Early Entry (4+1) Program

Program Description

This is a special, fast-track program for highly motivated undergraduate students who desire to pursue graduate studies at an accelerated pace. By taking certain graduate courses in their senior year in lieu of the corresponding undergraduate courses, a student can obtain his or her B.A. or B.S. degree and then, with an additional year of graduate studies, obtain a M.S. degree in Information Technology. Successful completion of this program may cut a year off the typical length in time required to obtain an M.S. degree in Information Technology from UNC Charlotte.
Market research by such organizations as the National Association of Colleges and Employers indicates that the average starting salary of graduates who hold a M.S. degree in computing and information technology is typically 35% or more higher than those who hold an undergraduate degree only. Therefore spending an extra year in school to obtain a master’s degree represents an investment with a very high return in value.



To be eligible for this program, an undergraduate student should, by the end of the first semester of his/her junior year
  • Have earned credit for (including courses received through placement or transfer) at least 75 hours of coursework applicable to an undergraduate degree offered by the Department;
  • Have achieved a minimum current GPA of 3.2; and
  • Have met with the M.S. Program Coordinator to receive advising and approval for applying to the early-entry program.


Timetable for Gaining Admission to the Early Entry Program

  • First semester of junior year -- meet with the M.S. Program Coordinator to receive advising about the early-entry program.
  • Junior year -- plan ahead which 4 graduate course substitutions will be used to meet requirements in the undergraduate program.
  • Second semester of junior year – Follow the steps below to submit, as soon as possible, an early-entry application:
    • Request the undergraduate advisor to issue a completed “Early Entry Eligibility Form”.
    • Complete and submit an “SIS Early Entry Program Form”. Note that this form is SIS-specific and it replaces a general, university-wide Early Entry Form.
    • Complete and submit an early-entry application for graduate study in MSIT to the Graduate School. The GRE requirement is waived for early-entry applicants.
  • Senior year or when you have 24-30 credit hours left for your undergraduate degree -- enroll in the early entry program; successfully complete requirements for B.A./B.S. degree, including taking max. 4 graduate level courses (12 credit hours) from the following list of approved courses that can be double-counted towards both undergraduate and M.S. degrees. (Graduate courses not on the list must not be taken until the successful completion of the student’s B.A./B.S. degree.)


Approved Substitute Courses

Early entry students must register for (up to 4) graduate level courses in the following table in order for the courses to be double-counted towards both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Credit hours earned for an undergraduate course cannot be counted towards a student's graduate degree.

 Graduate Level Substitutes


  Required Undergraduate Courses


ITIS 6120 Applied Databases

  ITCS 3160 Data Base Design and Implementation

ITIS 5166 Network-Based Application Development

  ITIS 4166 Network-Based Application Development

ITIS 5250 Computer Forensics

  ITIS 4250 Computer Forensics

 ITIS 5221 Secure Programming and Penetration Testing

 ITIS 4221 Secure Programming and Penetration Testing

 ITIS 6200 Principles of Information Security and Privacy

 ITIS 3200 Introduction to Information Security and Privacy

 ITIS 6342 Information Technology Project Management

 ITIS 3300 Software Requirements and Project Management

ITIS 6400 Principles of Human Computer Interaction

  ITIS 3130 Human-Computer Interaction


alumni scholarship fund

The Alumni Gives Scholarship allows students to pursue their dreams and contribute to the technology community.  This needs-based scholarship empowers students to overcome financial hurdles while pursuing their education goals and gives preference to underrepresented populations within the CCI student body. 

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