Early Entry Program
Exceptional UALR undergraduate students may apply and be accepted to select graduate programs and begin working toward their graduate degree while completing their baccalaureate degree. The Early Entry program will allow participating students to combine their undergraduate studies with related graduate-level work. Additionally, it will enable them to complete their graduate degree in a shorter amount of time than the traditional path.
- Undergraduate students may apply and be accepted any time after completing 75 or more hours of undergraduate coursework. However, at least 90 hours of undergraduate coursework must have been completed by the time the first graduate course is taken.
- All applicants must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA.
- All applicants must complete an application for and be accepted into the desired graduate program and the UALR Graduate School.
- All applicants must complete an Early-Entry Program form and have it approved by the graduate coordinator and the Graduate School. This form must be approved before the student begins graduate coursework. Failure to obtain prior approval negates the ability to “double count” courses.
- Specific programs may have more rigorous admissions criteria. The student should contact the desired program to determine these requirements before applying.
- Once accepted into a graduate program, students can take up to 12 hours of graduate coursework, which will count towards both the baccalaureate degree and the graduate degree. Individual graduate programs may allow fewer graduate hours to be taken at the undergraduate level; students should check with their prospective program to determine these limits.
- Students must finish their baccalaureate degrees before they complete 15 hours of graduate coursework.
- To ensure that they follow the proper degree plan, students must meet with a graduate-level advisor upon acceptance to the Early Entry program to map out the graduate courses they will take.
- Accepted students will have provisional status in the graduate program, pending the award of their baccalaureate degree.
- If, at the end of his/her baccalaureate degree, an Early Entry student has failed to meet the Graduate School admission requirement of a 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA with no grades below a B, she/he will be dismissed from the graduate program.
- Students accepted into the Early Entry program will be subject to the same policies as traditionally matriculated graduate students.
- The Early Entry program may not be used in conjunction with the credit reservation program; therefore, no graduate courses taken before admission to the 4+1 program may be applied to a graduate degree.
Credit Reservation Program
UALR undergraduate students may take up to 6 hours of graduate-level courses and reserve the credit for their graduate degree. Unlike the 4+1 program, these graduate-level courses will not count toward both the baccalaureate and the graduate degrees. Instead, the student will choose to use the credit towards either one degree or the other. Once a student’s undergraduate degree has been awarded, he or she cannot change the level of credit received for a class. Additionally, students participating in the credit reservation program do not need to be admitted into a graduate program in order to take graduate-level courses.
- Undergraduate students who wish to take and reserve courses for graduate credit must be within 15 hours of completing graduation requirements and have a 3.0 GPA.
- Eligible students who plan to enroll in graduate-level courses must submit a form to the Graduate School prior to registration indicating which courses he or she intends to take. This form must be signed by the instructor of the course(s), the program’s graduate coordinator, the department chair, and the Graduate School dean.
- Undergraduate students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 in all coursework to remain eligible for graduate-level courses. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below a 3.0 will not be allowed to enroll in graduate-level courses the following semester. However, passing graduate courses with a B or greater does NOT guarantee future acceptance into any graduate program at UALR.
- Students who have completed their baccalaureate degree and are fully admitted into a UALR graduate program may request that the graduate credit hours they took and reserved count toward their graduate degree. These courses must have been taken within the last five years.
- These courses may not have been used for credit toward the student’s undergraduate degree, unless the student is in a program in which this has been approved by the Graduate Council.
- The student’s advisory committee, major professor, or graduate coordinator must submit a petition to the Graduate School requesting that the graduate-level courses be accepted for graduate credit.