New Accelerated Programs initiative helps CSU students graduate early

Colorado State University is now offering students the opportunity to complete participating degree programs in less time as part of the new Accelerated Programs initiative.

Under Accelerated Programs, students can graduate by the end of their third spring or summer term by taking classes through CSU Summer. More than two dozen degree programs are participating, with more expected, according to CSU Summer Director Anne Van Arsdall.

“It’s an option for motivated students to make steady progress toward their degree and graduate in less than four years,” said Van Arsdall, adding that the program is available to incoming students as well as current students on track for early graduation.

Select programs in the College of Business, the College of Health and Human Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Natural Sciences and the Warner College of Natural Resources are participating. Interested students are encouraged to meet with their academic  advisors for details.

Participating departments will have specific academic plans for students and offer key courses in the summer, with tailored advising support for students. The Office of Financial Aid also will be working with students to allocate financial aid over three terms instead of two.

Graduate in three to three and a half years

Van Arsdall took the lead in developing Accelerated Programs with the support of former CSU Provost and Executive Vice President Rick Miranda, who recently returned to the mathematics faculty in the College of Natural Sciences. “Provost Miranda saw this as a way to enhance how we serve students who come to us with a range of needs and ambitions,” she said.

According to Van Arsdall, students will typically take six to nine credits during the summer, along with the standard 15-16 credits taken each fall and spring semester. She added that students who enter CSU with prior credit — such as AP, IB or transfer credit — may use it to further accelerate their graduation.

“It’s not taking away from any of their fall or spring experiences,” she said. “Students will still have the opportunity to pursue internships, student organization involvement, volunteer, work and other activities.”

While Accelerated Programs has its benefits, Van Arsdall said there are also some trade-offs. Students will need to invest in summer tuition, fees, and related expenses. However, students may reduce their overall cost of attendance by saving money on costs related to their education such as housing, she said. Students who graduate early can begin earning a professional salary earlier as well as enter graduate programs sooner.

Additionally, Van Arsdall said financial aid is still available during the summer, which includes federal Pell grants. She encouraged interested students to visit with staff in the Office of Financial Aid for additional options and resources.

Current Accelerated Programs

Business Administration
Concentrations in Accounting, Computer Information Systems, Finance, Financial Planning, Human Resource Management, International Business, Marketing, Organization and Innovation Management, Real Estate, and Supply Chain Management.


Natural Resource Tourism
This program provides the opportunity for a 3+1 degree, through which a baccalaureate degree and master’s degree can be earned in four years.

Human Development and Family Studies
Concentrations in Early Childhood Professions, Human Development and Family Studies, Leadership and Entrepreneurial Professions, Pre-Health Professions and Prevention and Intervention Sciences.

Concentrations in Education and General

General Concentration

Interdisciplinary Liberal Arts

International Studies
International Studies (undergraduate program) and Master of Public Policy and Administration Accelerated 4+1 program through which a baccalaureate degree and master’s degree can be earned in five years.

Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Spanish for the Professions Concentration
Pending approval

Get more information about Accelerated Programs and participating degree programs by visiting