CSULB Launches Beach EDGE to Streamline Pathways to Graduate Degrees


At Cal State Long Beach, meeting students where they are means streamlining access to education and resources. That’s the goal of The Beach EDGE, a new program launching in fall 2024 that aids institutional efforts to meet this cornerstone of our mission. 

A new host of degree programs designed to help students complete bachelor's and master's with fewer total units, Beach EDGE creates one seamless pathway to a graduate degree, merging related undergraduate and graduate programs to give master’s hopefuls a focused roadmap for their educational journey.  

Short for Expedited Degrees in Graduate Education, the EDGE programs allow for double-counting of some course units to apply to both degrees – the bachelor’s and master’s. Students in the program can take 10 or more master’s courses as undergraduates, saving them time and money. 

“Well, how cool is it to earn a master’s in an accelerated time and at a cheaper rate than completing post the bachelor’s degree,” said Dr. Dina Perrone, Interim Dean of Graduate Studies at CSULB. “Beach EDGE alumni can have more control over their careers with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree on their résumés, and they will earn their master’s degree at a much more manageable cost.” 

This model, known as “blended” or “4 +1” programs at other institutions across the country, is one that Deans across the California State University system had been hoping to implement for a few years, Perrone said. Recent approval from the Board of Trustees to allow the double-counting of some graduate units made the EDGE programs possible.  

2018 Commencement Event Photos

This new effort represents a meaningful stroke of progress in CSULB’s institutional goals, which are laid out in the university’s Beach 2030 strategic plan. Efforts to create alternative instructional delivery models have been a key objective of the Beach 2030 team focused on building a growth strategy at The Beach, and the EDGE programs exact the precise goals of this work — to extend more opportunities to more students. 

“In this area we are looking at different ways to increase access to our graduate programs and to increase potential student interest in our programs,” said Dr. Jody Cormack, Vice Provost of Academic Programs and current Dean of Graduate Studies who also leads the growth strategy team. 

“Blended programs fit perfectly within this realm,” she said, noting the expedited timeline Beach EDGE promises students. “We are also hoping that we will have more of our native bachelor’s students taking advantage of the increased accessibility of a master’s degree, which will lead to upward mobility and the opportunity for advancement to fulfill workforce demands, create, innovate, and serve the public good.” 

Nine Beach EDGE programs will be part of the initial rollout in the fall, expected to benefit at least 100 students, Perrone said. In the coming years, CSULB aims to create additional pathways and expects more EDGE programs to be added.  

“Beach EDGE students get an edge up on their education by expediting the achievement of the master’s degree,” Perrone said.