Fifth-Year Master’s Programs: Getting a Head Start on Your Career

In today’s competitive job market, an opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years can give you a valuable head start on your career. In most fields, students who have a master’s degree can expect a significant pay increase over those with only a bachelor’s degree. They also have a better chance of getting preferred jobs earlier in their career. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 18 percent of all jobs will require a master’s degree by 2022.

A fifth-year program at Azusa Pacific University allows you to complete your bachelor’s degree and, with just one additional year of study, earn your master’s degree. Here’s what you need to know about the opportunity.

Why Consider a Fifth-Year Program at APU?

We get it—you don’t arrive at college with the hopes of spending more time there than necessary. You want to graduate so you can start your career. But one additional year at APU can provide you with a huge advantage. Consider the following three benefits:

1. You’ll progress more quickly. Fifth-year programs allow students to get started on their career goals much sooner. Since many fields require graduate degrees for entry or advancement, your fifth year could help you make bigger career moves soon after graduation day.

2. You’ll capitalize on academic momentum. When students take time off between a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, they tend to fall out of the rhythm of academic work. While some academic tasks may be easy to pick back up, others will take some time. Learning how to discipline yourself all over again—from completing daily reading assignments and studying for tests—may be tough if you’ve been out of sync for a while.

3. You’ll likely lower your graduate school costs. Many of APU’s fifth-year programs allow students to earn undergraduate and graduate credit for the same courses late in the bachelor’s degree program. For example, if you enroll in the 4+1 B.A./M.A. in English program, you can take up to three courses that will count for both degrees. You also won’t have to pay an application fee (or request transcripts) as part of the application process.

A Sampling of APU’s Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Programs

There are a number of different fifth-year programs and concentrations to choose from at Azusa Pacfic University. Here are a few of the options available to you.

M.A. in English

As mentioned above, APU’s fifth-year M.A. in English program will prepare you with advanced knowledge in the fields of literary studies, encompassing literature, composition, cultural and film studies, and creative and professional writing. Students take part in an active conversation exploring the connections between faith and literature that helps scholars, writers, and teachers better engage the culture from a Christian perspective.

This option can significantly cut your costs by allowing you to take certain graduate courses as an undergraduate. After students take up to nine graduate credits their senior year, they’ll need just another 21 credits in their fifth year to complete the M.A. in English.

Master of Professional Accountancy

Pursuing a Master of Professional Accountancy (MAcc) degree at APU can prepare you for a career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Students in this program not only get the necessary classroom instruction (and access to a helpful CPA review course), but they also participate in an accounting firm internship. To date, 100 percent of APU’s graduates from the MAcc program have received accounting job and internship offers before graduation.

Master of Business Administration

Earning a Christ-centered Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree can prepare you to helm successful businesses and lead corporate transformations. Best of all, online, afternoon, and evening courses make it possible to complete your MBA degree in just 12 months after finishing your undergraduate studies.

Curious to learn about other master’s degree programs at Azusa Pacific University that can be completed in just one additional year? Explore the university’s website and check out its full list of master’s degree programs, including opportunities like an M.A. in Pastoral Studies and an M.S. in Research Psychology and Data Analysis.