Hood College 4PLUS Program


As a Hood student, you’ll have the option to pursue combined or accelerated degree programs that let you work concurrently toward your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in four-plus years.

Watch our short Hood Grad School 101 video presentation to learn more!


Thanks to the small classes and readily available faculty you were accustomed to during your undergraduate studies at Hood, you can count on continued personal attention and advice when selecting the courses and specialty track that best suit your career goals.

As bachelor’s degrees become more common and the job market more competitive, a master's degree is becoming increasingly valuable when it comes to working your way into a high-paying career. But there's a downside: two more years in school means more lost income and probably more student debt, as well.

Hood’s 4PLUS program will save you the cost and study time of graduate admission tests, application fees and extra courses. By working with your adviser, you can start taking courses toward your master's in your junior or senior year and earn dual-course credit for both your undergraduate and master's degree in several majors. A minimum undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for consideration into the 4Plus program path.

Recent Hood alums, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in the last three years, are welcomed back to campus (or online) to pursue a graduate degree. Alumni of the Last Three Years (ALTY) scholars will benefit from the following: last three graduate credits at no cost, undergraduate credits applied to master's degrees (based on major and grad degree), expedited admission decision for recent alumni, priority consideration for TA/GA positions, and priority registration as a current Hood student.

In most cases, a master’s degree can be completed in the fifth year; an additional semester beyond the fifth year will be required depending on summer enrollment and program selected. For more information, contact your academic adviser or email gofurther@hood.edu.

Explore 4PLUS Degrees & Application Process

Hood undergraduate students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, interested in applying to the 4PLUS dual degree program should follow these easy steps:

1. Indicate interest in the 4PLUS program on the Major Declaration Form by the second semester of your sophomore year; if you have already declared a major, skip to number 2.

2. By your second semester of  your sophomore year, complete the 4PLUS Dual Degree Request Form

3. Once approved to pursue the 4PLUS program, complete the 4PLUS Undergraduate/Graduate Dual Degree Enrollment Form with your academic adviser for programs that allow the use of 9 graduate credits to be used for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

4. At the start of your final semester of senior year, apply to your Hood graduate program of choice by completing the graduate online application form.

To learn more about the 4PLUS program, contact:
Nick Masucci '17, Assistant Director of Graduate Admission
4PLUS Grad School Liaison
(301) 696-3601

Open to undergraduate biology and biochemistry majors, first-year and transfer students.

Entrance into the booming biomedical field is competitive, but achievable, with this master's degree in biomedical science. Thinking about medical school? This is another path that will make your med school application more competitive than your peers. Research partnership with government and private labs in the region permit a variety of research and thesis options.

Open to all undergraduate majors, first-year and transfer students.

An MBA remains the gold standard for advancement in many corporations. In every class working toward your MBA, you’ll be in the driver’s seat, looking at actual organizations in real time through projects that examine organizations’ strategies, finances, operations or management. Group projects prepare you for team initiatives, analytical and integrative competencies, as well as the collaboration and communication skills necessary in the workplace.

Open to undergraduate Art Therapy majors, first-year and transfer students.

The Art Therapy/Counseling program is designed for highly motivated students pursuing an Art Therapy major who desire to earn a master's degree in Counseling at an accelerated pace. It is not appropriate for students who wish to call themselves art therapists professionally.

Students can follow either the Clinical Mental Health Counseling track or the School Counseling Track within the Hood Counseling program. 

Open to undergraduate psychology majors, first-year and transfer students.

The opportunities for employment are great in the current market. There are many different fields for you upon graduation, all offering the distinct possibility to engage in a rewarding and challenging career for many years to come.

The counseling/clinical mental health program will prepare you to work in community mental health programs, hospitals, substance abuse clinics, at-risk youth programs, social services agencies, private counseling practices and similar settings. 

Open to undergraduate psychology majors, first-year and transfer students with special application.

School counselors are agents of change and empower their students and advocate on their behalf. A degree in counseling will help you embark on a successful and rewarding career.

The master's in counseling/school counseling is highly competitive and selective and will prepare you to provide meaningful student counseling services and contribute significantly to education teams in elementary, middle and secondary schools. It includes the opportunity for specialty training in thanatology, knowledge that is increasingly helpful in student crisis response and grief/bereavement counseling situations.  

Open to all undergraduate majors, first-year and transfer students.

The cybersecurity program deepens knowledge of the procedures, tools, and standards used in the field. Students learn systems and network security, computer forensics, cryptography, ethical hacking, and contemporary technologies and techniques in web, wireless and mobile security.

Grounded in a thorough understanding of the technical and managerial aspects of cybersecurity, graduates leave Hood ready to tackle the complex cyber challenges in business, industry, government, education, health, and other fields.

