SICD Program Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a combined bachelor's and master's degree program?
A: A combined-degree program allows students to complete a specific number of graduate-level credits (up to 12 credit hours) while enrolled as an undergraduate student. Approved graduate credit hours will satisfy degree requirements for both degrees.
Q: Why should I participate in the Student Initiated Combined Degree program?
A: This program allows students to take graduate coursework while they are completing their undergraduate degree, thus saving both time and money. The traditional path of completing a master's degree after completing a bachelor's degree can take a student 6+ years to complete, but the Student Initiated Combined Degree allows students the opportunity to complete both degrees in as few as 5 academic years. This program also allows students to combine degrees in ways that meet their specific personal and professional goals.
Q: How do I know which Bachelor's and Master's degree programs can be combined in the Student Initiated Combined Degree program?
The Student Initiated Combined Degree is an opportunity for students to develop unique Bachelor's/Master's degree combinations. It is up to the student to decide which two programs pair best to meet their goals and to find out if their proposed degree combination is possible.
Q: At what point in my undergraduate program should I apply?
A: Students may apply after completing a minimum of 45 undergraduate credit hours.
Q: At what point do I start taking graduate courses?
A: If approved, students can take graduate courses during their junior and senior year.
Q: What is required for approval?
A: Students that apply to this program must receive approval from their undergraduate faculty advisor, the unit head of the undergraduate degree program, the Graduate Program Director, and the Dean of The Graduate School.
Q: Once I receive approval to pursue my proposed combined degree program, do I still have to apply to the graduate program?
Yes, even if you have received approval from all of the appropriate parties, you still have to apply to your graduate program of interest. Fortunately, your application fee would be waived since you are already attending Grand Valley.
Q: Can the graduate coursework I complete still be used to satisfy my undergraduate degree requirements if I do not continue in graduate school?
A: Yes. Before beginning the Student Initiated Combined Degree program, you will work with your advisor to put a plan in place to complete your undergraduate degree should you choose not to complete the graduate degree.
Q: What about my financial aid?
A: You may use your undergraduate financial aid and awards until you are classified as a graduate student. This typically happens after the completion of your 12th graduate credit hour, but will vary based on individual planned programs.
Q: How do I apply?
There are a couple steps to applying for the Student Initiated Combined Degree program. First, discuss your interest in this program with your undergraduate advisor and the program director of the graduate program to determine suitability, and complete a Student Initiated Combined Degree Request Form. Second, seek approval from your undergraduate advisor, the unit head of your undergraduate program, the Graduate Program Director from your graduate program of interest, and the Dean of The Graduate School.
Q: Are there other accelerated degree programs available other than the Student Initiated Combined Degree?
A: Yes, there are combined degree programs in Accounting, Cell and Molecular Biology, Computer Information Systems, and Engineering. However, if you aim to combine two degrees in different disciplines you will have to pursue a Student Initiated Combined Degree.