Five College post-baccalaureate programs might include 5-year masters programs designed to articulate closely with undergraduate work, free standing masters programs, or graduate certificates not conferring a degree but offering a credential in a particular subfield or cross-disciplinary area. In all these cases, programs could be designed to draw on courses and resources at several of the institutions, including the University, leveraging the combined strengths of the institutions to offer uniquely attractive opportunities, possibly generating new revenue.
Programs might support intensive specialized study in a range of liberal arts fields; or in some cases preparation for professional work. They might be imagined as primarily serving students currently enrolled at one of the five institutions; or new students attracted to a focused, short-term course of study not available elsewhere; or a combination of both.
Depending on the program, instructional modes could vary, relying entirely on traditional classroom instruction, entirely on online instruction, or on a combination of classroom and online components.
Programs might be undertaken entirely during the traditional term or include some work during the summer. Conceivably, programs might include components undertaken outside the five institutions, such as supervised practicum or internships sited elsewhere in the US or abroad.
Graduate programs are currently offered in numerous fields at the University and in selected fields at Mount Holyoke and Smith. As examples, we list below links to descriptions of some programs specifically designed to draw on resources across the five campuses. View sample templates for accelerated master's programs currently being considered at the university (PDF file).
Examples of Some Multi-Campus Programs
UMass/Five College Graduate Program in History (some advanced undergraduate courses taken at the colleges are awarded graduate credit through the University)
An accelerated master’s degree option is an explicit arrangement of graduate admissions and courses requirements to enable a student to complete the requirements for a baccalaureate degree and a specified master’s degree in less calendar time than would be required through normal sequential enrollment. Although such arrangements are sometimes referred to as “five-year” programs, “4+1 programs,” or “combined bachelor’s/master’s programs,” they do not refer to a distinct or different kind of degree program. The requirements for the bachelor’s and master’s degrees remain unchanged; the reduction in calendar time results from changes in timing and in a limited amount of overlap across the two degrees.