Four Plus One Program: Conditional Admission while an Undergraduate
By planning ahead, you can finish the Master of Science in Information Systems coursework degree in a single year!
Undergraduate students from any degree program at the University of Maine or from any other University of Maine System campus may apply as early as the summer before their junior year for admission to the MS Information Systems graduate degree program. Applications for “early admission” should be received by the middle of the first semester of the junior year and are not accepted after the senior year has commenced.
By taking a course overload of three credits in the second semester of the Junior year and a course overload of three credits in each of the semesters of the Senior year (or alternatively three graduate courses in the senior year), a motivated student typically may acquire 9 credits (but no more than 12) for graduate school (at undergraduate tuition rates) prior to acquiring their undergraduate degree assuming that they receive a B or better in the courses. To accommodate students from other University of Maine System campuses, a minimum of five beginning graduate courses in the MSIS program are offered by distance technologies each year. By taking a 3-credit Information Systems Internship graduate course with a corporation, agency or non-profit organization during the summer, a student may readily complete the coursework master’s degree in a single year after their undergraduate degree. This master’s degree will be highly complementary to an undergraduate degree in almost any field and attractive to employers.
To save course credit tuition dollars for the student, the Application for Admission to the Four Plus One Program is submitted to the SIE/MSIS Graduate Coordinator rather than to the graduate school. If a student is accepted and the performance criteria below are met, acceptance into the Four Plus One Program indicates a commitment by the faculty (1) to accept the student’s graduate courses completed while an undergraduate student within their graduate program of study and (2) to support the student’s application for formal admission to the graduate school after completion of the undergraduate degree.
To apply for admission to the Four Plus One Program before or during the junior year, an applicant should expect to have an overall minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.25, must have completed the University of Maine General Education Requirement in Math (or equivalent) and must have three letters of recommendation from current or previous university instructors. The participating student must take the GRE exam prior to completing their senior year but support by the faculty in continuation through and formal admission to the graduate program will be based primarily on performance in the graduate courses and overall grade point average upon graduation from the undergraduate program. The formal application for admission to the graduate program through the graduate school can occur anytime during or after the senior year of the undergraduate program. Below a 3.0 accumulated undergraduate grade point average should be assumed cause for withholding support for the student by the SIE/MSIS faculty for formal acceptance into the graduate program.
Note: If the Four Plus One student takes the GRE exam and submits the scores in the initial application process before or during the junior year, the faculty may admit the student to the graduate school as of a specific future semester. This will often allow the student to take courses requiring a formal prerequisite of “graduate standing.”
Students with two or fewer semesters remaining to complete their undergraduate degree program (i.e. 30 credits or less) do not qualify for the “four-plus-one program.” Rather, the student should submit an application through the regular MSIS graduate admissions process. In this case, the student may still take and transfer up to two graduate courses prior to formal admission and perhaps more in specific circumstances if approved by the faculty.