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.

Credit Requirements

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 MS, you would take additional 30 graduate credits.  To earn a thesis track MS, you would take a 31 graduate credits, including 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:

Year
Credits
BS MS Courses-only MS Thesis
Fall Spring Fall Spring Fall Spring
1 17 17 0 0 0 0
2 18 19 0 0 0 0
3 18 12 0 3 0 3
4 12 7 3 6 3 6
5 0 0 9 9 10 9
  120 30 31

Funding

During the fifth year as an MS 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.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for the Accelerated BS/MS track you must meet the following requirements:

To continue to the MS degree you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must finish you BS degree (i.e., graduate)
  • You must have completed an application to the Graduate School and have been admitted

Timeline

  • Fall of first year
  • Fall of third year
    • To start reserving 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.
    • After you are accepted to the accelerated BS/MS track, you must then apply to the Graduate School. Your application should set the start date for your degree as the semester after your BS graduation date.
  • Spring of third year and Fall and Spring of fourth year
    • Accelerated BS/MS students may reserve up to 12 credits towards the MS degree. To reserve the credits you must meet with the MS Program Coordinator, who will approve the reserved credits/courses in DegreeWorks. Without MS Coordinator approval your credits will not be reserved and you will not be able to sign up for graduate 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
  • Summer of the fourth year
    • Accelerated BS/MS students are fully admitted to the Graduate School after they finish their undergradaute degree. 
    • Accelerated BS/MS students file their MS program of study on the courses-only or thesis track. Courses-only program of study is approved by the MS Coordinator. If students want to pursue the thesis track, the program of study needs to be discussed and approved by their thesis advisor.
  • Fall of fifth year
    • MS students students take courses on their MS program of study
    • MS thesis students take 3-4 credits of MS thesis
  • Spring of fifth year
    • MS students students take courses on their MS program of study
    • 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

Course Plan

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:

Plan
 Semester  Term  Course Credits  
Undergraduate MS - Courses MS - Thesis
1 Fall CSCI 127 4    
    WRIT 101W 3    
    M171Q 4    
    Core US 3    
    Core D 3    
       17  0  0
           
2 Spring CSCI 132 4    
    M172Q 4    
    Core IA/RA 3    
    Core IH/RH 3    
    Math/Science Elective 1 3    
      17 0 0
           
3 Fall CSCI 246 3    
    CSCI 215CS 3    
    WRIT 221 3    
    Core IS/RS 3    
    Math/Science Elective 2 3    
    Math/Science Elective 3 3    
      18 0 0
           
4 Spring CSCI 112 3    
    CSCI 232 4    
    Math, Statistics, or Probability Elective 1 3    
    Free elective  3    
    Directed Elective 1 3    
    Math/Science Elective 4 3    
      19 0 0
           
5 Fall ESOF 322 3    
    EGEN 310R 3    
    CSCI 361 3    
    CS Elective 1 3    
    CS Elective 2 3    
    Directed Elective 2 3    
      18 0 0
           
6 Spring CSCI 305 3    
    CSCI 338 3    
    CS Elective 3 3    
    Directed Elective 3 3    
    CSCI 5xx reserved 1   3 3
      12 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
      12 3 3
           
8 Spring CSCI 468 4    
    CSCI 481 0    
    CS Elective 6 3    
    CSCI 4xx reserved 3   3 3
    CSCI 5xx reserved 4   3 3
      7 6 6
           
9 Fall CSCI 538   3 3
    CSCI 5xx   3 4 (CSCI 590)
    CSCI 4xx   3 3
      0 9 10
           
10 Spring CSCI 532   3 3
    CSCI 5xx   3 3 (CSCI 590)
    CSCI 4xx/5xx   3 3 (CSCI 590)
      0 9 9
           
Total 120 30 31

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

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.
Even if you are not accepted into the Accelerated BS/MS program, you may still reserve up to 9 credits for your graduate degree.

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.
Even if you are not accepted into the Accelerated BS/MS program, you may still reserve up to 9 credits for your graduate degree.

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.