The accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program allows students to pursue a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in a shorter time than pursuing both degrees separately. Undergraduate students who are accepted into the program and who complete two approved graduate engineering courses (500 level or greater) with a grade of B or better as part of the requirements for their bachelor’s degree may have these courses also counted towards their master’s degree, reducing the total number of credits required for both degrees. Students in the program may also be admitted early to their graduate program and be dual-enrolled as undergraduate and graduate students simultaneously for up to two semesters, allowing them to complete additional coursework towards their master’s degree prior to completion of their bachelor’s degree.


Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.2, or higher, and a total of 60 semester credit hours completed (45 of which must be taken at Catholic University), are eligible to apply for this program. Additionally, a student must also have a cumulative GPA of 3.2, or higher at the time of completion of the bachelor's degree for courses to be double-counted. 

The master's degree may be in the same subject as the bachelor's degree or in another discipline within the School of Engineering, but in the latter case, the courses to be double-counted must be approved by the chair/director of both programs. 


Students typically apply for the accelerated program in the spring semester of their junior year or the fall semester of their senior year. There are two portions to the application process: 

A more detailed description of the application and approval process can be found here.

The approval form may be submitted at any time once a student has met eligibility requirements. Eligible students who are considering pursuing a graduate degree may wish to submit the approval form prior to finalizing their decision about graduate school – this allows them to take appropriate graduate-level coursework to fulfill undergraduate elective requirements, and then to double-count up to two courses if the student eventually decides to stay for the graduate degree.

The application for a graduate program should be done prior to the first semester in which the student will take courses that will count solely towards the graduate degree. In many cases, this will be the semester following completion of the undergraduate degree (in which case students should submit the graduate application during their final undergraduate semester). However, in some cases, students may be sufficiently advanced in their undergraduate studies that they can take additional graduate coursework prior to completion of their undergraduate degree. In such cases, the student may be admitted into a graduate program and matriculate as a graduate student in an earlier semester. Such students may be dual-enrolled as undergraduate and graduate students for up to two semesters. Please see special instructions here for course registration for dual-enrolled students.

Note that a student’s undergraduate degree must be conferred at the end of the semester in which they complete all of their undergraduate requirements. Students cannot remain enrolled as undergraduate students once they have met the requirements for their undergraduate degree.

Tuition and Financial Aid Impact

Undergraduate tuition for full-time students is at a flat rate per semester. Undergraduate merit scholarships and need-based financial aid are awarded only for pursuit of undergraduate degree programs, and do not continue once a student completes the undergraduate degree. Graduate tuition in the School of Engineering is billed per credit hour (students should consult the Enrollment Services website for current rates).

If a student is simultaneously matriculated as both an undergraduate and graduate student, the student will be billed undergraduate tuition; once the undergraduate degree is conferred, the student will remain matriculated only as a graduate student and will then be billed graduate tuition.

Institutional (merit-based) undergraduate financial aid is typically offered to a student for up to 8 semesters of undergraduate study. To remain eligible as a full-time student, students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours each semester, but this may include both undergraduate and graduate coursework (i.e., an undergraduate student taking a graduate-level course does not reduce their eligibility for merit-based institutional aid). Once a student completes their undergraduate degree program they will be matriculated only as a graduate student and will no longer be eligible for undergraduate financial aid.

Eligibility for need-based federal financial aid is dependent on the number of undergraduate credits in which a student is enrolled (federal aid for undergraduates cannot be used for graduate study). A student who is dual-enrolled as an undergraduate and graduate student in the same semester must take at least 12 credits towards their undergraduate degree to maintain full eligibility for need-based aid. Students enrolled in less than 12 credits towards their undergraduate program may still qualify for federal/state financial aid but the amounts will be prorated based on their enrollment status. A minimum of 3 credits is required for a Pell grant and 6 credits for federal loans. Please review the following example scenarios:

  • Example A

    In the 2nd semester of junior year, a student who meets eligibility requirements for the accelerated program begins to consider whether to stay after the 4th year to pursue a master’s degree in year 5. They submit the accelerated program approval form and, in consultation with their academic advisor, plan to take 2 graduate-level courses during their senior year to fulfill undergraduate elective requirements. Because they take a full load of courses towards their undergraduate degree in their 4th year, they remain fully eligible for merit-based and need-based undergraduate financial aid. During senior year, they apply for graduate school, and upon completion of their undergraduate degree, the 2 graduate-level courses they have already completed are double-counted towards their graduate degree. They enroll in their 5th year with 8 courses remaining to complete a master’s degree, and pay graduate tuition on a per-credit basis for these courses.

  • Example B

    A student in their junior year realizes that (due to AP credit from high school, summer courses during college, or extra courses taken during previous regular semesters) they will have extra space in their senior year to take additional courses beyond what is required for their undergraduate degree. They decide to use this as an opportunity for an early start on a master’s degree. They submit the accelerated program approval form and apply to their desired master’s program to begin during their senior year. They matriculate simultaneously in undergraduate and graduate programs during year 4. In each semester of year 4, they enroll in 12 or more credits that count towards their undergraduate degree, and enroll in some additional courses that count only towards the graduate degree. They maintain full eligibility for undergraduate financial aid and pay undergraduate tuition during year 4. They complete their undergraduate degree, and, because of the extra graduate courses they have taken during year 4, they begin year 5 with fewer than 8 courses remaining to complete their graduate degree. They pay graduate tuition on a per-credit basis for these remaining courses.
  • Example C

    Similar to example B, except the student realizes that they have fewer than 24 credits remaining towards their undergraduate degree as they enter their 4th year. During their 4th year, they are dual-enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs, and are charged undergraduate tuition but take extra courses each semester towards their graduate degree. They remain fully eligible for undergraduate merit-based aid from the institution (as long as they enroll in at least 12 credits total each semester), but because they have fewer than 12 credits counting towards their undergraduate degree in one or more semesters of year 4, they may not be fully eligible for need-based federal financial aid. Upon completion of their undergraduate degree, any remaining courses towards the master’s degree are taken in year 5 at the standard graduate tuition rate on a per-credit basis.

For more information about the impact of the participation in the accelerated program on financial aid, please contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Application and Approval Process for the Accelerated Program

Learn More

Instructions for Enrolling in Courses when Matriculated in Multiple Careers

Learn More