• You can get started on your master’s degree while still an undergrad.
  • NYU’s accelerated bachelor’s-master’s programs save students time and money.
  • The bachelor’s-master’s track also opens doors to new resources, expert faculty members, and networking opportunities.
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Did you know you can get a head start on a master’s degree while still an undergraduate? For those planning on pursuing an advanced degree, this option saves both time and money. Additionally, it connects undergraduate students with new colleagues, expert faculty members, and additional resources. Regardless of your interest, NYU’s accelerated bachelor’s-master’s programs offer worlds of possibility.

Students in a lab wearing safety equipment.
Follow Your Interests

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ava Weitz developed a deep interest in bioethics. At the time, she was double-majoring in Anthropology at the College of Arts and Science and Global Public Health at the School of Global Public Health (GPH). Every day, she noted the mounting questions surrounding health-care access. So in her junior year at NYU, she applied for the BA-MA in Bioethics program offered through GPH.

“I started taking master’s-level public health ethics classes as an undergrad. And they counted toward my BA and my MA degree,” Ava explains. “It was really interesting to be in those hyper-focused classes. The professors were amazing. Most importantly, they helped me understand what was happening in the world around me.”

Now Ava will finish her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years. The BA-MA fast track gives her an early start on working toward a PhD. Going forward, Ava hopes to focus her PhD on the sociology and anthropology of medical ethics. “The fact that I was able to start taking classes early and finish early is great,” she concludes. “But also, just being at NYU, where I have so many resources available to me through these joint programs, has benefited me greatly.”

Students onstage performing a play.
Balance Your Artistic and Professional Goals

At first, Marifé Quesada didn’t think she’d be able to apply for an accelerated bachelor’s-master’s program at NYU. As an international student from San José, Costa Rica, she didn’t want to lose a year of Optional Practical Training (OPT), a 12-month work authorization available to international students after graduation. However, after meeting with her adviser and NYU’s Office of Global Services, she learned she could make it work.

“The program has been so flexible with me. I’m able to take both years of OPT because they’re for two different degrees,” she explains. In May 2022 Marifé received her BFA in Theatre from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. At the same time, throughout her senior year, she took classes toward her master’s in Performing Arts Administration at the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Then, she took one year of OPT before returning to NYU to complete the final year of her MA. “I went into this thinking it wasn’t going to be an option for me. But I ended up benefiting so much more from the program than I originally thought I would,” she shares.

Thinking of the future, Marifé has found the balance between her undergraduate degree and graduate degree that will help her immensely in the workplace. “What I really enjoy about the program is that it crosses different disciplines,” she explains. “I want to produce my own work. And, I want to have a creative career. But I’m also interested in the business and financial side of things. With the BFA, you have a really solid training in your craft. Then, with the MA, you add a really solid business approach.”

Save Time…and Money

Campbell Munn always knew he would pursue a master’s degree. However, it wasn’t until his sophomore year concentrating in urban planning at the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study that he realized he could start while still an undergrad. After working with his adviser, he decided to apply for an advanced degree. By his senior year, he was taking graduate classes and working toward a Master of Urban Planning (MUP) at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

“Having the chance to get my degree a year early is a big deal,” Campbell attests. “I already knew I wanted to stay in school and enter the workforce with my master’s degree. So making it this seamless to graduate in five years was really helpful. Plus, I saved a lot of money.”

Currently in the final year of his MUP, Campbell is working full time for the New York City Economic Development Corporation. He’s also a Georgina and Charlotte Bloomberg Public Service Fellow, a scholarship program at Wagner that prepares students with skills, knowledge, and networks to become impactful public service leaders. Ultimately, he hopes to use his degrees and experience to help combat New York City’s affordable housing crisis.

“After I took my first master’s class, I was absolutely sure that this was what I wanted to do,” says Campbell. “I always wanted to take classes at Wagner. To overlap my undergraduate degree and my MUP in this way, to not have a multiyear interruption, it’s worked out perfectly.”

Kelly McHugh-Stewart is a Senior Writer and Strategist for NYU’s University Relations and Public Affairs Office of Marketing Communications, where she seeks out and enjoys telling stories that help people understand the world through a new lens. Kelly holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Kansas State University. Her reporting and personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Reader’s Digest, CNN Opinion, and Sports Illustrated, among others.