of Minnesota undergraduate students to complete master’s coursework as an undergraduate student and use those courses toward a master’s program. Students then transition to the graduate program and complete their master’s degree as a graduate student.
How do you identify strong candidates?
Students are identified as strong candidates for an integrated degree program by the undergraduate academic advisor(s) and/or departmental faculty based on criteria established by the department. Typically strong candidates are those who have made substantial progress toward completion of their undergraduate degree and can be expected to complete 120 undergraduate degree credits plus additional graduate level coursework within four years and the remaining master’s degree requirements in year five.
When are students admitted to integrated degree programs?
Identified students apply to an integrated degree program the semester prior to the last year of undergraduate academic study, providing the student one year (two semesters) to complete undergraduate degree requirements and also take graduate level courses. Generally, the application will occur in the fall of the third year of undergraduate study (90 credits completed or in progress) through the graduate school application process.
How are students admitted to integrated degree programs?
Integrated degree programs should have an established internal application process to review and recommend undergraduate applicants for approval to the program. Recommended undergraduate students then apply for admission to integrated degree programs via the graduate school application process. Students are admitted for a particular term and then deferred for an academic year. Admitted students receive an automatic notification from the application system, indicating admission to a combined program, and the program action is left at admit stage. The student is matriculated in the graduate program (via PeopleSoft) after completing one year of concurrent undergrad/grad study and after the undergraduate degree is awarded. At that point, the student enters the graduate program. See graduate admissions information at z.umn.edu/GradAdmissions.
When is the undergraduate degree awarded?
The undergraduate degree must be completed and awarded no later than the 4 year mark for New High School (NHS) students and 3 year for New Advanced Standing (NAS) students and with a minimum of one year to master’s degree completion. The undergraduate and graduate degrees should not be awarded simultaneously.
Should the undergraduate degree be completed prior to beginning master’s coursework?
No. Students should concurrently complete their undergraduate degree requirements while beginning master’s coursework. Once undergraduate degree requirements are completed, the undergraduate degree should be awarded.
Can University Honors Program students continue working on their thesis while taking graduate coursework?
University Honors Program students admitted to an Integrated Degree Program should be cleared for their undergraduate degree when degree requirements are met, after 4 years of undergraduate study. Students are allowed to continue working on their Honors thesis while working toward their graduate degree. The extended time for thesis completion post undergraduate degree conferment is one year if enrolled in a 4+1 or 3+2 program.
How are integrated degrees cleared in PeopleSoft at the undergraduate level?
Undergraduate college designees are responsible for approving or denying the integrated degree sub plan when clearing students for their undergraduate degree. Staff with questions about this process should refer to the User Productivity Kit (UPK) through the Help link in PeopleSoft, or contact the Student Records/Training team at [email protected].
Should the graduate degree be awarded simultaneously with the undergraduate degree?
No. Students must be enrolled in a graduate program after completing an undergraduate degree in order to receive a graduate degree. Students must enroll in and complete a minimum of one semester as a graduate student and complete the minimum number of credits defined in the Application of Credits for Students Earning Graduate Degrees policy.
How is the tuition rate determined for Integrated Degree Programs?
Tuition rate is determined by student status. For example, undergraduate students pay undergraduate tuition rates regardless of whether they are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate career courses.
What are the financial aid implications related to Integrated Degree Programs?
Undergraduate students cannot pursue an undergraduate degree and a graduate or professional degree simultaneously. Financial aid eligibility is tied to a student’s standing as an undergraduate or graduate student.
First-degree undergraduate students who have completed the FAFSA will be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Aid may consist of grants, work study funds, and subsidized, unsubsidized, and Parent loans. Second degree undergraduate students are not eligible for grants, but will be awarded the loans they qualify for given their grade level and dependency status. Once the undergraduate degree is awarded, students become eligible for graduate financial aid. Graduate financial aid consists primarily of loans (federal unsubsidized and Grad Plus). Eligibility for fellowships and graduate assistantships is determined by the student's department.
If students begin their graduate program mid-year or during summer term, financial aid staff will likely need to manually package and/or adjust previously awarded aid. If students begin their graduate program fall semester, they will likely be picked up by the system and packaged automatically with the appropriate aid and cost of attendance. Students should consult with One Stop Student Services with questions.
How are credits transferred from the undergraduate career to the graduate career?
Coursework applied to the graduate degree must be taken at the graduate level (i.e., 5xxx or above with the exception of some 4xxx credits - maximum of 9 credits allowed). There should be agreements in place in the advising offices at both the undergraduate and graduate level that outline a clear path for progression to the master’s whilst also completing the bachelor's degree. In addition, the bachelor’s degree must be awarded prior to the admit term of the master’s. The Integrated Degree Transfer of Credits Process is available at z.umn.edu/CreditTransfer.
Transfer of credit from the undergraduate to graduate career is best done prior to the completion of a student’s first term as a graduate student. Course grades must be entered before a course can transfer student careers.
How are integrated degree program requirements identified in Coursedog?
Proposals for new, changed, or discontinued IDPs must be submitted via Coursedog for both the undergraduate and master’s degrees.
Proposals for new IDPs: Integrated degree programs are entered in Coursedog as sub-plans of the undergraduate program and affiliated master’s program. Sub-plans are labeled “Integrated ” (e.g. Integrated B.E.E./M.S.E.E. or Integrated B.A./M.P.P.).
- Undergraduate Coursedog: Include sub-plan text explaining requirements for admission to the integrated program (e.g., completion of specific courses; minimum cumulative GPA) as well as sub-plan course requirements (course list or group) for the undergraduate program. The sub plan should also be represented with a sample plan to make clear the path to concurrently completing the undergraduate requirements of the integrated degree program.
Graduate Coursedog: Include a sub-plan with the same title and narrative as provided for the undergraduate IDP sub-plan, but without the course list or sample plan.
How are integrated degree programs reflected in APAS for undergraduate students?
Integrated degree programs are represented on APAS with text describing the graduate level requirements. The text would not prevent an APAS report from appearing complete when the undergraduate requirements are completed. APAS should be updated with exceptions to identify courses counting toward the graduate career if the courses are determined by-student. Exceptions should be made in APAS by the 10th day of the semester in which they are graduating.
**Please note an RY exception must be added to the student's undergraduate APAS record to maintain the student’s correct undergraduate bulletin term year. The RY exception must include the undergraduate degree program code. Not adding this exception could cause the APAS to reflect a different bulletin term year than expected.Graduate level requirements should be tracked outside of APAS. Graduate program staff should communicate student course plan to the undergraduate advisor.Sample APAS text:Integrated Degree ProgramGraduate level requirements are tracked outside of APAS. Credits may not be used for both undergraduate and graduate level requirements.