Academic Catalog 2021-2022

Slippery Rock University

Four-Plus (4+) and Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) Programs

Four-Plus (4+) and Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) Programs 

This policy is independent of SRU policies and procedures for graduate coursework taken by undergraduate students not associated with a Four-Plus or Accelerated Three-Plus program. 

What is a Four-Plus (4+) Program? 

A Four-Plus (4+) program permits qualified (see Four-Plus (4+) Program Standards below) undergraduate students with Senior standing to take graduate coursework that will apply to both undergraduate and graduate degrees, per the programs’ articulations. (An example would be a  Dance undergraduate accelerating into a Master’s program in Adapted Physical Activity by taking graduate courses in the Senior year that count as earned credits in both the SRU undergraduate and graduate programs.) 

What are the Provisional Graduate Admission Requirements for a Four-Plus (4+) Program? 

A student must be provisionally accepted into a SRU graduate program related to the SRU graduate coursework for credits to count in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. 

Provisional graduate admission is granted to qualifying students with Senior status; however, students apply the semester prior to taking graduate courses (after completing a minimum of 72 undergraduate credits). 

Provisional admission does not guarantee formal admittance into the SRU graduate program upon completion of the undergraduate degree. To be eligible for formal acceptance into an SRU graduate program, the student will:  

  • Successfully meet all requirements of their undergraduate program(s);  
  • Meet all SRU graduate program admission requirements.  

A final determination for graduate program admission shall be in accordance with each SRU graduate program’s established policies, standards, and procedures.  

At any given time, undergraduate students may only take graduate courses in one SRU graduate program. 

Transfer students must have earned a minimum of 12 undergraduate credits from Slippery Rock University prior to seeking provisional graduate admission. 

What are Four-Plus (4+) Program Standards? 

  • A student must be of Senior standing and have earned a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA before taking SRU graduate courses. If the intended graduate program requires a higher GPA, the student must meet the higher GPA before taking graduate courses.  
  • A maximum of 6 credits may count toward both programs. (For example, completing both an SRU undergraduate degree program requiring 120 credits and a SRU graduate degree program requiring 30 credits could be accomplished with a combined total of 144 credits).  
  • Students may register for no more than 6 SRU graduate credits in any one term. 
  • Departments must designate which SRU graduate courses may be used for undergraduate Four-Plus programs (memo to UCC). 
  • An undergraduate program that is part of a Four-Plus program must request a revision of program via the established curricular process.  
  • SRU graduate courses in a Four-Plus program may fill undergraduate requirements as either 
  • Dual-listed courses (taught simultaneously to both undergraduates and graduates) in the undergraduate major, and/or 
  • Undergraduate major electives 
  • All prerequisites for the intended SRU graduate courses must be satisfied prior to taking those graduate courses. 
  • Grades earned in SRU graduate courses as part of the Four-Plus program will be entered into the student’s overall undergraduate and graduate grade point averages. 
  • SRU Undergraduate and graduate degree requirements shall adhere to academic standards set forth for both independent degree programs for all students in the respective programs. 
  • The total number of credits required for both the SRU undergraduate and graduate degrees can be reduced by the number of graduate credits used to satisfy requirements for the undergraduate degree.  
  • Undergraduate courses may not satisfy requirements for the SRU graduate degree.  
  • At least 48 credits of advanced coursework is required for a baccalaureate degree. Graduate coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the Four-Plus program may be used toward the advanced coursework requirement.
  • At least 50 percent of the Master’s Degree coursework (excluding thesis, research, or internship hours) must be completed at Slippery Rock University. 
  • If a student is not formally admitted or chooses not to enroll in the respective graduate program, any earned graduate coursework will continue to count toward the minimum credit requirement of the undergraduate degree program. 
  • Eligible graduate coursework taken by undergraduate students enrolled in the Four-Plus program will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate and may be eligible for undergraduate financial aid and scholarships. Once the undergraduate degree is conferred and the student is considered a graduate student, students will be charged the graduate tuition rate and may be eligible for graduate financial aid and scholarships. 
  • Students may be eligible for undergraduate or graduate financial aid, in accordance with federal regulations; all students within each program must be charged in the same fashion. 

