4 + 1 Master’s Degree Programs


Start Earning a Graduate Degree During Your Senior Year

St. Joseph's University logo

Ursinus students can get a head start on a master’s degree during their senior year—and reduce the overall tuition cost of that degree—by enrolling in one of these eligible St. Joseph University (SJU) 4+1 programs, which are designed to be completed within a year of your college graduation.

How does it work?

  • Junior year at Ursinus: apply to one of the eligible 4 + 1 master’s programs in the St. Joseph’s School of Education and Human Development (see list above). April 15 is a recommended application deadline, though applications can be submitted at any time during junior year.
  • Senior year: take two of the SJU graduate courses in the chosen program. The two courses count toward Ursinus graduation and the SJU master’s program—with no charge from SJU. (They are covered as part of your Ursinus tuition—which amounts to a discount on the total cost of the SJU degree.)
  • The year after graduating from Ursinus (summer, fall, and spring semesters): finish the remaining courses at SJU to complete the master’s degree.

What are the requirements and how do I apply?

  • GPA: You must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA to apply during junior year and receive provisional acceptance to your chosen master’s program, which opens the door to taking the two SJU courses during senior year. Upon graduating from Ursinus, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA to be officially accepted into the master’s program for the “+1” year.
  • Advisor approval: Prior to applying, discuss the program with your advisor and a faculty member in the education department, to make sure it will fit your schedule and is a good fit with your goals.
  • Major and/or prerequisites: The secondary education, art education, and foreign language programs require an undergraduate major in the content area (for secondary education, this means math, history, English, or a science like biology, chemistry, or physics). The social studies concentration within the secondary education master’s program has a mix of history and social science prerequisites; see the Ursinus education department for details.
  • To apply:
    • go to sju.edu/apply and click Graduate > Master’s Programs > Graduate Application.
    • Create an account.
    • In the portal, select one of the six eligible 4 + 1 programs. When you select an eligible program, you should be asked, “Are you a current Ursinus UG interested in the 4+1?” Select yes, and then select your start term. It is recommended that Ursinus juniors select the fall term.
    • Complete the application.

What else should I know?

Online courses, in-person field experiences:
  • The SJU courses, including those to be taken during the senior year, are online and mostly asynchronous courses. However, they also require 15-20 hours of in-person field experience in schools, per course, which likely will have to be arranged by the Ursinus student. (The Ursinus education department may be able to help with field experience placements near the college, and SJU may be able to help if field experiences are sought in Philadelphia.) You must arrange your own transportation to those field experiences.
  • The SJU courses do not count toward Ursinus’s 8-credit limit on online courses.
  • The Elementary Education PK-4 program has three teaching methods courses—EDU-667 EDU-663 and EDU-665—that are online but synchronous and scheduled in the evening.
Fitting SJU courses into your UC schedule and graduation plan:
  • The SJU courses are 3-credit courses, so two of them will count as 6 credits toward Ursinus graduation and credit totals. The SJU courses will not show up in your course program, but they do count toward “overload” status. It is important to get approval from your academic advisor on how the SJU courses fit into overall plans for your major and graduation, including attainment of 128 credits for graduation.
  • You must fill out a Study Elsewhere form for the two SJU courses and file it with the registrar, as you would for any course taken elsewhere. Upon completing the courses, you must provide the registrar with your SJU transcript as soon as possible.
Course planning in the SJU program:
  • It is important to consult with SJU staff when planning the two senior-year courses, as most courses are offered only once per year. See the Ursinus education department for contact information.
  • A typical course progression for a 30-credit program would be:
    • senior year at Ursinus: 2 courses/6 credits
    • summer after graduating: 3 courses/9 credits
    • fall semester 3 courses/9 credits
    • spring semester: student teaching (2 courses/6 credits)
    • In the Elementary Education PK-4 program, which is 36-credits, you would likely do an extra course in the summer and during the student teaching semester. The Reading Specialist program (also 36 credits) culminates with a Practicum during the second summer.
  • SJU tuition for the master’s programs, as of 2024, is $845 per credit. For example, for a 30 credit master’s program, the Ursinus student would take 6 credits during senior year as part of their Ursinus education and pay for the remaining 24 credits, or $20,280, plus a $100 per semester fee (amounting to a 20 percent discount on the degree)

For more information:

  • If you have additional questions after carefully reviewing the information above, see 4 + 1 master’s programs on the the St. Joseph’s University website; and/or contact the Ursinus education department.