Current UVA undergraduate students can apply to a Master of Engineering (M.E.), Master of Computer Science (M.C.S.), or Master of Materials Science and Engineering (M.M.S.E.) degree program in the third year of your undergraduate studies. These programs require 30 credits of coursework (35 credits for biomedical engineering) as part of an approved plan of study, and with the right planning, you may be able to get a head start on taking graduate-level courses while finishing your bachelor’s degree. Save time and money by accelerating your time to completion of a master’s degree!

How it works

Interested UVA undergraduate students should apply to UVAccelerate in March of your third year. Once admissions decisions are released, students admitted through the UVAccelerate program will be offered academic advising from graduate program faculty to identify the fastest path to your master’s degree. While applying in your third year of undergraduate studies may seem early, getting an early admissions decision and personalized advising allows you to minimize your time to degree by taking advantage of things like advanced placement credit and undergraduate electives. Some students who participate in UVAccelerate are able to earn a master’s degree in as little as one additional semester beyond their bachelor’s degree.

Benefits to you 

By earning your master’s degree in engineering, you have access to more interesting and challenging job opportunities, accelerated career advancement, and higher earning potential throughout your career. UVA Engineering graduate students report an average starting salary $30,000 higher than bachelor’s graduates in their first job after finishing their degree. UVAccelerate can help you get there as quickly as possible!

How to apply

Complete a graduate application through our online application system starting as early as December 1st. On the Program page of the online application, be sure to check the box indicating that you’re applying through the UVAccelerate program. We also made it easier for you to apply by waiving two of the three required letters of recommendation, making the GRE test-optional, and waiving the $85 application fee for UVA Engineering and BACS undergraduates who apply to UVAccelerate!

Apply Now!

March 1, 2024 is the deadline for undergraduates who are currently in their third year to apply to UVAccelerate. The application is officially open. Please click on the link below to apply today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply to a different graduate program than my undergraduate major? 

Yes. You are not limited to your undergraduate major and are free to apply to any graduate program of your choosing.

Am I eligible to apply for UVAccelerate in my second year if I plan to complete my program in three years?

No. The program is designed specifically for third-years. If you are a second-year interested in pursuing an M.E., we encourage you to apply for your program of interest during the standard admissions cycle.  

How many letters of recommendation are required as part of my UVAccelerate application?  

Only one letter of recommendation is required; however, you are welcome to submit additional recommendation letters if preferred.

Does my letter of recommendation need to be from a faculty member?  

Your letter of recommendation does not need to be from a faculty member. However, if you request a faculty member write your recommendation letter, consider including faculty with whom you have taken more than one course or worked closely with on projects. For tips on applying to a graduate program, please visit our Graduate Admissions website here.

What is the cost associated with applying to UVAccelerate?  

The UVA Engineering graduate application fee is $85; however, the application fee is automatically waived for all SEAS and BACS undergraduate students applying to the program.

How soon will I be notified of my admissions decision?  

Admissions decisions are typically made within 30 days of the March 1st application deadline. Once a decision has been made, you will receive an email that will direct you to the application portal.

I just received a letter stating that I have been admitted to UVAccelerate. What are my next steps? 

Congratulations! Please log in to the application portal, respond to your offer of admission, and look forward to ‘next steps’ emails from the Office of Graduate Programs. 

How much does the master’s program cost?  

For information regarding Tuition & Fees, please visit the SEAS Graduate Admissions website here.  Some graduate programs do offer scholarships; however, the Master of Engineering program in the Engineering School is self-funded. 

Do I have to pay to take graduate courses as a UVAccelerate student?  

Graduate courses are typically covered by undergraduate tuition. However, this is not the case for all undergraduate students. Please contact Student Financial Services (sfs@virginia.edu) to verify that graduate courses will be covered by your tuition and/or financial aid.

Students using VA benefits should contact UREG-Veterans Benefits (veteransbenefits@virginia.edu) to verify if your benefits will cover the tuition costs for graduate courses.  

Can I be a part-time student in the master’s program?  

