Ambitious SBS students have the option of declaring an accelerated graduate pathway. This allows the student to start taking graduate-level courses during the final semesters of undergraduate studies, potentially saving time and money.

USM offers SBS students five graduate pathways: Master of Science in Counseling, Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Social Work, Master of Special Education, and Juris Doctor of Law.

Participation in the accelerated pathway option DOES NOT guarantee admission to the graduate program. Each applicant joins the overall applicant pool for consideration for admission.

Please see your professional or faculty advisor for more information. 

MS Counseling Program 

Our Accelerated Graduate Pathway to the Counselor Education graduate program allows you to begin taking graduate-level courses during your final year of undergraduate studies. These courses will satisfy credit requirements for both the undergraduate program as well as the graduate program.

Master of Occupational Therapy Program

The Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) program offers an Accelerated Graduate Pathway for current USM students majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences or Health Sciences. These degrees tend to cover the majority of the MOT prerequisites as part of the degree program and save students time and money.

Master of Social Work Program  

For highly motivated undergraduate students who are already looking ahead to graduate school, USM offers an Accelerated Graduate Pathway from the Sociology and the Social and Behavioral Science majors to the MSW program that allows you to begin graduate study in your final year while completing your bachelor’s degree, saving you time and money. This means you’ll be ready for a career that much sooner, with your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hand.

J.D. of Law Program 

USM’s Accelerated Graduate Pathways to Law are for students who wish to complete both a Bachelor’s and a J.D. degree in six years rather than the usual seven. These detailed plans save students one academic year of undergraduate education, as well as one year’s worth of undergraduate fees, tuition, and expenses. Students who meet the requirements avoid the considerable time and expense attached to preparing multiple law school applications. The chance to enter their chosen professional field a year early gives them an experiential advantage and has a beneficial impact upon earning potential as well.

MS Special Education Program

Begin your special education career sooner with both your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in hand. Qualify for certification through the Maine Department of Education to teach students with mild-to-moderate disabilities in grades K-8 or 7-12. Our Special Education MS program is fully online.

How to Apply: (for matriculated SBS students)

  • On the Common App, select your preferred choice of major; then you will see the following option: “Please indicate your interest in one of the following accelerated pathway options at the University of Southern Maine” from which you can select a Pathway.
  • In the University of Maine System application, select your First Choice Major; then you will see the following drop-down menu: Accelerated Graduate Degree Pathway (First Choice Major), from which you can select a Pathway.
  • Declare the Accelerated Pathway option using the Declaration or Change of Major form, available from the Office of Registration. Using the line marked “Other” in the right hand column, indicate the specific Accelerated Pathway” and return the completed form to the Office of Registration for processing.
  • If you are a Transfer or Continuing Student, please contact the University of Southern Maine Advising Office to meet with an academic advisor who can review your previous coursework and determine your eligibility for entering an Accelerated Graduate Pathway. Please call (207) 780-4040 or email: