New Mexico State University’s Honors College and Graduate School are giving top students the chance to take Graduate School for a test drive while still pursuing their undergrad degree through the Master’s Accelerated Program.
Select students will be permitted to enroll in graduate-level classes and if they remain at NMSU for graduate studies their credits will roll over into their graduate degree.
Not every department is able to participate and it is up to the departments to determine a student’s eligibility. The minimum GPA needed to apply for a Master’s Accelerated degree program is a 3.0, the same requirement for admission to grad programs, but departments can choose to use more rigorous criteria.
Students who have completed 60 credit hours of classes may apply for the MAP and once accepted, students must submit to Graduate School their approved course list for the classes each semester. Students completing the graduate level course with a B or better can have that count toward a graduate degree.
Dean of the Honors College Miriam Chaiken said she sees many students beginning their undergraduate studies with college credits earned while in high school.
“For those students entering college with credits they have accumulated through AP or dual credit classes, they have the flexibility to include some graduate-level classes in their undergraduate program,” Chaiken said.
Students will be able to take a maximum of 12 graduate credits while pursuing their undergrad degree and 6 of those credits can be counted as honors credits to go toward graduation with the University Honors recognition. The MAP option allows students to triple dip, earning credits that count toward their undergraduate degree, Honors and graduate program.
“From the point of view of the student, this is a great opportunity, they show prospective graduate programs that they are capable of graduate level work, and they get these credits to count toward graduating with University Honors,” Chaiken said.
Daniel Estupinan, a business major, is currently taking graduate classes through MAP and said it has provided him with many opportunities, including being able to gain admission to the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program at the University of California – Berkeley.
“The Master’s Accelerated Program gave me an opportunity to explore my interests in educational leadership using the unique skills and perspectives I have acquired while studying Finance. This experience proved highly valuable during my participation in the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship at UC Berkeley, where I explored the role of public finance in promoting greater equity in public education,” Estupinan said.
Estupinan was also recently invited by the Harvard Graduate School of Education to visit Harvard and meet with some of their faculty members and graduate students. Harvard University is paying for the whole experience and Estupinan said he believes his participation in the MAP is what helped set him on this journey.
MAP is currently available through some departments and Chaiken suggests that interested students should meet with their department heads to discuss this possibility.
The Honors College will also host a workshop for interested students about the Master’s Accelerated Program on Nov. 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the Commons Room. Chaiken said they hope to significantly grow the number of participants in the MAP in the coming year, as it opens up many opportunities for students.
Author: Melissa R. Rutter – NMSU