The Accelerated Master’s Graduate Degree Program (AGDP) in Paper and Printing Science in the Department of Chemical and Paper Engineering (ChP) allows undergraduate students to begin accumulating credits towards completion of a master’s while still enrolled as undergraduates. Undergraduate students admitted to an AGDP, with senior standing, could take 5000 and 6000 level courses for graduate credit. Up to 12 hours of designated 5000 and/or 6000 level courses (but not less than 6 hours) could be used for both the bachelor’s degree and for completing the master’s degree within 24 months of completing their bachelor’s degree in paper engineering (process option); chemical engineering (pulp & paper or inks & imaging options); or graphic and printing science. These students may choose to pursue a Master of Science in Paper and Printing Science degree under either the thesis option or the non-thesis option, which will allow them to complete an AGDP degree by completing combined graduate and undergraduate credit hours.
Application and Academic Advising for the AGDP
A prospective student who meets the eligibility requirements (see Admission Procedure) must set up a meeting with their undergraduate advisor and the ChP graduate advisor to develop Plans of Work for the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
Before admission to an AGDP can be finalized, students must submit the standard application for admission to the Office of Admissions and Graduate Admissions including:
- an application
- application fee
- a copy of all transcripts
- a Plan of Graduate Work, signed by the prospective student, the undergraduate advisor and the ChP graduate advisor
The Plan of Graduate Work for the master’s degree must clearly indicate:
- the 5000 and/or 6000 level courses (a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours) that will be counted for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees,
- the graduation date for the master’s degree that meets the time limit for the AGDP (i.e. obtaining a Master’s of Science in Paper and Printing Science within 24 months of completing the bachelor’s degree). Any changes to the AGDP Plan of Graduate Work must be submitted in writing and approved by the ChP graduate advisor and graduate dean.
Admission to the AGDP is contingent on meeting the following eligibility requirements at the time of applying for the AGDP:
- Students must have senior standing, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 (on a 4.00 scale) based on at least 45 earned hours, 15 of which shall be earned at Western Michigan University in PAPR, GPS, or CHEG courses, and additional criteria as determined by the department.
- The student must apply through the Office of Admissions and Graduate Admissions and must also apply for admission to the graduate degree granting department. After admission into the AGDP, the student’s record will indicate the AGDP status.
- International students must clarify their visa status with the Office of International Student and Scholar Services before submitting an admission application for AGDP.
- Students intending to enroll in any AGDP must maintain a 3.00 GPA throughout their baccalaureate degree, or their admission to the AGDP will be revoked.
Admission to the AGDP does not guarantee admission to the Graduate College. However, successful completion of an undergraduate degree under AGDP will ensure admission to the Graduate College.
Academic Advising, Records, and Program Requirements
Students who wish to participate in the AGDP will follow Application and Academic Advising for the AGDP, as discussed previously. The department will send the Plan of Graduate Work to the students and the registrar that will state which graduate courses may be counted towards both degrees. A copy will be placed with the student’s undergraduate records, and the change will be incorporated into the student’s undergraduate and Master’s program as outlined below. Graduate courses substituting for required courses within the undergraduate degree are designated by the program as equivalent in content but delivered with graduate level rigor. Current 5000 level courses (required or elective) in the bachelor’s degree must be taken at the graduate level to be double counted. The courses for the AGDP may be used to complete the undergraduate degree credit hour requirements.
Administration of the program includes the following:
- Students with senior standing who have been accepted into the AGDP can take 6000 level courses for graduate credit while undergraduates. This registration would be done by the Registrar’s Office, with permission of the department and the student. This would occur in the same way that students are dually enrolled as undergraduates and graduate students under current policy.
- Students will pay undergraduate tuition for these 6000 level courses as long as they are undergraduates. The 6000 level courses are included in the flat rate for tuition purposes.
- Students are considered undergraduates for financial aid purposes until they receive the baccalaureate degree.
- The 6000 level courses, taken while the student is still an undergraduate, will appear on the student’s graduate transcript. The grades earned in these courses will be reflected in the graduate GPA.
- At the time the student completes his/her bachelor’s degree, the Registrar’s Office staff will manually add the hours earned in the 6000 level courses o the student’s undergraduate transcript. The undergraduate GPA will also be adjusted to include the grades earned in these courses.
- The department will clearly identify for the Registrar’s Office on the original “Plan of Graduate Work” which 5000 and/or 6000 level courses are available to be double counted. Individual students will have specific courses identified to be double counted when they are admitted to the AGDP.
- The 5000 and/or 6000 level courses which are double counted will be identified as such on the graduate transcript.
- The transcript key, which is on the back of the transcript paper, will explain the double counting.
- Both undergraduate and graduate transcripts will show that the student has completed an accelerated graduate degree program.
- If a student completes his/her bachelor’s degree and then stops attending the AGDP, the graduate transcript will show the graduate courses completed.
- It is expected that the baccalaureate degree will be earned and awarded within one calendar after initial enrollment in the AGDP or as determined by the department.
- In order to progress automatically in to the graduate program, a student must achieve a grade of “B” above in each of the graduate courses being counted for the undergraduate degree, as well as maintain a 3.00 GPA overall. Students who do not meet this criteria will have the earned grade applied to their undergraduate program only, and must reapply for admission to the graduate program. If the student is admitted to the graduate program, the department and graduate dean will determine if any credit from the bachelor’s degree will be carried forward for the graduate degree. Students who complete the undergraduate degree including a “B” or above in the specified graduate courses will be admitted as graduate students (with the relevant graduate credit) in the next semester or session after receiving the bachelor’s degree.
- Students must complete the bachelor’s degree prior to entering the master’s program. Students in the AGDP cannot elect to by-pass the bachelor’s degree.
- No more than 12 credit hours of graduate work may be counted towards the requirements of both degrees.
- Students must complete the master’s degree within 24 months from the completion of the bachelor’s degree. If the master’s program is not completed within these time limits, none of the 5000 and/or 6000 level courses counted in the undergraduate program can be counted toward the master’s degree.
It is the responsibility of the student to recognize his/her eligibility status.
A student completing the bachelor’s degree requirements with an accumulated GPA of less than 3.00/4.00 is no longer eligible to count the 5000 and/or 6000 level credit hours specified (see Eligible Courses for the AGDP) toward the master’s degree and is automatically terminated from the AGDP.
A student who is ineligible to participate in (or withdraws from) the AGDP cannot count any of the courses specified (see Eligible Courses for the AGDP) for both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. These courses, however, may be counted toward the student’s bachelor’s degree upon the discretion of the undergraduate advisor.
A student who becomes ineligible to participate in the AGDP must be informed by the ChP graduate advisor in writing of his/her ineligibility. A copy of this letter to the student must be sent to the Graduate College and the undergraduate advisor.
A student may at any time withdraw from an approved AGDP by informing the department’s director of undergraduate programs and the ChP graduate advisor in writing. A copy of this request to withdraw must be sent to the Graduate College for approval.