SMSC Program


Earn Your Master's Degree in a Year

You don't have to wait until graduation to start earning your master's degree. Currently enrolled students in the School of Media & Strategic image.gifCommunications can earn a Master of Science degree in mass communications through the 4+1 Program. Once accepted into the program, students concurrently earn their bachelor's and master's degrees with only one additional year of study beyond the undergraduate degree program. 

How It Works

The 4+1 program is a five-year program that empowers students to complete a master's degree in one year rather than the traditional two years. To complete a bachelor's degree and master's degree in a five-year timeline, undergraduate students enroll in a limited amount of graduate coursework that counts toward both degrees. Students in this accelerated master's degree program take one graduate class each semester during their senior year plus a 1-hour intro course in the Fall semester their senior year. In most cases, students accepted into the program will then graduate with a master's degree the following year.

The 4+1 Program Advantages

Get Two Degrees: A student's bachelor's degree conferral is independent of their master's degree. So, upon completing the 4+1 program, students graduate with advanced knowledge in the communication field, earning both a B.S. and M.S. degree. 

Learn at an Accelerated Pace: Traditional graduate programs take two years to complete. However, students in the 4+1 Program graduate with a master's degree with only one additional year of study.

Reduce Costs: Not only is the 4+1 program a fast-track way earn a master's degree, but this accelerated master’s program also reduces the costs of earning a graduate degree. Additionally, the application fees are waived for students who apply to the 4+1 Program. 

4+1 Program Application Process

Currently enrolled students at the School of Media & Strategic Communications should apply during the Spring semester in which they will complete a total of 90 hours of undergraduate coursework (usually the spring semester prior to their senior year). Grades earned in major related courses will be taken into account when a student applies to the 4+1 program.

To apply, students will need to submit:

  • A completed OSU Graduate College application, which can be filled out at
  • Official College Transcripts
  • A Statement of Purpose
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • A Writing Sample