Early Entry (4+1) Program

UNC Charlotte Undergrads:
Accelerate your progress toward a Master’s Degree

Start earning your MS Cybersecurity or MSIT degree as an undergraduate student through the Early Entry Program!

The Early Entry (4+1) Master’s Program is a special fast-track program for highly motivated undergraduate students who wish to pursue graduate studies while still enrolled as an undergraduate student. By taking certain qualifying graduate courses during their senior year that correspond to required undergraduate courses, a student can obtain their Bachelor’s degree while pursuing their Master of Science in either Cybersecurity or Information Technology, allowing opportunity for a full-time student to earn both their undergraduate and graduate degrees within five years.

More information about Early Entry programs and admission criteria can be found on Graduate Admissions website.

“The MSIT and Early Entry program prepared me for a heavier workload in a fast-paced environment, teaching me valuable skills I can apply to many aspects of my future endeavors.”

-Carrie Mao, Class of 2019


To be eligible to apply for this program, current UNC Charlotte undergraduate students should:

  • Have earned credit for at least 75 hours of coursework applicable to an undergraduate degree (including courses received through placement or transfer);
  • Have achieved a current minimum GPA of 3.2 cumulative;
  • Have met with the SIS Graduate Program Coordinator to receive advising to apply for Early Entry to the Master’s program; and

Timeline for Admission

  1. After earning 75 credit hours – meet with the SIS Graduate Program Coordinator to receive academic guidance on qualifying double-count courses that fulfill both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree requirements, and to learn more about the admissions process.
    • Note: A student may be accepted at any time after completion of 75 or more hours of undergraduate course work, although it is expected that 90 hours of undergraduate course work will have been earned by the time the first graduate course is taken. More information on our FAQ’s page
  2. After completing a plan of study – follow instructions on the flyer to begin the application process and confirm plan of study with undergraduate advisor
  3. Graduate Admissions – you will need to create a profile and apply through https://gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/apply. Please make sure you provide your unofficial transcript, resume, three references, and a statement of purpose (~1 pg). NOTE: You will need to check the box at the end of the application that identifies you as an Early Entry candidate.
  4. After receiving a decision from The Graduate School – should the applicant earn acceptance into the Early Entry Master’s Program, they should complete the following tasks:
  • Request a meeting with the SIS Graduate Program Coordinator to finalize graduate-level plan of study
  • Complete Early Entry petition via academicpetition.charlotte.edu (petition level: graduate) for approval of graduate course enrollment
  • Upon successful approval of Early Entry petition, register for your selected graduate-level courses [complete up to four graduate (5000/6000 level) courses that fulfill undergraduate degree requirements + option for one graduate-only course]
    • Note: you must still apply to graduate with your Bachelor’s degree in order to continue into the Master’s program once you have completed all undergraduate program requirements; then you will not require any additional processes to continue into the Master’s program – as an Early Entry student, you have already been accepted!

Approved SIS Substitute Courses

Early Entry undergraduate students are eligible to register for up to four (4) graduate-level courses that will fulfill undergraduate degree requirements as well as requirements for their Master’s program. The following table outlines which courses in our Department of Software and Information Systems (SIS) can be double-counted for both programs.

Graduate-Level Substitutes Undergraduate Course Equivalent
ITIS 5166 Network-based Application DevelopmentITIS 4166 Network-based Application
ITIS 5180 Mobile Application DevelopmentITIS 4180 Mobile Application Development
ITIS 5221 Secure Programming and Penetration TestingITIS 4221 Secure Programming and Penetration Testing
ITIS 5250 Computer ForensicsITIS 4250 Computer Forensics
ITIS 5246 Competitive Cyber DefenseITIS 4246 Competitive Cyber Defense
ITIS 5260 Introduction to Security AnalyticsITIS 4260 Introduction to Security Analytics
ITIS 5390 Interaction Design StudioITIS 4390 Interaction Design Studio
ITIS 6120 Applied DatabasesITCS 3160 Database Design and Implementation
ITIS 6200 Principles of Information Security and PrivacyITIS 3200 Introduction to Information Security and Privacy
ITIS 6216 Introduction to Cognitive ScienceITIS 3216 Introduction to Cognitive Science
ITIS 6342 Information Technology Project ManagementITIS 3300 Software Requirements and Project Management
ITIS 6350 Rapid Prototyping with HCI Design PatternsITIS 3150 Rapid Prototyping with HCI Design Patterns
ITIS 6400 Principles of Human-Computer InteractionITIS 3130 Human-Centered Design
ITIS 6420 Useable Security and PrivacyITIS 4420 Useable Security and Privacy

Note: credit hours earned as an undergraduate course cannot be counted towards a student’s graduate degree. Double-counted courses must be completed at the graduate level (5000 or 6000 level).


Please connect with the SIS Graduate Program Coordinator via email or during walk-in office hours to learn about eligibility for Early Entry into one of our Department of Software & Information Systems Master’s programs. You are also welcome to visit our Early Entry Section of our FAQ’s page for answers to some of our most common questions.