Yes. Once you’ve matriculated into the master’s program, you can switch enrollment status from full-time to part-time. 

Can I transfer to a different graduate program within the Engineering School?  

If you're a current UVAccelerate student and you decide to transfer to another program within UVA Engineering before starting the master’s program, you will need to receive approval from both programs. Please contact gradengineeringinfo@virginia.edu to notify them of your request, and they will assist you with the program transfer process.  

Once you start your master’s program, you may not transfer to a new program within UVA Engineering until you have spent at least one semester in your current program. Any student wishing to transfer after this minimal time period must complete the Request Program Plan Change Form. Graduate Student forms are on the Office of Graduate Programs website here.

Can I work and still pursue a master’s degree?  

Yes. If you cannot take courses on-ground and have matriculated into the master’s program, you may want to consider applying to the Virginia Engineering Online (VEO) program instead. VEO is designed for working professionals looking to receive their Master of Engineering degree online. For more information about this option, please visit the VEO website here.    

Can I take online graduate courses?  

If you are an on-grounds undergraduate student or a master’s student, you will not be able to enroll in online courses. Online courses are offered only to VEO students.  

I’m on track to graduate with my undergraduate degree and master’s degree. Can I graduate with both degrees in the same semester?  

Per university policy, you cannot graduate with two degrees in the same semester. If you’re on track to graduate with both degrees, please contact gradengineeringinfo@virginia.edu, and we will assist you with the next steps. 

I am a current UVAccelerate student that will soon be graduating and (1) have decided to attend another university for graduate school or (2) received a job offer that will impact my ability to matriculate in the fall semester as expected. What steps should I take? 

The program is created to be nonbinding as we are very understanding that plans can change. Please inform your graduate advisor and contact gradengineeringinfo@virginia.edu once you receive this information so the update to your admissions status can be reflected in our records.

How do I transfer graduate courses I’ve taken as an undergraduate student to my master’s program? 

In the final semester of your undergraduate studies, you will receive an email from the Office of Graduate Programs regarding the process for transferring graduate courses you’ve taken as an undergrad to your master’s program. Please note course credits cannot be counted toward both your undergraduate and graduate record.

How many graduate courses can I enroll in as a UVAccelerate student? 

Each school has its policy on how many credit hours an undergraduate student can enroll in each semester. SEAS students are not to exceed the max of 19 credit hours  without special permissions, and BACS students are limited to 15 credits during initial  course enrollment and 17 credits during open enrollment. For more information regarding guidelines for course enrollment, please visit the University Registrar's website here or refer to your school's undergraduate record. 

Please note, most UVAccelerate students take an average of 1-3 graduate-level courses per semester. 

Is the graduate course enrollment process the same for both SEAS and BACS students admitted to UVAccelerate? 

Yes. Enrollment for graduate courses is handled for both SEAS and BACS students by the SEAS Undergraduate Registrar. 

What is the process for enrolling in graduate courses as a UVAccelerate student? 

5000-Level Graduate Courses 

UVAccelerate students planning to enroll in 5000-level courses do not need special approvals to enroll. 

6000-Level Graduate Courses 

UVAccelerate students planning to enroll in 6000-level graduate courses will require special approvals and will need to submit the “Undergraduate Request to Take Graduate Course Form” to the SEAS Undergraduate Registrar by the date provided in the ‘registration next steps’ email. You should expect to receive this email from the Office of Graduate Programs at least two weeks prior to ENU open enrollment.  

Please note, open enrollment will vary depending on the semester in which you plan to take graduate-level courses. We ask that you refrain from submitting the referenced form until you receive communication on the next steps from the Office of Graduate Programs. 

I have been admitted to the program but plan to enroll in graduate courses in my final semester. What steps should I take? 

UVAccelerate provides you with the opportunity to take graduate courses where there is space in your course schedule regardless of semester. If you decide to take graduate courses during one semester and not the other, please reach out to us at gradengineeringinfo@virginia.edu so we can ensure the most updated information is reflected in our records.