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Accelerated Dual Degree (3+2)

If you are an EKU undergraduate student majoring in chemistry or forensic science we offer you the opportunity to integrate the MS Chemistry degree with your current degree allowing you to complete the MS degree with one additional year as part of an accelerated dual degree program. Click here to review curriculum planners for each bachelor's degree program.  In this program, you take graduate core graduate courses in 4 out of the 5 sub-disciplines of chemistry, graduate elective courses, and complete one of the following tracks:

♦  Research - You complete an independent research project carried out in the laboratories of the chemistry department, which allows you to gain experience in modern experimental techniques.  The Chemistry Department requires research projects be written as a Master's Thesis.  Each candidate will give a public defense of the Master’s Thesis, which is evaluated by a faculty committee. This track is highly recommended for students seeking further advanced study in Chemistry or related Biomedical Sciences.

♦  Applied Learning (Internship) - You are provided with an opportunity to perform an internship or a capstone project deemed appropriate by a faculty committee at an industrial, government, or related chemical organization. This track is meant to prepare students for work in emerging and existing technical fields with a broader understanding of chemical laboratory practices. This track can accommodate individuals who have, or are able to obtain, employment in a chemistry-related field.

♦  Coursework Only Option - Students take two additional graduate level courses and a comprehensive exam.


Current EKU undergraduate students can apply to the 3+2 program if they have junior or senior standing and a GPA of 3.0.

1.     Complete the top portion of the 3+2 Enrollment Approval Form found on the Graduate School Forms: requires signature of your current advisor, the Chemistry Graduate Program Coordinator (Dr. Karim Abdelhay, NSB 5142,, 622-3907) and the Department Chair (Dr. Tanea Reed, NSB 4126,, 859-622-1456). 

2.     Once approved the Graduate School will forward the signed form to Registrar’s office. 

3.     Registration staff will process the major change for you and your degree audit will change. You will also be assigned a new advisor.

4.     Only after acceptance can you register for the 700-level courses. Some of our 700-level courses require department or chair approval which can be applied for using the Over-ride request form (

5.     Special note: the Graduate School will monitor your GPA and notify you of any academic standing changes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the 3+2 Programs

1.     Can I change into the 3+2 program in EKU Direct? No. Students must apply to the 3+2 program using the paper form.

2.     Can I register for 700-level courses without being accepted into the 3+2 program? No. Undergraduates cannot take 700-level courses. As a 3+2 student you are in a transition state between undergraduate and graduate and are allowed to register for graduate level courses.

3.     What happens if I take the course at the 500-level and then decide to apply to the 3+2? Since the 700-level courses require additional work the Graduate School will not accept the 500-level version. Exceptions are sometimes made in extreme circumstances.

4.     What happens if I decide not to do the 3+2 program? You can change back into an undergraduate program. There is very little risk.

5.     Please explain the financial benefits of the 3+2 program. There are three: 1) First you take graduate courses as an undergraduate at a lower tuition rate. 2) In your last semester as an undergraduate (typically the spring semester of your senior year) you can obtain a graduate assistantship, which has a tuition waiver and stipend. Graduate assistants work 20 hours for the chemistry department as lab instructors, tutors, graders and laboratory prep student workers. 3) The starting salary for master level applicants is almost always higher than bachelor level applicants.

6.     Can I receive a graduate assistantship while I am an undergrad? As a 3+2 student, in your last semester as an undergraduate (typically the spring semester of your senior year) you can obtain a graduate assistantship, which comes with a tuition waiver and stipend. These are highly competitive and are awarded based upon merit.

7.     Will I automatically be considered for a graduate assistantship? No. You must contact the graduate coordinator or department chair if you are interested in applying for a graduate assistantship. For more information see

8.     Do I have to apply to the Graduate School to enroll in the 3+2 program?  As a 3+2 student you are not enrolled in the Graduate School yet. You must apply for admission to Graduate School if you plan to complete a masters degree. You should apply to the graduate school during your last semester or right after completing your BS degree.  If you apply to the graduate school for the masters before graduation you will be admitted on a probationary bases until you complete all the requirements for the BS degree.  Once you are admitted to the graduate school, the graduate courses you took will be transferred into the master's degree program in DegreeWorks.  

9.     What happens if my GPA falls below 3.0? You will no longer be able to register for 700-level courses.

Since you can always change your mind there is very little risk to move into the 3+2 program! This is low-risk but high-gain program. 

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