Accelerated Programs Offer Students More Options

For the past three weeks, while most MSUM students have enjoyed a well-earned semester break, about 300 students have participated in the university’s first-ever winter term. Sandwiched between the last day of fall semester and the first day of spring semester, the winter term allows students to take online classes in an accelerated format. For some students, it’s an opportunity to take courses they need to graduate. For others, it’s a way to lighten their course load during the regular academic year. For the university, it’s a move toward year-round, flexible scheduling options that, along with winter and summer terms, include accelerated bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and dual degree programs.

Since 2020, MSUM has offered an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program that allows students to complete their degrees in three years by taking courses year-round, including summers. Building on this model, MSUM now offers accelerated graduate programs that allow students to earn both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in a total of five years. These include the Master of Business Administration (MBA), which is structured in a “4 + 1” format, and the newly launched Master of Science in Athletic Training, which is offered in a “3 + 2” format. In both cases, students take undergraduate courses for their first few years before transitioning to a blend of undergraduate and graduate classes and, ultimately, completing a final year of graduate courses.

Finally, MSUM offers options for students to earn more than one bachelor’s degree in just four years. These dual degree programs prepare students for careers that are increasingly interdisciplinary, including healthcare and social services. They also allow students to combine areas of specialization without adding additional time or money.

The full list of accelerated options is available at

Dr. Anne Blackhurst served as Minnesota State University Moorhead’s 11th president from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2023.

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