The Master of Public Administration Accelerated Graduate Degree Program at the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Western Michigan University allows undergraduate students to begin accumulating credits toward the completion of a Master of Public Administration degree while completing a bachelor's degree.
When admitted to the accelerated degree program with senior standing, you make take up to 6 credit hours of designated 5000- and 6000-level courses for graduate credit. These designated courses may be used in completion of both bachelor's and master's degrees. In addition, students may apply 6 undergrad PADM credits (PADM 5270 and PADM 5120/5420) to their graduate program of study. The Master of Public Administration requires a total of 39 credit hours and so this effectively reduces the number of credit hours taken after receiving your undergraduate degree to 27.
This program is open to undergraduate students who:
- Are majoring in public and nonprofit administration;
- Have senior status and have earned a minimum of 30 credit hours at Western Michigan University; and
- Have an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or higher (based on at least 30 hours earned at Western Michigan University)
If you have received your bachelor's degree, you will be ineligible to apply for this program and retroactively claim undergraduate credits to apply towards the master's degree.
Undergraduate students enrolled in the accelerated program are expected to meet graduate expectations in their graduate courses. PADM 6001 would be taken in the first fall or spring semester after the student receives their undergraduate degree.
- As early as possible in the academic junior year, you should contact the MPA Director in the School of Public Affairs and Administration to discuss this option and review the requirements, timelines and application procedures.
- Meet with the undergraduate academic advisor to review current and anticipated credit hour status and make arrangements to conduct a pre-graduation audit.
- Apply for admission to the graduate program and complete the necessary application materials for admission to the MPA program.
- Upon acceptance, you must meet with the MPA Director and the undergraduate academic advisor to prepare an appropriate program of study that meets the requirements for both your undergraduate and graduate degrees.
- A letter advising which graduate courses will be counted in both degrees will be sent to you and to the registrar. A copy of this letter also will be included in your graduate file.
Requirements for Continuing Eligibility and Graduation
- Completing the undergraduate degree with a GPA within your major of less than 3.25 will make you ineligible to continue in the program. Completing the undergraduate degree with a GPA in all your combined PADM coursework of less than 3.25 will make you ineligible to continue in the program.
- If you are admitted to the accelerated program, you must follow the program of study developed with the graduate director and the undergraduate advisor. After receiving your undergraduate degree modifications in the MPA program of study may be made with approval of the MPA Director.
- In order to progress automatically into the graduate program, you must achieve a grade of B or better in each of the graduate courses being counted for the undergraduate degree. If you do not meet this requirement, you will have the earned credit applied to your undergraduate degree only. You may apply for readmission into the graduate program. If you complete the undergraduate degree including a B or above in the specified graduate courses, you will be admitted as a degree-seeking graduate student (with the relevant graduate credit) in the next semester or session after receiving the bachelor’s degree.
- It is expected that the baccalaureate degree will be awarded within one calendar year after initial enrollment in the accelerated program. If you do not meet this time constraint, you may reapply to be admitted to the graduate program.
- When you complete the accelerated degree program, it will be noted on your undergraduate and graduate transcripts.
- You may withdraw at any time from the program by informing the MPA Director in writing. A copy of the request to withdraw will be sent to the graduate registrar.
- You must complete the requirements for the MPA degree within 36 months from the completion of the bachelor’s degree. If you are unable to meet this requirement, you may apply for an extension.