California State University, Northridge signed an agreement that will allow students at Shanghai Normal University to complete an accelerated master’s degree in the school’s music program.

The program, which is called “3+1+1,” will begin this fall. It is intended exclusively for students in the Music College at Shanghai Normal who qualify for conditional enrollment in CSUN’s graduate program in music.

“This kind of a partnership is very enriching for our own students and faculty,” Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication said in a prepared statement. “The introduction into our community of more international students just gives our youngsters a better sense of what the competition is around the world.”

“In the arts, we work in a business that’s not just about the region. It’s about the international community,” he added.

Shanghai Normal University is one of more than 40 “sister” relationships Cal State Northridge has with Chinese universities and government entities. Shanghai Normal University has had a relationship with CSUN for more than 20 years.

The 3+1+1 program is one of several degree program agreements between CSUN and the Chinese university. The College of Business and Economics and the Department of Art have undergraduate programs that allow Shanghai Normal University students to earn a bachelor’s degree through a combination of courses taken in China and at CSUN.

Shanghai Normal University will begin the process of admission into the program when freshmen are accepted into the university. At that time, Shanghai Normal faculty will recruit promising students, enroll them in intensive English-language classes and supervise the application process. CSUN faculty will first become involved in the audition process at the conclusion of the freshman year. Each year, a cohort of between 20 and 25 Shanghai Normal freshmen who pass the audition will be conditionally accepted into the program.

Students in the 3+1+1 program must pass an approved English-proficiency exam prior to admission. Shanghai Normal University students are responsible for all tuition, living expenses and other costs associated with the program. The first cohort is expected to arrive at CSUN in the fall of 2014 and graduate with a master’s degree in 2016.

Judy Temes