Accelerated Graduate Pathway Programs: Short Cut to Graduate Program, by Lynsey Thibeault, Professional Advisor

The University of Southern Maine now offers several new exciting Accelerated Graduate Pathway programs that help students save time and $$ in earning both their undergraduate and graduate degrees! The programs are:

  1. Statistics (MS): for students majoring in Mathematics, Engineering, or a Science or Technology major.
  2. Business Administration (MBA): for students with any undergraduate major.
  3. Policy, Planning, & Management (MA): for students majoring in Geography- Anthropology, Environmental Science, or Economics (either BA or BS).
  4. Leadership Studies (MA): for students with any undergraduate major.
  5. Law (JD): for students majoring in Criminology, Economics (BA or BS), English, History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Political Science (Political Science Track), and Sociology.

There are two main benefits to accelerated pathway programs at this University: (1) Save time and $$ by taking graduate level courses/prerequisites while still an undergraduate and 2) Streamlining the admissions process. For our new accelerated pathways programs, you do not have to participate in a competitive admissions process. As long as you meet admissions requirements by the time you matriculate to the graduate program, you will be accepted. Admission requirements vary by program but mostly include minimum grade point average (GPA), minimum grade and prerequisite requirements.  The Accelerated Law program also includes character and fitness review, faculty recommendations and more.

You may hear of these programs referred to as 4+1, 3+2, or 3+3. Please, know that not all 4+1, 3+2, and 3+3 programs at USM fall under Accelerated Programs. What truly sets these apart is the seamless admissions process. USM has other great programs that shorten the time to graduation with undergraduate and graduate degrees, but for various legitimate reasons, they still require students to apply separately to a graduate program and compete for admission with other applicants.

For example, Mary Jo Elliott, a senior at the University, will graduate with a BS in Economics this spring and will officially start as a graduate student next fall. By the time she officially starts her graduate program, she will be one-third of the way through it! Mary Jo has this to say about the program, “The Master’s Program in Policy, Planning, and Management program (MPPM), offered by USM has offered me an excellent opportunity to transition from my undergrad in Economics smoothly into MPPM.  My advisors from undergraduate to graduate have been helpful, prompt and insightful, providing the direction I needed to navigate from one degree to the next. The professors at USM provide a wealth of information and experience to create a dynamic academic experience.”

If you are interested in learning more about these programs, reach out to your faculty or professional advisor today!


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