The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) at Illinois State University has launched an accelerated master’s degree program offering high-achieving students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees with only one additional year of study.

Students accepted into this program will take up to 12 hours of approved graduate courses during their senior year, and this will count toward their graduate and undergraduate programs. The accelerated master’s degree programs allow students the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in less time than it would take them to complete them separately.

Important application details

  • Admission into the FCS accelerated master’s programs is competitive and not guaranteed.
  • The program is available to fashion design and merchandising (FDM); food, nutrition, and dietetics (FND); and interior design (ID) majors in FCS.
  • Students apply to the accelerated master’s program in the spring of their junior year via an internal transfer application and apply for the graduate program in their senior year.
  • Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20 for all course work at Illinois State University.
  • Applications must be completed between January 15 and February 19 of the student’s junior year by submitting the department’s required application documents.
  • Admission to the accelerated master’s program only guarantees admission to a degree program later if the student maintains the required GPA outlined in the University catalog and remains in good standing.
  • Students in the program are discouraged from self-advising.
  • Students who are not eligible for the accelerated program may apply to the master’s degree program through the regular admissions process.

Tuition and financial aid

Students are charged undergraduate tuition rates for courses taken while they are in the undergraduate career and graduate tuition rates for courses taken while in the graduate career.

Students are eligible for undergraduate financial aid until they switch to the graduate career where they become eligible for graduate financial aid like a graduate assistantship, graduate tuition waivers, or other graduate student funding sources.

Hear from the current students

Danielle Moran applied for the accelerated master’s program because of the invaluable opportunity it presented: “The ability to get a head start on my graduate degree and receive it within only one extra year of school is amazing.” She advised juniors not to forfeit this opportunity and stated that the teachers were helpful through the transition process and have been accommodating.

Tess Hagan backed her decision to apply for the FCS accelerated master’s program with statistics: “Having a master’s degree will be a requirement for all dietitians in 2024.” With this in mind, she applied for the program to stay competitive and knowledgeable in her field. Advising juniors who are undecided about the program, Tess said, “Talk to professors about the opportunity and why it would benefit you. I was unsure if I wanted to utilize the program at first, but looking back now it was the best decision I could have made and would have regretted it if I had not applied.”

Application for the FCS accelerated master’s program is open until February 19, 2019. For more information, contact Julie Schumacher.