Office of the Provost

Creating a Combined Pipeline Program

How to propose a Combined pipeline program

UToledo has approval from the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to administer pipeline programs for the institution, separate approval at the state-level is not required. Chancellor's Council on Graduate Studies (CCGS) states that programs must be pre-approved by UToledo.

A combined or pipeline program refers to a program of study that includes a combination of undergraduate and graduate coursework and through which a student will be awarded sequential degrees.

The Ohio Department of Higher Education and its Chancellor’s Council on Graduate Studies Definitions:

  • Double-counting - using graduate credits toward fulfilling the requirements of both an undergraduate and graduate degree program
  • Combined program - the CCGS/ODHE official terminology is “combined bachelors-masters pipeline programs, but they are known across the state and country also as BAMA, Bachelor-Plus-Master’s (BPM), accelerated degrees, pipeline, or 4+1 programs, combined degree programs are ones in which an undergraduate student with junior standing, or higher, and the appropriate GPA may start a master’s program, after the admissions process, while still completing a bachelor’s program. We note that the term 4+1 designates a particularly type of combined bachelors-masters pipeline program that can be completed in one calendar year.  Please do not use the term 4+1 in describing a program that takes more than one year.

Combined Program Definition

In order to be considered combined programs by CCGS/ODHE, the programs must meet the following requirements:

  1. A minimum of 30 graduate credits applied towards the master’s degree
  2. A minimum of 120 credits applied towards the undergraduate degree
  3. A maximum of nine graduate credits can double count towards fulfilling requirements of both the undergraduate and graduate degree for combined programs with 150 total credits prior to double counting (i.e., 30 graduate degree + 120 undergraduate degree credits)
  4. Programs that choose to allow for the double-counting of graduate credits must have a minimum of 141 “unique hours,” or total credits after double-counting (i.e., 30 graduate degree +111 unique undergraduate degree credits)
  5. Programs must set admissions standards for the combined program that is higher than the standards for the normal graduate program.

Graduate Credit Pathway

Undergraduate students may double-count up to nine graduate credit hours toward a bachelor’s degree, provided a qualified university advisor affirms that the credit hours will satisfy bachelor’s degree requirements. Graduate credit hours taken outside of an approved combined degree program will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by any graduate program that might subsequently admit the student. The undergraduate student must meet the minimum program requirements from which the graduate course is housed.

How to propose a Combined pipeline program

  1. Undergraduate program submits a program modification through CIM noting the combined program and the graduate level courses that will count toward the undergraduate and the graduate degree.

  2. Graduate program submits a program modification noting the combined program information and the graduate courses that will be available to undergraduate students that will also count toward the graduate degree. 

Once the modifications are approved at all levels the Provost Office will submit appropriate documentation to the ODHE and HLC.

Adding the Combined Pipeline program to CIM

To enter a pipeline program in CIM, select to modify the graduate program for which you wish to create a pipeline program.  Under the requirement section in CIM, indicate that you wish to create a combined bachelor’s / master’s pipeline program, indicate the number of credit hours of courses that undergraduate students can count toward the master’s degree (limit is 9 hours, no exceptions per the CCGS), and indicate which courses undergraduate students can take at the graduate level as part of the pipeline program.

You will also have to submit a program modification via CIM for the corresponding undergraduate program to indicate the graduate-level courses that will count to toward the undergraduate degree. If the pipeline includes more than one undergraduate degree, each undergraduate program will need to submit a program modification.

Use the same template text on both the undergraduate and graduate program modifications.

In the Requirement section of the CIM program form, after list of program requirements, add the following detail:

  • Add header "Combined bachelor's to master's - {name of program}"
  • Add template text to bottom of requirement section

Template text to use on program modifications:

Combined bachelor's to master's- {name of program}

Undergraduate students accepted to the {name of combined/pipeline program} option will be admitted to the {name(s) of graduate program(s)} and allowed to complete up to three graduate level classes (nine credit hours) during their final academic year of undergraduate studies. Students admitted into the pipeline program must apply for admission to the College of Graduate Studies for the semester that they intend to matriculate. They will then continue in  to the graduate program upon completion of the undergraduate degree requirements. The graduate coursework (up to nine hours) may be applied to completion of both undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. It will be the joint responsibility of the faculty and administrators in the undergraduate and graduate programs to supervise students admitted to the combined program option, to ensure that the limit of nine hours taken as an undergraduate is strictly enforced, and to request that the College of Graduate Studies change their matriculation from Undergraduate to Graduate when they meet all undergraduate degree requirements. 

The following provisions apply for classes taken for graduate credit: 1) graduate classes taken at The University of Toledo only after the student is accepted in the program, 2) {list courses}  (use a course list or list subject code and numbers) may be included in the approved nine semester hours of graduate credit taken as an undergraduate. Students interested in the combined program must submit a graduate admission application to the College of Graduate Studies. 

Information as it relates directly to combined pipeline program students:

  1. Students will complete application for admission to the graduate program. Once the student is admitted to the graduate program, there will be two matriculations, (1) undergraduate program will remain primary and (2) graduate program becomes secondary.
  1. When the student applies for graduation from the undergraduate program an automatic registration hold is placed on student records. However, as there is a second active program tied to the student’s record, the Registrar’s Office will send the list of students with an active graduate matriculation to COGS to ensure that future registration at the graduate-level is not restricted.
  1. At this time, graduate program will become primary and graduate-level tuition and fees will be charged going forward. 
Last Updated: 1/18/24