Degree in Three

degree-in-three graphic

Degree in Three might be right for you if

  • You want to save an average of $20,000 on your cost of attendance,
  • You have earned college credit in high school,
  • You want to complete your degree and join the work force sooner, or
  • You want to be ready for graduate or professional school in three years.
years to BA degree
of the college experience
average savings



Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I receive a different degree if I follow the degree-in-three plan?

No. The degree you earn by following the degree-in-three plan will be the same as the bachelor of arts degree that traditionally takes four years to complete. The requirements are the same: 120 credits overall and whatever your major requires within that. By following the degree-in-three plan, the schedule and timing of your classes will differ from the four-year plan so that you can complete all of the requirements in three years.

Do I have to complete my degree in three years if I want to go to UMN Morris?

No. Completing your degree in three years is just one option. You may prefer to spend the traditional four years at Morris, and that's okay! It's important that you choose the pathway that's right for you.

Can I complete my degree in three years if I start at UMN Morris with no college credits?

Yes! If you do not have prior college credit you will likely need to take classes during the summer session to complete your degree in three years. Work with your academic adviser to ensure that you complete all of your required courses.

If I already have my associate's degree, is it possible to graduate in less than three years?

Yes. Depending on how many credits you transfer over, you can reduce the amount of time it takes for you to graduate.

How many credits per semester will I have to take if I follow the degree-in-three plan?

On average, you would need to take 40 credits per year: 16 for fall; 16 for spring; 8 for summer. 

Explore three- and four-year plans for all majors

Will I need to know that I want to graduate in three years from the beginning of or prior to my first year?

While it would be helpful for financial aid purposes to know at the start if this is the intention, we understand that plans change. You do not need to know your graduation plan prior to your first year, but if you are planning on graduating in three years, we strongly recommend following our sample plans.

Do I need to know my major right away if I want to graduate in three years? What if I change my major? Would the amount of time change if I change my major?

While it’s helpful to know your major right away, as with the traditional four-year path, you do not need to declare your major right away. Changing your major may or may not affect whether you can graduate in three years, depending on several factors. This would be the same for a student following the four-year plan. We understand that plans change, and that is allowed.

If I start out following the degree-in-three plan, can I switch to a four-year plan later?

Yes. The three- and four-year plans are guidelines. You can switch at any time to the plan that works best for you. We understand that plans change, and that is allowed. 

Will I have to take summer classes to finish my degree in three years?

Most degrees are structured so that a student can complete them in four years without taking summer courses. But to help achieve a degree in three years, it is likely that you will need to take summer courses.

Can international students graduate in three years?

Yes. The three-year plans work the same way for international students as they do for domestic students. 

Will I be able to study away if I want to complete my degree in three years?

Yes. You may even choose to study away during the May session at the end of your third year. If so, keep in mind that you will not be able to apply to graduate until the end of the May session.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

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Financial Aid and Scholarships

How does the degree-in-three plan affect my federal and state aid and any scholarships?

Earning a degree in three years will not affect your federal or state financial aid eligibility. If you decide to continue to a fourth year, your financial aid eligibility may shift, depending on when you make that decision. Consult with One Stop Student Services to learn about your ongoing eligibility for federal and state aid in your fourth year.

The effect on external scholarships will be largely dependent on the donor or organization that is providing the funds for the scholarship.

If I complete my degree in three years, will I receive more per year for my Academic Achievement Award?

Your Academic Achievement Award each year will be the same amount, whether you follow the three- or four-year plan. Academic Achievement Awards are disbursed evenly during the academic year during the fall and spring semesters. There is not a separate summer disbursement.

Can I get financial aid for summer classes?

Yes. Summer financial aid is based on the number of credits you are enrolled in and your overall financial need. The amount of aid that you receive during the academic year will impact the amount of aid that you receive during the summer term. It is recommended that you meet with a One Stop counselor to determine your eligibility prior to enrolling in classes.

Additional Questions?

Admissions is happy to help!


University of Minnesota Morris
Welcome Center
600 E Fourth Street
Morris, MN 56267