B.S./M.S. Combined Program
Are you a current B.S. Computer Science major interested in getting an M.S.? We have a program that may allow you to complete the course of studies for a B.S. AND M.S. in as few as 5 years!
While there are many people for whom this will be a good match, it will not suit everyone. We expect the program to be especially attractive for students intending to go into industry who would like the more in-depth knowledge that an M.S. program offers. However, there are many students who will find this attractive and it is a personal decision that you will want to consider.
Students in the B.S. degree program with a GPA of 3.3 or better and within 2 semesters of graduation have the option of applying to the combined B.S.–M.S. program to pursue graduate coursework leading to the degree of master of science. Such students must complete the requirements for the bachelor of science degree within eight semesters. (Transfer students who are granted additional time by the university may exceed this number.) Upon completion of the B.S. degree, students then enroll as a graduate student to continue work towards the master of science degree. Admission to the master’s portion of the program cannot be deferred. Master’s work must begin the semester following the completion of the B.S. degree.
The requirements for both degrees remain the same. The primary benefit of the program is a significantly simplified and expedited admissions process into the M.S. program.
We strongly recommend you discuss the option with your CS adviser. The purpose of this page is to give you the basic information that you need to decide whether to apply for the program and how to apply.
- You need a major GPA of 3.3 and an overall GPA of 3.0. The major GPA includes all courses that are required of the major, both prerequisites and courses for the major.
- To give us the ability to assess your work and for you to be comfortable that you want a master’s degree, you must have completed at least SEVEN Computer Science courses at the 400-level or higher, including at least two at the 500-level or higher, by the time that you apply. This can include both required and distribution courses for your major, but not independent study courses, i.e., ones that require a learning contract.
Application to the program will be in your senior year. Applications are due approximately 1 month after the start of the semester and will be reviewed approximately 2 weeks after that. Specific dates will be communicated at the beginning of each semester. We recommend that you do it early to assure that the faculty you identify get their recommendations completed. The application materials are to be submitted through the application.
In Spring 2019, we are rolling out a new application program. It has been well-tested but just to be sure that there are no glitches, please email the Director of Undergraduate Studies when you apply.
Required application materials are:
- Name, PID and contact information
- Names of two CS faculty members who will serve as your primary references. These must be COMPUTER SCIENCE faculty and may not include graduate students. The admissions committee may choose to contact any other faculty member as well. You should discuss your plans with the faculty members that you list BEFORE you submit your application.
- An unofficial copy of your transcript. Saving your course history as a pdf (print and save as pdf from the browser) from Connect Carolina is the simplest and preferred way to do this.
- A personal statement of purpose, maximum one page, that explains your objectives in pursuing the MS degree. The purpose of the statement is to convince us that you have thought about why you want the MS degree. There is nothing specific that we are looking for.
- Resume with work experience, activities, honors, etc.
- In order to help you decide whether this program is right for you, we encourage you to take a 600 or higher computer science course during the fall semester of your senior year.
- The graduate school will allow you to carry over up to three courses that do not count toward any of your B.S. requirements (including the 120 credits). The department will accept courses in which you have received a minimum of a B. In order to distribute the workload across the five years, we recommend that you take maximal advantage of this opportunity.
- When planning the courses that you take to satisfy the distribution requirement for your B.S., you should consider the background content expected on incoming graduate students. The information can be found under Background Preparation on the Master of Science Official Degree Requirements page.