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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Sociology

Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Study Plan

This program allows USC undergraduates to take up to 12 hours of course work (at 500-level or higher) and receive both undergraduate and graduate credit for those hours. This makes it possible for students who are admitted into the graduate program in sociology to earn a Masters Degree in only one additional year of study.


Who should consider doing the program?

Anyone who is thinking about graduate school, either for a Masters or PhD. If this is you, talk to your academic advisor, or contact the Graduate Program Director Brent Simpson at


Why consider a Masters in Sociology?

Besides the advanced training and skills you will get, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that those with a Masters in Sociology have higher employability prospects and earn substantially higher salaries than those with a B.A. or B.S. degree. The earnings of those with PhDs are higher still.


Who is eligible?

Eligible undergraduate students must have completed at least 90 hours of undergraduate course work, and must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 (overall as well as in their undergraduate major). Also requires approval of undergraduate advisor, the Graduate Director of the relevant program, the Dean of the Graduate School, and the instructor for each course to be taken. Your academic advisor can help you with securing these signatures.


What’s it all about?

Admission to the Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Study Plan allows undergraduate USC students to take up to twelve (12) graduate hours of course work and receive both undergraduate and graduate credit for those 12 hours. The credits can be applied to the student's baccalaureate program and, with graduate program admission and approval, to a graduate degree. Note that only one 500-level course can be applied to a MA in Sociology at the University of South Carolina.


Will I have to write a thesis?

No, only those students who apply to and are admitted in the MA or PhD program will write a thesis as part of those advanced degrees. Participating in the Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Study Plandoes not commit you to writing a thesis.


How do I participate in the program?

Note that admission to the Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Study Plan does not require application nor admission to a graduate program, nor does it guarantee admission to a graduate program. (A student wishing to be formally admitted to a graduate program applies to that program through the regular graduate admission process.)


Two forms must be completed and approved prior to registering for classes: i) the Plan Authorization form (G-BGPA) and ii) the Course Work Authorization form (G-BGCA). The required signatures should be obtained in the order indicated on the forms. The forms must be processed at the time of registration in order for the Office of the Registrar to properly code the student for enrollment in a graduate course. The forms may not be used retroactively for courses already taken or for courses in which the student is currently enrolled.


The forms can be found here:


Note that the G-BGPA form need be completed only once. Enrollment in graduate course work in subsequent terms under this plan requires only the submission of the completed and signed G-BGCA form.