"Three Plus One" Degree Option

The University of Virginia attracts an academically accomplished student body. Over 90% of students graduate in the top tenth of their high school class and many students enter their first year with a significant number of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credits. The University has been a leader in creating accelerated programs to help students take advantage of a strong liberal arts education and pursue their professional goals. For instance, the Curry School of Education's five-year B.A./M.T. program has been cited as a national model. Similarly the Batten School's accelerated Bachelor/Master of Public Policy program allows students to earn a both a bachelor's degree and a M.P.P. in five years. The innovative one-year Master of Science in Commerce degree gives recent liberal arts, science, and engineering graduates fundamental business skills to succeed in the global business environment.

In recent years an increasing number of students have used their advanced standing to accelerate their undergraduate studies and graduate in three years. For students who enter with advanced standing, U.Va. offers an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in four years. This accelerated degree option for exceptionally well prepared students reduces the time it would normally take to graduate with both degrees by a year or more. The shorter time also reduces the cost for students and their family. The “Three Plus One” (3+1) option is intended for students with strong undergraduate records for whom a master’s degree may be preparation for career goals, wish to accelerate their studies, or desire additional preparation before pursuing a professional degree.

Students seeking this degree option will complete their bachelor’s degree in three years and then enter a one-year master’s degree program. In some cases students may begin taking master’s level courses while completing their bachelor’s degree. AP, IB, or other advanced credit is often used toward completing the Bachelor’s degree early. Students may also fulfill degree requirements early through J-term and summer school courses.

This option is not for all students. Interested students should have a clear idea of their goals and enter U.Va. with a substantial amount of advanced credit (minimum of 15 credits). Students are encouraged to plan their course of studies early and meet with an undergraduate advisor to create a plan to graduate in three years. The method of entry into a student’s desired choice of a master’s program varies by program and students should meet with a representative from their intended graduate program in their first year at U.Va. to determine the admissions process.

Currently several programs exist in which students have already completed the 3+1 option. The programs, listed under "Program Options" in the left navigation, have established a means for students to complete this option. This list, however, is not meant to be comprehensive. You may inquire about this option in any field of study, but for some degrees the 3+1 option may not be possible.   

Read the UVA Today news release.