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Washington State University Graduate School

Chapter 4E: Admission for Students Working Simultaneously Toward Baccalaureate and Advanced Degrees

1. Undergraduate Senior Students. Seniors who have at least a 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 semester hours of graded undergraduate work at Washington State University may register for up to 6 semester hours toward a thesis master’s degree, and up to 9 hours for a non-thesis master’s or doctoral degree in the Graduate School in excess of that required to complete the bachelor’s degree. These six or nine semester hours may not be simultaneously counted as required credits toward both a baccalaureate degree and an advanced degree. Students must complete a Reservation of Graduate Credit form and submit it to the dean of the Graduate School for approval at the time of registration. Work done by undergraduates under other conditions may not be applied toward an advanced degree. Note: Only reserved coursework with a grade of “B” or higher can be transferred to the graduate transcript and used toward a graduate program.

Seniors who wish to enroll in 500-level courses for undergraduate credit must obtain approval of the major advisor and the chair of the department or program in which the course is being offered.

2. Undergraduates Other Than Seniors. Enrollment in 500-level courses by undergraduates, other than seniors, may be allowed only as an exception to policy under extraordinary circumstances clearly justifying such enrollment. Requests for such an exception to policy require recommendations from the student’s major advisor, course instructor, and department/program chair administering the course and should be submitted along with a Reservation of Graduate Credit form to the dean of the Graduate School for review and approval before any such enrollment.

3. Select Graduate Admission (SGA) Program. The SGA Program is to encourage outstanding undergraduate students with top academic records to remain at WSU for a graduate degree by:

  • extending an early offer of admission and support to outstanding candidates;
  • removing financial and other costs associated with regular application; and/or
  • potentially reducing the total number of combined semesters required to complete the undergraduate/graduate degree (without reducing the credit requirements for either).

Graduate faculty may nominate a select few outstanding undergraduates who are in their junior year of study (with approval of the Graduate School, seniors may be nominated early in their senior year) and who rank in the top 10% of their discipline in their program. Nominations should be forwarded to the Graduate School via the graduate advisor or graduate coordinator. Students from the Honors Program should be co-nominated by the Honors College and the respective graduate program. Nominations should include a cover letter from the graduate coordinator (and the Honors College advisor, if appropriate) that nominates the student for the SGA program and documents the excellence of the nominee.

The student should be instructed to contact the Graduate School for special instructions for submitting an early admission application using the Graduate School’s online application process.

  • The student will need the names and email addresses of three faculty who know directly of the applicant’s academic ability and performance in WSU courses for the application process.
  • The student will need to include a brief statement of purpose in the application process.
  • The student will need to meet any other program requirements for the admissions process.

The Graduate School will review the candidate’s application and supporting documents submitted by the program. If accepted, the student will receive instructions for initiating the transition from undergraduate to graduate status.

Students accepted into this program would be eligible to reserve courses for graduate credit taken in their senior year if their cumulative GPA is greater than 3.0, they have completed 90 undergraduate hours for the first baccalaureate degree, and they are not registered for more than 15 semester hours in the semester or 12 semester hours in the summer session. Courses reserved for graduate credit are limited to a total of 12 credit hours and are restricted to graded credit hours. The student must file the Reservation of Graduate Credit form for reserving graduate credits by the 15th class day of the semester or by the 5th day of the summer session in which the student is enrolled for the graduate credits.

4. Students Targeted Towards Advanced Research Studies (STARS) Program. The WSU STARS program in the School of Molecular Biosciences and in Neuroscience gives select students with strong math and science backgrounds a chance to accelerate the learning process so they can earn a Ph.D. in as little as seven years after completing high school. The STARS program provides a seamless transition to graduate-level courses in a student’s senior year.

The STARS program coordinator should send the names of STARS students in the spring semester of their junior year to the Graduate School, along with a planned Ph.D. Program of Study for each student. The STARS students should be instructed to contact the Graduate School at the end of their spring semester for special instructions for submitting an early admission application using the Graduate School’s online application process.

  • The student will need the names and email addresses of three faculty who know directly of the applicant’s academic ability and performance in WSU courses for the application process.
  • The student will need to include a brief statement of purpose in the application process.
  • The student will need to meet any other program requirements for the admissions process.

The Graduate School will review each candidate’s application and supporting documents and process a departmental recommendation form for program approval. Once the departmental recommendation form is approved by the program director and the Graduate School, the student will receive instructions for initiating the transition from undergraduate to graduate status.

Students accepted into this early graduate admissions program would be eligible to reserve courses for graduate credit taken in their senior year if their cumulative GPA is greater than 3.0, they have completed 90 undergraduate hours for the first baccalaureate degree, and they are not registered for more than 12 undergraduate credit hours in the fall or spring semester of their senior year. Courses reserved for graduate credit are limited to no more than a total of 13 credit hours and are restricted to graded credit hours. A Reservation of Graduate Credit form is available from the Graduate School and must be filed by the student by the 15th class day of the semester in which the student is enrolled for the graduate credits.

 

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