What is an Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) Program?

An Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) bachelor's to graduate program permits accepted undergraduate students of freshman standing to declare a first and second major with the intent to complete graduate coursework that may apply to both Slippery Rock University (SRU) undergraduate and graduate programs.  (Examples would include but are not limited to the Biology Pre-Physician Assistant (SRU) 3+2, Exercise Science Pre-Physical Therapy (SRU) 3+3, and Health Care Administration and Management Pre-Occupational Therapy (SRU) 3+3 programs). 

What are the Provisional Graduate Admission Requirements for an Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) Program? 

A student may be accepted into an Accelerated Three-Plus undergraduate program if they meet undergraduate admission criteria. Accelerated Three-Plus students must declare a first major in addition to the corresponding Accelerated Three-Plus undergraduate program (second major). (An example would include Biology-Professional (first major) and Biology-Pre-PA-SRU 3+2 (second major)).

  • The Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) option is for first-semester freshmen or transfer military students only (restricted to fall-entry).  
  • Students must maintain the Accelerated Three-Plus program’s specified undergraduate GPA to continue in the Accelerated Three-Plus undergraduate program. This will be evaluated each semester and if a student’s Accelerated Three-Plus GPA falls below the specified GPA, they will be removed from the Accelerated Three-Plus program and remain in the first major unless they process a “change of first major” form. 
  • Students must satisfy all Accelerated Three-Plus program requirements within three academic years from commencing the program. 
  • Students can only be enrolled in an Accelerated Three-Plus program for a maximum of three (3) years, full-time continuous enrollment (fall/spring). 
  • Accelerated Three-Plus programs require students to apply for the associated SRU graduate program separately from the undergraduate admission process. Admission to the SRU graduate program is not guaranteed. 
  • A final determination for SRU graduate program admission is independent of the undergraduate admission process and shall be in accordance with each SRU graduate program’s established policies, standards, and procedures. 

What are the Standards for an Accelerated Three-Plus (3+) Programs? 

  • For SRU graduate credits to satisfy undergraduate program requirements, students must apply and be formally admitted to the respective SRU graduate program in accordance with that program’s admissions criteria; then complete the required undergraduate degree coursework (a minimum of 120 credits though some programs may require more). Please refer to the Undergraduate Catalog.  
  • To continue in the SRU graduate program, students must meet the graduate program’s academic standards. Please refer to the relevant graduate program guide.  
  • If the student does not meet the academic standards to progress in the SRU graduate program for courses needed to complete their undergraduate program, the undergraduate program Department Chairperson will determine which, if any, SRU graduate courses will count toward the completion of the undergraduate degree. Additionally, students must complete any unfulfilled requirements of their undergraduate major. 
  • Grades earned in SRU graduate courses as part of the Accelerated Three-Plus Program will be entered into the student’s overall undergraduate and graduate grade point averages. 
  • Degree requirements at both the undergraduate and graduate levels shall adhere to academic standards set forth for respective degree programs. 
  • Undergraduate credits may not be applied to satisfy the requirements for the graduate degree. 
  • The requirement of at least 48 credits of advanced coursework required for a baccalaureate degree, and at least 50 percent of coursework (excluding thesis, research, or internship hours) to complete a master’s degree must still be satisfied.  
  • Undergraduate students in their 4th year of an Accelerated Three-Plus program are eligible for undergraduate financial aid and renewable scholarships however, they pay graduate tuition.   
  • Undergraduate students in their 4th year of an Accelerated Three-Plus program will not be eligible for graduate financial aid until they complete their bachelor’s degree.  



Not Applicable


Office of the Provost


This policy applies to all students interested in a 4+ or 3+ Accelerated Program

Authority for creation and revision

Reviewed by:   Academic Policy Committee – Approved April 2, 2021

Approved by:   Provost Counsel – Approved May 26, 2021