Meliora letters spelled out in front of Rush Rhees Library

Guaranteed Rochester Accelerated Degree in Education (GRADE)

About GRADE

To begin a career in education, such as teaching, counseling, or human development, you’ll need both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, which typically takes at least six years of higher education.

The Guaranteed Rochester Accelerated Degree in Education (GRADE) program is a five-year BA/BS + MSEd program for students interested in becoming educators. If admitted, you enter the University with an assurance of admission to the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development (part of Rochester’s main academic campus).

The program offers you a quality liberal arts education and prepare you to become an educator. After completing your undergraduate coursework, you are expected to complete fifteen months of study at the Warner School (summer, fall, spring, and summer). For the master’s program, you can specialize in counseling, higher education, or elementary or secondary education, with the option of additional certification in special education, literacy, TESOL, urban teaching and leadership, or online teaching and learning.

GRADE students receive the Steven Harrison Scholarship (covering one-third of tuition) for all five years of study, are invited to attend special events, and enjoy extensive opportunities for research and internships.

A young student looking at a computer screen

Margaret Warner School of Education and Human Development

The University of Rochester has a well-deserved reputation for excellence, and the Warner School has a rich history as a part of that excellence. Warner’s programs in teaching and curriculum, counseling and human development, and educational leadership prepare educators to handle today’s challenges in education.

Warner strives to provide teachers, administrators, counselors, and researchers with the tools to be agents of change. Our graduates are equipped to be exceptional at what they do and to make a positive difference in their chosen fields of study.

Applying to GRADE

First-Year Applicants

First-year applicants can apply through the Common Application or the Coalition for College Application by indicating their interest in GRADE on their application. First-years should apply by December 1 in order to be considered.

Transfer Applicants

Transfer applicants can apply through the Common Application by indicating their interest in GRADE on their application. Students should submit their application by March 15 (only for transfers beginning fall semester) in order to be considered.

GRADE Finalist Interviews

You will be notified of your finalist/non-finalist status in January.

Finalists will interview with the Warner School in February. Your final GRADE decision will be sent in March.

If you are not offered a finalist interview, you may still have your application reviewed for general admission to the College without GRADE.

If you are admitted to the College through early decision, you will receive your admit letter in mid-December, but your GRADE application will follow the regular decision process described here.

Accepting our early decision offer cannot be contingent upon your admission to GRADE.

Program Perks

Students in the GRADE program receive the following perks:

  • Assured admission to the Warner School’s MS program as an entering undergraduate
  • Exemption from the GRE for counseling, human development, higher education, and education policy programs (GRE is required for master’s program with teaching certification)
  • Steven Harrison Scholarship (covering one-third of tuition) for all five years
  • Special invitations to book talks and speaker series
  • Focused advising by GRADE mentors, including personalized placement for classes and experiential learning
  • Extensive research, internship, and professional development opportunities

Is GRADE For You?

You might be a good fit for GRADE if you:

  • Express a passion for social justice and knowledge of the education programs at the University of Rochester
  • Have clear goals within your subject or specialization area, including coursework and extracurricular activities
  • Take challenging classes (honors, AP, IB, college-level classes, etc.)
  • Do well academically (strong GRADE applicants typically have a 3.7 unweighted GPA and rank in the top 15 percent of their graduating class)
  • Participate in extracurricular activities relevant to education, such as tutoring, teaching, or coaching

Learning to Embrace Who You Are

Read about one GRADE student’s journey as she explores different majors, career paths, and opportunities at Rochester.

Sample Schedule

You can choose any undergraduate major, but you should include classes that prepare you to meet New York State certification requirements.

Only credits earned above the undergraduate requirement of 128 can be counted toward the master’s degree; credits cannot count toward both degrees.

Students must complete 30 credits while enrolled as a graduate student (this does not include student teaching or internship experience credits). This rule makes it common for GRADE students to add on a certification because they can take more graduate classes as an undergraduate and still have 30 credits enrolled as a graduate student.

For programs leading to NYS certification, you need to meet prerequisites for admission and submit a required portfolio for review.

