Open 4+1 Programs

Earn your master's in just one year, even if you aren't an RWU undergraduate.

Roger Williams University is proud to offer an innovative new option for students to earn a master's degree. Previously only available to students pursuing an undergraduate degree at RWU, several master's programs now offer the opportunity for any undergraduate student to start pursuing graduate coursework online from RWU at a significantly discounted rate during their fourth undergraduate year and complete their master's degree in just one year with RWU. 

The special Open 4+1 degree options are available to undergraduate students in good academic standing at regionally-accredited institutions in the United States. Some programs have individual eligibility requirements. 

Photo of Roger Williams University MBA students

Open 4+1: Business Administration (M.B.A.)

Earn your MBA in just one year including an internship and study abroad experience. The program is AACSB-accredited and offered in the heart of the Rhode Island state capital, Providence. Participants in the Open 4+1 option take one course online in the spring semester of their fourth undergraduate year.

M.B.A. Program Page

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Open 4+1: Criminal Justice (M.S.)

Explore justice system management and the nature and causes of crime in this special one-year M.S. in Criminal Justice program. A series of flexible electives allow you to customize your studies in areas like cybersecurity, leadership, and public administration. Take two courses during your fourth undergraduate year online and then pursue the remainder of your M.S. Criminal Justice in just one year either hybrid on campus in Bristol, RI, or fully online. 

M.S. Criminal Justice Program Page

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Open 4+1: Special Education (M.A.)

Pursue your teaching certification in one of today's most in-demand teaching areas. Eligible students do not need to possess an undergraduate degree in education or teaching to be considered. Tracks are available for both elementary and secondary special education certification. 

M.A. Special Education Program Page

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Why consider the Open 4+1 programs at RWU? 

Whether or not your own institution offers a master's degree in the discipline you are considering, take advantage of this special opportunity to earn your master's in just one year, just as our own RWU 4+1 students do. 

  • Save Money
    Students pursuing any of the Open 4+1 programs pay only $501 per course for courses completed during the senior year, a savings of more than 80 percent off current graduate tuition rates. Some programs also provide scholarship opportunities.
  • Save Time
    While most graduate degrees take two years to complete, the Open 4+1 options can reduce time pursuing your graduate studies by a year or more, allowing you to enter the workforce and begin earning a salary sooner than other programs.
  • Early acceptance and advisement
    Open 4+1 students will apply in their junior spring or senior fall (see individual programs for application instructions) and start some graduate coursework in the senior year. The early courses provide a no-risk opportunity to take graduate classes without a significant financial commitment.