Combined Bachelor's and Master's Pathways Policy

Month/Year Posted: 
January, 2024
Policy Number: 
VPAA 23-05

Purpose of the Policy   No current university policy exists to guide the development of a combined Bachelor’s to Master’s degree pathway at Cal Poly Humboldt. Coded Memorandum AA 2012-01 specifies the minimum requirements for establishing a “blended degree model”, which at Cal Poly Humboldt shall be referred to as the Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Pathway (CBMP) Policy. The CBMP will support students in the pursuit of advanced degrees in the same or different fields, and will streamline their path toward achieving a Master’s degree in their area of study.

Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Pathway Policy

I.  Establishment of a CBMP

Academic units that choose to establish a CBMP must follow the campus ICC curricular approval timeline as for a new degree program beginning with a Curriculog submission. Combined pathways programs must meet the following minimum criteria:

  1. Curricula for a CBMP must adhere to existing campus curriculum policies for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees

          a. If permissible by the program and approved via existing campus curriculum processes, a student may double-count up to 12 semester units between the undergraduate and graduate degree. Therefore, a minimum of 138 semester units (e.g., BS 120 + MS 30, subtracting 12 units double counted) are required in blended programs with approval for double counting.

         b. As described in the CSU policy, “None of the required graduate courses can be replaced by an undergraduate course, and graduate courses that will also count toward the bachelor's degree must either require mastery of the more rudimentary knowledge taught at the undergraduate level or cover the content of the undergraduate courses that they replace.”

  2. The program must be submitted for approval through the ICC

  3. The Offices of Graduate Studies, Academic Programs, and the Registrar shall develop guidelines and processes for administration of a CBMP, in close consultation and collaboration with the Financial Aid Office and Student Financial Services.

II. Minimum Admissions Requirements to a CBMP

  1. Minimum admission requirements must be consistent with existing policy (including policy guiding combined programs, currently found in Coded Memorandum AA 2012-01).
  2. The student must successfully have completed a minimum of 60 undergraduate degree applicable units and not more than 90 undergraduate degree applicable units at the time of application.
  3. A program may stipulate more rigorous standards for admission than the minimum criteria.

III. Change to Graduate Status in CBMP

  1. The Registrar's Office in consulation with the Office of Graduate Studies shall develop processes for transitioning students from undergraduate to graduate status following all appropriate policies (including policy guiding combined programs, currently found in Coded Memorandum AA 2012-01).

IV. Award of Undergraduate Degree and Graduate Credits

  1. The student applies to graduate from the Bachelor’s degree the semester the student achieves senior standing (completion of 90 semester units). The Bachelor’s degree will be awarded when requirements for both degrees are complete.
  2. If a student admitted into a CBMP opts out of, or fails to complete, the Master's degree portion of the program, the following will apply:
          a. Upon evaluation of the Bachelor’s degree requirements, the Bachelor’s degree will be awarded with a degree-conferred date reflective of the term that all undergraduate degree requirements were complete.

              b. Credit earned for graduate coursework and used to complete the Bachelor's degree may not be used to satisfy unit requirements of the Master's degree

                c. Credit earned for graduate coursework, counting toward the Master’s degree shall be available for application to a Cal Poly Humboldt graduate program upon subsequent approval by the program and subject to general requirements for the Master’s degree programs as specified by Title 5. University policy limits the number of units transferred from the undergraduate to post-baccalaureate career to 9 semester units completed in the last semester of the undergraduate career. A student who reapplies after leaving the CBMP will reapply as a regular Master’s degree-seeking student subject to the admissions requirements of the program at Cal Poly Humboldt.

      Related Policies: NA

      Expiration Date: NA


      Integrated Curriculum Committee: 10/31/2023

      Reviewed by University Senate: 12/12/2023

      Approved by Provost/President: 12/14/2023