Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s in Communication
The Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) in Communication provides exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree at an accelerated pace.
Communication majors applying for the Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s program must meet the Graduate School requirements for the program. ABM students may count up to 12 credit hours of graduate course work towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.
The program is designed to allow students to complete the Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations and the Master of Arts degree in Communication in five years. Students pursuing other Communications concentrations are also eligible to apply.
Requirements for acceptance into the program are:
- Completed at least 90 credit hours
- Completed at least 30 credit hours at USA
- An overall GPA of 3.3 (Cumulative and Advertising and Public Relations)
- Two letters of recommendation.
Admission is based on characteristics of the applicant and research match to Communication faculty.
Once admitted into the ABM program, students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA and remain in good standing in order to stay in the program.
ABM students may begin taking graduate courses after completing at least 90 hours of undergraduate credit.
During their senior undergraduate year, students take 6 graduate credits per semester for 2 semesters (12 hours) while also taking undergraduate courses. Twelve graduate hours can count toward both degrees (bachelor’s and master’s) if the courses are completed with grades of at least a B. Courses with a grade of C can count toward the undergraduate degree but not the graduate degree. Courses with a grade below C cannot count toward the graduate degree.
ABM students may count up to 12 credit hours of graduate course work towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. The graduate courses counting toward both the Bachelor’s in Advertising and Public Relations and Master’s Communication degrees are:
- CA 545: Communication Ethics (3 hours).
- CA 545 is the equivalent of CA 445: Ethics & Social Responsibility in Communication (3 hours).
- CA 555: Corporate and Communication Law (3 hours).
- CA 555 is the equivalent of CA 455: Law of Communication (3 hours).
- CA 570: Digital Communication (3 hours).
- CA 570 is the equivalent of APR 470: Digital Media & Analytics (3 hours).
- CA 587: Strategy South Student Agency (3 hours).
- CA 587 is the equivalent of APR 487: Strategy South Student Agency (3 hours).
- CA 596: Professional Studies - Graduate Internship (3 hours).
- CA 596 is the equivalent of CA 496: Professional Studies – Internship (3 hours).
Upon review and approval by the Graduate Coordinator, additional graduate level Communication courses that apply to the Master's degree may be counted as a part of the Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's degree program curriculum.
Completion of the Master of Arts in Communication requires successful completion of all requirements, including at least 33 graduate credit hours. Graduate credit taken while an undergraduate, and is completed with at least the grade of B, is transferred into the Master’s program upon acceptance into the program and applied toward the 33 hours required for the Master of Arts in Communication degree.
A student who withdraws or is dismissed from the ABM program may not count graduate coursework towards both degrees. Graduate courses for which an undergraduate student did not earn an “A” or “B” grade, may not be counted towards the graduate degree.
An ABM student must be a full-time student and must complete all degree requirements for the master’s within three semesters of the semester in which they were admitted to the Graduate School. An exception for a fourth semester may be granted where an additional semester is required for final revisions to and submission of a defended thesis. Exceptions to the ABM policy are at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School.
To qualify for a baccalaureate degree a student must complete a minimum of 120 approved semester hours, meet the university's general education requirements, meet the requirements of the major, and meet any specific requirements of the college or school. To qualify for a master’s degree a student must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in an approved program of study.