Skip to main content

Will the department provide a research advisor?

Students who want to engage in research are expected to reach out to prospective research advisors on their own. Faculty members may have limited availability, so we would recommend getting in touch with several. If you’ve been involved with a research group during your undergraduate years, that would be a great starting point.

Do all B.S./M.S. students graduate after one year in the master’s program?

Most often, B.S./M.S. students to graduate after 1.5 – 2 years in the master’s program. We do have a few students who are able to transfer in 9 credits and are able to graduate in 1 year, but it is relatively uncommon.

Can I take MATH 566 or 661 to satisfy the graduate background requirement?

We accept MATH 566 – Intro to Numerical Analysis or MATH 661 – Scientific Computing in the graduate background requirement. The former is significantly easier, so most students who choose to take one of those courses take 566.

Since 2019, Prof. Jan Prins has been supervising students taking a Coursera course for MATH 661. Please get in touch with him (prins@cs.unc.edu) to find out whether he is still offering this option.

What industry experience will satisfy the Programming Product Requirement?

For industrial experience to meet the programming product requirement, you must get the approval of your adviser. For a product to be acceptable, all of the following requirements must be met:

  • The organization that you worked for must have a software development process (this precludes, for example, a single person who asked you to build something)
  • The requirements for the project must have been given to you
  • The software must be used by other people
  • The code must be maintained by someone else after you complete it

What else should I consider in my B.S./M.S. plan?

The admission process is rigorous. The expectations are outlined in the B.S./M.S. webpage. We expect students to be able to handle graduate-level courses, as well as find faculty members who are willing to supervise the MS writing requirement.

Who is going to be your writing advisor? You need to touch base with them early in the fall semester if you expect to finish in May, since some faculty members will insist on two semesters. If you are planning to finish in one semester, you should get a commitment from the advisor in early fall. If you start the conversation in December, you may have a hard time finding a faculty member to be your writing advisor.

You should plan your background requirements carefully. Do not assume that every course is offered every semester. For example, MATH 566 – Intro to Numerical Analysis is offered only in the fall, and COMP 524 – Programming Language Concepts is being offered only in the fall for 2020.

You should have a plan for your breadth requirement.