For eligibility, requirements, and timeline, see the specific program details here.

Open to undergraduate environmental science and policy majors, first-year and transfer students.

You’ll be educated in processes that keep our air, water, land and their respective resources clean and sustainable. You will become well versed in the latest research on environmental biology’s most pressing issues, which include climate change and invasive ecology. You’ll learn current, effective techniques for analyzing these pressing environmental issues. As you were accustomed to during your undergraduate studies, you will continue to value close partnerships with faculty with multiple opportunities for research and field work.

Entrance into the booming environmental field is competitive, but achievable, with Hood's master's degree in environmental biology. Hoping to work for a non-profit or federal agency, like the EPA or National Park Service? This master's will strengthen your undergrad degree and put you ahead of the competition for those rigorous placements.

The information technology master's degree is open to all undergraduate majors, first-year and transfer students.

Employment in computer and information technology is one of the fastest growing fields. Get ahead by earning your master’s degree, which will help you differentiate yourself from the competition.

The elective sequence may include a thesis, fieldwork or software engineering project.

Program Overview

The Biology department and the School of Behavioral Health and Sciences offers a dual degree (B.A./M.S.) for motivated, academically talented students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 in the Sustainability Studies major. Students will accelerate completion of the undergraduate Bachelor of Arts major in Sustainability Studies and the Master of Science in Nutrition, Sustainability Studies and Applied Nutrition track. Due to the condensed nature of the 4Plus program path, interested students are strongly encouraged to plan their coursework with their faculty advisor during their first semester at the College.

4Plus approved students must meet the M.S. in Nutrition science admission course requirements, which includes:

  • 2 Chemistry courses (e.g. CHEM 101 and BIOL 412)
  • 2 Biology courses (e.g. BIOL 201 and BIOL 411)
  • 1 Principles of Nutrition course

Total = 11 credits

The 4Plus pathway offers an opportunity to apply up to 9 credits of graduate coursework to apply to both the B.A. and M.S. degrees.  In addition, students may request to complete graduate coursework as undergraduate students, for graduate credit only, to help accelerate the progress towards the M.S. completion.  Students should plan on taking graduate level coursework during their junior and senior years. The exact trajectory of each student, including whether both degrees can be accomplished within 5 years, will depend on course availability, need for developmental coursework, timeline to graduation, and student preference.

Courses that are cross-listed and may apply towards both degrees are:

  • ENSP 403/ENV 503 Pollution Biology
  • SUS 410/NUTR 510 Bioengineering for Sustainability
  • SUS 415/NUTR 515 Urban Agriculture

**Note – students should enroll in the graduate level courses (500-level) to count towards both degrees; students must have submitted the 4Plus Dual Degree Request form and have been approved to pursue this 4Plus pathway to enroll in graduate coursework that will apply to both degrees.

Some graduate level courses that students may take as undergraduates, but for graduate credit only are:

  • NUTR 500 Sustainable Food Systems & Food Security
  • NUTR 505 Leadership, Management & Advocacy Seminar
  • NUTR 509 Program Planning, Management & Eval
  • ENV 505 Biostatistics

**Note - students should not expect to be able to take additional graduate coursework for graduate credit only due to the undergraduate coursework that is required, however, in some rare circumstances, some high achieving students who have processed through their undergraduate requirements quickly, may be able to.

Approval to pursue the 4Plus program path for the M.S. in Nutrition does not guarantee admission to the degree program; students must officially apply to the Nutrition program through the graduate school office (www.hood.edu/gradapply).  

Blair Kreh

Graduate Student Focus | Blair Kreh

Blair Kreh, Biomedical Science M.S. Graduate School Graduate Student Undergraduate Student

"Every time I entered a class or lab, I felt inspired to learn. Adapting to an energetic and diverse environment taught me an important life lesson that growth is not necessarily a result of what you learn but how you learn. As I now approach the end of my master’s degree program, I am even more grateful for every professor—biology, chemistry and physics—who helped guide me through my journey at Hood College."

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Samantha Brandt

Introducing New GSA President | Samantha Brandt

Samantha Brandt, Hood GSA President Graduate School Graduate Student

Hood MBA student, Samantha Brandt, is the new Graduate Student Association (GSA) President. Samantha is also a Hood ALTY scholar as she completed her undergraduate studies in Biology at Hood College.

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4PLUS Program

Spotlight on 4PLUS Program

Hood 4PLUS Program Faculty Graduate School Graduate Student Undergraduate Student

April Boulton, Ph.D., dean of The Graduate School answers questions about Hood's 4Plus dual-degree program.

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