GW Business’ 4+1 Program Expanding to More Schools and Colleges

The combined degree program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to earn an accelerated master's degree.

April 3, 2023

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Students in the 4+1 combined degree program will be able to utilize interdisciplinary education opportunities at GW. (File photo by Harrison Jones/GW Today)

The George Washington University School of Business’ 4+1 combined degree program is expanding to include Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science students from Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Elliott School of International Affairs, School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Milken Institute School of Public Health.

This means that students across these schools can join GW Business students in earning a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree in five years.

“The GW Business 4+1 Program responds to employers' call for multidisciplinary education,” said GW Business Dean Anuj Mehrotra. “It provides students with the opportunity to graduate with complementary degrees that position graduates with competitive qualifications as they enter the job market. We are thrilled to extend this combined degree offering to B.S. and B.A. undergraduate students in CCAS, the Elliott School, GW Engineering and Milken Institute SPH.”

Victoria Abril, B.B.A. ’19, M.B.A. ’20, is one such former accounting student who benefited greatly from her 4+1 experience. The GW alumna, who now works as a federal audit senior associate at KPMG, enrolled in the combined degree program to easier reach the 150 credits needed to take the C.P.A. exam.

While it made her path to the exam more manageable, Abril was grateful for the opportunity to take advantage of elective classes she otherwise may not have had time to take. She cited a government accounting course as a particularly meaningful elective, especially since she now works in KPMG’s federal audit space.

“Having taken those elective courses really gave me the opportunity and kind of the leg up in my current role,” Abril said. “Everything that I've learned in the classroom at GW I've been able to put into action during my time at KPMG.”

Students are encouraged to apply for the program during their junior year of undergrad. The 4+1 program also allows students to take advantage of financial benefits such as reducing the number of graduate credits needed to complete a degree and taking advantage of the Grad2Grad 10% tuition discount. The shared credits taken during undergraduate degree are included in undergraduate tuition cost. GW Business will also further support the students pursuing the 4+1 program by offering 25% to 50% tuition scholarship for the graduate classes beyond the ones taken by students as part of their undergraduate degree.

Raymond Sanders, B.B.A. ’22, earned his bachelor’s degree in international business last spring and will be graduating with a project management master’s this spring. A member of the GW men’s rowing team, Sanders admits he probably wouldn’t have pursued the program had it not been for the cancelation of the 2020 season following the onset of COVID-19.

When he learned the NCAA would grant student-athletes whose 2020-2021 season was impacted by the pandemic, he charted a path to stay at GW another year (the GW men’s rowing team has since moved to a club organization).

He’s glad he did, because he’s discovered that project management is something he both enjoys and finds practical. Sanders has long wanted to work in healthcare administration, and a capstone project of his at GW Hospital looked through a project management lens.

“That really connected what I want to get into,” Sanders said.

Because most programs allow students to share credit hours between their undergraduate and graduate degrees, Abril and Sanders both found benefits learning from graduate student peers who already had industry experience and expertise to share. This made for what Abril called a much more collaborative environment in the classroom. Sanders agreed.

“One of the coolest things has been networking with students who are much older than me, and they are in the middle of their careers working on Capitol Hill or at the Pentagon,” Sanders said. “And I’m just 22 years old able to learn from their experiences.”

Now with an expanded program, more students will have the opportunity to have similar experiences as Abril and Sanders, which Abril says is only a good thing.

“I think it's only a positive experience to stay at GW another year,” Abril said. “You're familiar with the school, the way you're being taught, and I think it only gets better when you stay for another year.”