Undergraduates Enrolling in Graduate Courses and Accelerated Pathways to Graduate Degrees
Buffalo State offers three distinct options for undergraduate students to register for and complete graduate courses—Standard Option, 4+1 Pathways Option, Combined Pathway Option. Each option allows Buffalo State undergraduates to take graduate-level courses during as seniors, offering motivated students an expedited way to earn a bachelor's and a master’s degree. Any student interested in taking graduate courses as an undergraduate should meet with their department's undergraduate adviser to learn more about their options. Graduate courses taken while completing undergraduate courses will be billed at undergraduate tuition rates and are subject to financial aid guidelines for undergraduates. Students are strongly advised to consult with their undergraduate advisers and a Buffalo State financial aid adviser prior to initiating and/or making any changes to their prescribed undergraduate programs of study.
1. Standard Option: Undergraduate students who have completed more than 106 credits by the end of the previous semester at Buffalo State can register for graduate-level courses if they have maintained a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA. A request to enroll in a graduate course is made by contacting the academic department offering the course. Permission must be granted by the instructor and department chair. The total enrollment of undergraduate and graduate courses should not exceed 15 hours per semester. Graduate courses taken in the Standard Option manner will not apply toward an undergraduate degree. The graduate courses may be applied toward an advanced degree if they are acceptable to the graduate program and department. The six-year time limitation on the completion of the master’s degree program applies to the earned graduate credits. Generally, a maximum of 6 graduate credit hours may be taken as a senior unless enrolled in a 4+1 Undergraduate to Graduate Pathways (Option 2) or Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Pathway (Option 3).
2. 4+1 Undergraduate to Graduate Pathways Option: A4+1 Pathway provides seamless entry to an accelerated course of study leading to an advanced degree. Students must apply, be accepted into a 4+1 Pathway, and commit to following the curriculum (i.e., academic roadmap) detailed by the respective 4+1 Pathway. Admission into a 4+1 Pathway requires approval of the undergraduate program adviser and the appropriate graduate program director. Students in a 4+1 Pathway may take a maximum of 9 graduate credit hours as seniors. Graduate courses taken as part of a 4+1 Pathway will not apply toward an undergraduate degree. The graduate courses may be applied toward the advanced degree associated with the pathway. The six-year time limitation on the completion of the master’s degree program applies to the earned graduate credits.
3. Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Pathway Option: Buffalo State recently started offering combined pathways between existing undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Combined pathways are distinctly different from 4+1 pathways, and admission is selective. The 4+1 Pathways allow undergraduates to take up to 9 credits of graduate coursework as seniors, but those courses cannot be used to fulfill undergraduate program requirements. A combined pathway is stackable. Up to 12 credits of designated graduate courses completed as part of a combined pathway can be used to fulfill both undergraduate and graduate degree program requirements. An example of a combined pathway is the Criminal Justice Combined Pathway (B.S. and M.S.). The six-year time limitation on the completion of the master’s degree program applies to the earned graduate credits.