New 4+1 programs put college students on fast track to master’s degrees at WMU

Two new partnerships have put undergraduate students at Albion college on the fast track to earning their master’s degrees at Western Michigan University.

Aerial of Albion College

Aerial view of Albion College.

Albion religious studies majors can start their graduate study as much as two full semesters faster thanks to a new 4+1 agreement between Albion and WMU.

The 4+1 program allows Albion students to take religious studies courses at Albion while working towards a Master of Arts in comparative religion at Western. For Albion students enrolled in 300- or 400-level religion courses, up to 12 credit hours of coursework toward the WMU master’s degree, including six credits by examination, may be transferred. 

“This 4+1 program provides an opportunity to strengthen programs at Albion and WMU,” said Steve Covell, chair of the Department of Comparative Religion. “Students entering the program will gain an outstanding education at WMU that will prepare them for the next stage in their career while speeding their time to degree. 

Heritage Hall

Heritage Hall on WMU campus.

Albion political science majors can also start their graduate study as much as two full semesters faster through another 4+1 program. The new agreement allows qualified Albion undergraduate students to apply up to 9 credits earned at Albion toward a WMU master’s degree in political science.

“We have great relationships with the liberal arts colleges across Michigan,” said John Clark, chair of the Department of Political Science at WMU. “This program will attract talented students to WMU and increase the value of an Albion political science degree. It's a win-win for both schools.”

Both programs have graduate study taking place on WMU’s main campus in Kalamazoo. 

About 4+1 graduate programs

WMU’s College of Arts and Sciences currently offers several 4+1 programs that are available for students. Under a 4+1 program at the following institutions, students will be able to transfer up to 12 credits towards their master’s degree in that subject at WMU.

4+1 graduate programs with Kalamazoo College

  • Applied economics
  • Political science
  • Religion 

4+1 graduate programs with Aquinas College

  • Applied economics
  • Chemistry
  • History
  • Political science

4+1 graduate programs with Grand Valley State University

  • Religion

To learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences 4+1 programs, visit