Accelerated Master's Advising Document


Master of Arts degree in

  • Outdoor Education Leadership
  • Critical Psychology and Human Services
  • Education (Self-directed and Environmental Education Emphasis
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Social Justice and Community Organizing

Master of Science degree in

  • Counseling
  • Environmental Studies
  • Resilient and Sustainable Communities
  • Sustainable Food Systems

Master of Education in

  • Self-directed (non-certification) Emphasis
  • Certification in
    • Early Childhood Education
    • Elementary Education
    • Secondary Education
    • Special Education
    • Early Childhood Special Education
    • School Counseling
    • Educational Leadership/Principalship

Master of Business Administration in

  • Sustainability Leadership

Dual Master of Business Administration in Sustainability Leadership and Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems



  • Students apply to a Master’s program in their junior year and, if accepted, enter the program in their planned semester of acceleration
  • Accelerated Master’s students enroll in a one credit graduate orientation in their first session of acceleration
  • Accelerated students enroll in a one credit graduate seminar during each session of acceleration. -- COR47100 Accelerated Master’s Orientation and COR47101 Graduate Seminar
  • To apply, prospective accelerated students complete an abbreviated admissions process.  If accepted, students are then granted conditional admission pending bachelor’s degree conferral. 
  • Graduate course credits are applied to the completion of an undergraduate degree.



Sample Sequence for an Accelerated Student



  1. When should I apply to accelerate?
    • Students apply to accelerated master’s programs in their Junior year.  Transfer students who enter as seniors may apply in the first semester of their senior year.  If accepted, students begin their graduate studies in the second semester of their junior year or the first or second semester of their senior year, depending on the master’s degree they are pursuing.

  2. What does it mean to accelerate and how does it benefit me?

  • Meaning: Acceleration essentially means that students spend 1-3 semesters earning “overlapping” credits that count toward two degrees at the same time.  (So for example, a student pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies who applies and is accepted to the MS in Environmental Studies will start taking master’s classes in Environmental Studies in the second semester of their junior year that will count toward the completion of their BA in Environmental Studies as well as toward their MS in Environmental Studies.) 
  • Process: Accelerated master’s students have applied and been accepted to a graduate program prior to completing their bachelor’s degree.  All master’s courses that accelerated master’s students take prior to completing their bachelor’s count simultaneously toward the completion of their bachelor’s degree and toward the completion of their master’s degree. 

  • Cost and Time Savings: Since 12-24 graduate credits (depending on the master’s degree program) can be counted toward both the bachelor’s and the master’s degree, you have accelerated. In doing so, you could finish both degrees in less time and with fewer tuition dollars.

  • Career Benefits: In addition to the time and cost savings that accelerated students enjoy, Prescott College's master's degrees prepare students for professional careers and equip them with the credentials, skills, knowledge, connections, and career coaching they need to be competitive and distinctive on the job market and pursue meaningful careers.
  • Educational benefits: Prescott College undergraduates often seek ways to continue amplifying the level of academic challenge as they pursue topics of study they are passionate about. The opportunity to accelerate into a master’s program offers a heightened level of academic challenge along with the opportunity to learn side-by-side with graduate students in graduate learning culture.
  • Benefits for Further Graduate Study: Graduates of all Prescott College master’s programs who apply and are accepted into the Prescott College PhD program in Sustainability Education may transfer 15 credits of their master’s coursework into the PhD program.  In addition, having a master’s degree makes students more competitive when applying to pursue further graduate study at the doctoral level3. What is the difference between an "accelerated" student and a "graduate" student?

 3. What is the difference between an "accelerated" student and a "graduate" student?

  • An accelerated student has been accepted into a Master’s program but has not yet finished their undergraduate degree.  A graduate student has completed their undergraduate degree. 

4. When can I begin taking Master's classes?

  • Graduate courses can be taken by any undergraduate student when prerequisites are met and the student is deemed ready by their advisors.  This is not the same thing as accelerating, as these graduate courses count only toward the student’s bachelor’s degree prior to accelerating.  (You cannot earn graduate credit toward a degree program you have not yet been accepted into.)  However, once a student has accelerated, if they have taken graduate courses as an undergraduate that can count toward the master’s program they have accelerated into, up to 3 of those grad courses can be transferred into the master’s program

5. How many credits does it take to earn a Master's degree?

  • While most Master’s degrees are 36 credits, they can vary.  For example, the MBA is 30 credits and the MS in Counseling is 60 credits plus 15 additional credits for a graduate certificate in Adventure-based or Nature-based Counseling.

6. How many Master's credits will count toward my 120 Bachelor's degree credits?

  • There is no limit on the number of master’s credits that can count toward the 120 credits required to complete a bachelor’s degree.
  • Up to two thirds, or 67%, of master’s credits taken prior to completion of the bachelor’s degree can count toward an accelerated student’s master’s degree. (So an accelerated master’s student pursuing a 36 credit master’s degree can count up to 24 credits of the accelerated master’s courses in their field that they took prior to completing their bachelor’s toward their master’s.  Accelerated students pursuing 30 credit master’s degrees can count up to 21 credits of the accelerated master’s courses in their field that they took prior to completing their bachelor’s toward their master’s.  Accelerated students pursuing 48 credit master’s degrees can count up to 30 credits of the accelerated master’s courses in their field that they took prior to completing their bachelor’s toward their master’s.) These amounts may vary depending on the specific master's degree program requirements.

7. What is the orientation and supportive one-credit courses associated with acceleration?

  • Graduate Orientation: All accelerated On Campus students take a 1-credit Accelerated Master’s Orientation course during their first term of graduate study.  This course orients new graduate students toward graduate-level expectations, supports successful adjustment to graduate school, and provides support for developing graduate level skills such as information literacy and graduate level writing.
  • Graduate Seminar: All accelerated On Campus students take a 1-credit Graduate Seminar course every semester that they are enrolled in graduate courses prior to the completion of their bachelor’s degrees.  The seminars will emphasize the hands-on, face-to-face learning opportunities most OCU students come to Prescott College for, providing them with an integrated On Campus supplement to their mostly online graduate studies.

8. Do I have to do a senior project?

  • Yes, this is an undergraduate graduation requirement. In some cases, you might use your senior project as an elective for your Master's degree.

9. In what ways is the admissions process different when applying to be an accelerated student?

  • Students do not need letters of recommendation, but rather two references.




Term Block 1 Block 2 Session
First year Fall Orientation Core Curriculum 1 Competence Course
Writing Workshop (WCI)
First year Spring Breadth Course Competence Course Competence Course
Breadth Course
Sophomore Fall Competence Course Core Curriculum 2

Competence Course (WCII)
Competence Courses

Sophomore Spring EcoLeague exchange earning Math and relevant courses  for competence or breadth
Junior Fall Competence course Core Curriculum 3 Competence Course
Junior Spring Breadth course Core Curriculum 4/Senior Project Competence Course (WCIII)
Breadth Course
    Session A Session B
Senior Fall   Graduate Course
MA/MS Orientation (1 cr)
Graduate Course
Graduate Course
Senior Spring   Graduate course
Graduate course
Graduate course
Graduate Course