Accelerate Your Degree

Students entering Florida State University as  first-semester freshmen who have completed substantial college-level coursework (30 hours or more) may be able to complete some of Florida State’s degree programs in three years or less. Students in this group typically have earned course credit through:

  • Credit “by examination” resulting from successful scores on Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE), Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or College Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams
  • Credit for college or university course work completed in concurrent enrollment during high school, including course work completed through dual-enrollment programs

Completing required coursework during summer sessions may also shorten time to degree.

Some students hesitate to graduate in three years because they want to ensure they have the complete college experience. Florida State offers ways for accelerated students to extend their experience on campus.

  • Combined Degree Programs – Florida State students have the opportunity to take graduate courses while still an undergraduate student by participating in a Combined Degree Program. For students who qualify academically, these programs can shorten the time to earn a Master’s degree.
  • FSU College of Law 3+3 Program – For students pursuing a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, the 3+3 program allows Florida State students to apply to the FSU College of Law after completing their undergraduate degree requirements and earning at least 90 credit hours. Upon successful completion of the first year of law school, the 30 credits earned will be counted toward the undergraduate degree, sufficient to complete university requirements for the bachelor’s degree.
  • Graduate School at FSU – Florida State University offers an extensive range of graduate and professional programs. Graduate education at FSU includes over 121 degree programs at the master’s level, 24 degree programs at the specialist level and 78 degree programs at the doctoral level.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • I am entering Florida State with a large number of credit hours. Does this guarantee an accelerated path to a degree?
  • While all programs require completion of the Liberal Studies curriculum, each program’s requirements vary in prerequisites and major coursework. Your incoming credits will be evaluated to see how (and whether) they apply to Liberal Studies and major requirements. This will determine whether acceleration is possible. Although credits from the sources listed above will transfer to Florida State University, those credits may not help to fulfill the requirements for your degree. For example, you may enter the university with college credits in a foreign language, however, those credits will not significantly advance progress toward a degree if 1) your program does not require foreign language and/or 2) your program does not require elective course work.
  • I am interested in accelerating my degree. What should I consider in making this decision?
  • To accelerate, you will need to know early what major you want to complete and must take appropriate course work, possibly even while in high school. Most students on this three-year track will not be able to explore alternative majors, so knowledge about and confidence in your chosen major is critical. You should also thoughtfully plan your degree completion with consideration to engagement outside the classroom, such as participation in research, internships, study abroad, membership in student clubs, and service learning, as well as eligibility for admission to graduate programs.
  • I want to accelerate my degree. What are my next steps?
  • Students interested in this opportunity should meet with an academic advisor regarding coursework and academic planning. Academic advisors can provide guidance and support considering major requirements, engagement on campus, and long-term goals as it pertains to accelerating your degree. Regular advising in your academic division throughout your academic career will help ensure timely completion of all requirements. If you are committed to the three-year track, Florida State University offers the Degree in Three program. Degree in Three, housed in the Graduation Planning and Strategies Office, provides the assistance of a graduation specialist who will support you in discussing your short- and long-term educational and engagement goals.