Accelerated BS/MS Track
The Accelerated BS/MS Program allows Computer Science (CS) students to complete the Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) degrees within five years. We permit students on the Accelerated BS/MS plan to reserve up to 12 credits of coursework for their MS degree during their first four years at MSU. In their fifth year, these students complete the remaining graduate work on either the MS courses-only or thesis track.
If you are interested in the Accelerated BS/MS track, please consider the credit requirements, funding, admission requirements, degree timeline, and course plan. We have also collected a set of frequently asked questions you may find useful.
In total, as an accelerated BS/MS student you would take 120 credits to earn a CS BS undergraduate degree using either the professional or interdisciplinary option. To earn a courses-only M.S., you would take a total of 30 graduate credits. To earn a thesis track M.S., you would take a total of 31 graduate credits that includes 10 credits of thesis during the final two semesters. Together the 150/151 credits may be divided over five years into 10 semesters as follows:
|BS||MS Courses-only||MS Thesis|
During the fifth year as an M.S. student, if you are in good standing in the Accelerated BS/MS degree you will have priority over other MS students to receive a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) offer that provides tuition waivers and a stipend.
To be considered for the Accelerated BS/MS track you must meet the following requirements:
- By the Fall of your third year your GPA must be at least 3.25
- By the Fall of your third year you must have junior class standing
- By the Fall of your third year you must submit a request for admission to the Accelerated BS/MS track
- If admitted, you will be asked to apply to the Graduate School, per this guidance
To continue to the MS degree you must meet the following requirements:
- You must finish you BS degree (graduate)
- You must have completed an application to the graduate school and have been admitted
- Fall of first year
- Incoming freshmen are advised about the possibility of following the Accelerated BS/MS course plan
- Students who elect to follow the Accelerated BS/MS plan schedule their classes to track the Accelerated BS/MS plan
- Fall of third year
- To reserve the 12 credits towards their graduate degree, students must apply to be admitted to the accelerated BS/MS track. To apply, you must submit the request for admission to the accelerated BS/MS track to the MS Program Coordinator. The MS Program Coordinator will inform you if you are accepted into the Accelerated BS/MS track. You must then apply to the Graduate School.
- Spring of third year and Fall and Spring of fourth year
- Accelerated BS/MS students are allowed to reserve 12 credits towards the M.S. degree. To reserve the credits you must met with the MS Program Coordinator, who will approve the reserved in DegreeWorks. Without MS Coordinator approval students your credits will not be reserved and you will not be able to sign up for graduate courses. If you plan to change what courses you want to reserve, you must contact the MS Program Coordinator to update your list of reserved courses.
- Permissible courses are:
- CSCI 500 level courses other than 590, 592, 598, 599.
- CSCI 400 level courses (up to 9 credits as part of the 12) other than 482, 483, 490, 491, 492, 494, 495, 498
- 400 and 500 level courses in other departments suitable for an MS in CS program of study, such as EELE or M courses, with the approval of the CS MS program coordinator
- Spring of fourth year
- Accelerated BS/MS students are fully admitted to the graduate school. Admission is contingent on finishing your undergraduate degree.
- Summer of the fourth year
- Accelerated BS/MS students file their MS program of study on the courses-only or thesis track. If students want to pursue the thesis track, the program of study needs to be discussed and signed by their thesis advisor.
- Fall of fifth year
- MS thesis students take 3-4 credits of MS thesis
- Spring of fifth year
- MS thesis students take 6-7 credits of MS thesis
- MS thesis students defend their thesis, which serves as their Comprehensive Examination
- MS courses-only students with a GPA >= 3.5 over their MS program of study (including the reserved courses) are exempt from the Comprehensive Examination
- MS courses-only students with a GPA < 3.5 over their MS program of study (including the reserved courses) take the Comprehensive Examination administered by the GSoC
The Accelerated BS/MS plan requires students to stay on track with their undergraduate courses to reach junior class standing before graduate classes can be reservewd. While certain deviations from the plan are possible (in consultation with your advisor), a typical Accelerated BS/MS course plan might look like:
|Undergraduate||MS - Courses||MS - Thesis|
|Math/Science Elective 1||3|
|Math/Science Elective 2||3|
|Math/Science Elective 3||3|
|Math, Statistics, or Probability Elective 1||3|
|Directed Elective 1||3|
|Math/Science Elective 4||3|
|CS Elective 1||3|
|CS Elective 2||3|
|Directed Elective 2||3|
|CS Elective 3||3|
|Directed Elective 3||3|
|CSCI 5xx reserved 1||3||3|
|7||Fall||CS Elective 4||3|
|CS Elective 5||3|
|Directed Elective 4||3|
|Math, Statistics, or Probability Elective 2||3|
|CSCI 5xx reserved 2||3||3|
|CS Elective 6||3|
|CSCI 4xx reserved 3||3||3|
|CSCI 5xx reserved 4||3||3|
|CSCI 5xx||3||4 (CSCI 590)|
|CSCI 5xx||3||3 (CSCI 590)|
|CSCI 4xx/5xx||3||3 (CSCI 590)|
Q: I'm a transfer student. Can I still do the Accelerated BS/MS?
A: Yes, provided you meet the requirements for admission to the Accelerated BS/MS program by Fall Semester of your third year.
Q: I didn't know about the Accelerated BS/MS when I started the CS BS at MSU and now I'm behind on the Accelerated BS/MS course plan. Can I still catch up and do the Accelerated BS/MS?
A: Yes, provided you meet the requirements for admission to the Accelerated BS/MS program by the Fall of your third year. To do so, you may take Summer classes.
Q: If I'm on the Accelerated CS/MS program, can I switch from the MS to a PhD degree.
A: Yes, to do so you will need to apply to the PhD program and you will be allowed to use the 12 reserved credits towards that degree.