Sample Course Schedule 1

Major: Psychology
Minor: Business
Graduate major: Elementary education w/ inclusion

M = major       Mi = minor           C = cluster
G = GRADE      E = elective

First semester:

  • ASLA 101: Beginning American Sign Language I (E)
  • CASC 105: Reason and Writing in the College (G)
  • PSY 101: Intro to Psychology (M/G)
  • PSY 171: Social and Emotional Development (M)

Second semester:

  • CSSP 161: Social Psychology and Individual Differences (M)
  • CSSP 278: Adolescent Development (M)
  • PHYS 100: Nature of the Physical World (E/G)
  • RELC 102: Intro to the New Testament (C)

Third semester:

  • ASTR 105: Intro to the Milky Way Galaxy (E/G)
  • BCSC 110: Neural Foundations of Behavior (M/G)
  • PSY 211: Intro to Statistical Methods in Psychology (M/G)
  • RELC 102: Intro to the New Testament (C)

Fourth semester

  • BCSC 112: Cognitive Psychology (M/G)
  • ECON 108: Principles of Economics (Mi)
  • MATH 141: Calculus I (C/G)
  • PSY 219W: Research Methods of Psychology (M/G)
  • RELC 106: From Confucius to Zen (C/G)

Fifth semester:

  • MATH 142: Calculus II (C/G)
  • PSY 267: Psychology of Gender (M/G)
  • PSY 289: Developmental Child Psychopathology (M)

Sixth semester:

  • CSSP 282W: Abnormal Psychology (M/G)
  • ECON 207: Intermediate Microeconomics (Mi)
  • MATH 143: Calculus III (C/G)
  • PSY 282: Abnormal Psychology (M)
  • ACC 201: Principles of Accounting (Mi)

Seventh semester:

  • PSY 264: Industrial and Organizational Psychology (M)
  • ED 447: Principles of Finance* (Mi)
  • FIN 204: Principles of Finance (Mi)
  • MKT 203: Principles of Marketing (Mi)

Eighth Semester

  • ENG 138: Journalism Case Studies (E)
  • PSY 283: Behavioral Medicine (M)
  • ED 404: Teaching, Curriculum, and Change* (G)
  • MKT 213: Marketing Projects and Cases (Mi)

*GRADE students are required to take two courses through Warner before the end of their senior year. These course abbreviations are “ED” or “EDU” and are typically at the 400-level. Students who go into the counseling program typically spend two years at Warner after completing their bachelor’s degree.

Student Profiles

Steph Warsh

Year: Class of 2017, Warner, School Class of 2018 Hometown: Lafayette, NJ
Major: Japanese
Minors: Spanish and computer science
Master’s program of interest: Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

Why GRADE? First, the scholarship is a huge factor in helping my family to afford my tuition. Second, I love that I am (almost) guaranteed a master’s degree after I graduate, and in only one year too! All my classmates are worrying about what they are going to do after they graduate, but I already know! And third, the people at Warner are just so nice and I love it here.

Fun fact: I am studying abroad in Spain next semester!

Michael Hogan

Year: Class of 2017, Warner, School Class of 2018
Hometown: Marcellus, NY
Majors: English literature and political science
Minors: Creative writing and legal studies
Master’s program of interest: Secondary English education

Why GRADE? GRADE and the Warner School itself, is committed to instilling a sense of ambition in its students, and that is why I was so interested in Rochester and this program. Now, three years later, being a GRADE student has not only assured me that I want to commit myself to a career in education, but it has exposed me to so many incredible opportunities in the education field that I would have never been exposed to otherwise. I am so incredibly grateful for that.

Fun fact: I love art, and in another life I would have loved to become a professional photographer!

Alex White

Year: Class of 2017, Warner, School Class of 2018
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Major: English literature
Master’s program of interest: Secondary education (teaching track)

Why GRADE? GRADE provides a great opportunity for students who come into college who want to make a commitment to education. By working with us in our first year and providing specialized advising to help us make the transition between the undergraduate and graduate components of the program, GRADE excels at providing the resources necessary for students to be well-informed and well-connected throughout the program.

Fun fact: I also dance, play music, am involved with theater, and do art on campus!

Emily Trowbridge

Year: Class of 2019, Warner School Class of 2020 Hometown: Stowe, Vermont
Major: English
Minors: Psychology
Master’s program of interest: Secondary education

Why GRADE? GRADE is its own little community. I get to spend time with people that also want to be educators and I am offered opportunities that the typical undergraduate does not usually find. It is a wonderful program for future educators and counselors.

Fun fact: I never had an interest in minoring in psychology until I took a course. I think that is a testament to the benefits of the open curriculum here at Rochester. It allowed me to explore and now I’ve found another subject that I have a passion for.