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Special Academic Program: Path to Grad School

FSU’s Special Academic Program: Path to Graduate School is designed to recruit excellent international students to its masters’ degree programs. Program Participants take a full-time course load over two semesters made up of a combination of undergraduate prerequisites and, in most cases, graduate-level courses.

Students can participate in the Special Academic Program during their senior year (Path 1) or after they have graduated with a bachelor degree (Path 2).

Path 1 (In China, this kind of program is called 3+1+Master's): Seniors from one of FSU’s partner universities can complete the final year of their bachelor’s degree at FSU and transfer the credits back to the home university to graduate. Students must get permission from the home university to count the FSU coursework toward their graduation requirements.

Path 2 (In China, this kind of program is called 4+1+Master's): Graduates who have already finished their bachelor’s degree can participate in the Special Academic Program to complete master’s prerequisites and become better prepared for life and study in the U.S. Graduates do not need to be from one of FSU’s partner universities. Additionally, Graduate who have not met the English proficiency for their academic program will study English full time at the Center for Intensive English Studies located on FSU's campus. 

To view pictures and program information, click on our English or Chinese brochures below.


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Program Dates

Semester 1: August 22, 2022 – December 9, 2022

Semester 2: January 9, 2023 – May 5, 2023

Application Deadline

April 1, 2022 – Apply Now!


$32,500 program fee includes two semesters of classes at FSU, housing, meals during academic terms, program support, and access to FSU’s gym and other recreational activities for students.

Refund Policy

In the event a student is obligated to cancel his or her participation in the program prior to May 30 an 80% refund will be made. A cancellation made on or after May 30 will result in a refund of 50% of the program fee. No program fees shall be refunded after the start date of the program. This is an academic year program and failure to progress to spring semester shall not result in a refund. (An exception to this refund policy will be made for students who show proof of being denied a student visa.)

Master's Degree

Students who successfully complete the program and meet all of the admission requirements to enter the graduate program are encouraged to apply for graduate admission to FSU. Acceptance into the Special Academic Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Master program, however, 97% of program participants who applied to an FSU master’s program were accepted.

Students can typically graduate with a master’s degree in three additional semesters. This results in a cost-savings of approximately $12,000 in tuition and fees alone. 

  • Communications, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Public Administration: up to 12 credit hours (4 classes) of graduate coursework may be taken during the second semester of the Special Academic Program provided a B or above is earned. This reduces the graduate program by at least one semester. 
  • Chemical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering: up to 9 credits count toward the master's degree program provided a B or above is earned. This reduces the graduate program by at least one semester.
  • Business Analytics, Finance, and MBA: designed to be completed in 1 calendar year (summer immediately following the Special Academic Program, Fall, and Spring.) Therefore, no credits transfer to these Masters' program.

Students pay out-of-state tuition, and they are expected to be self-supporting during the graduate program. However, they may apply to the Florida Linkage Institute for tuition waivers or be eligible to receive university support through the normal departmental mechanisms (e.g., teaching and research assistantships).

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