Seamless BS/MS Track
The Seamless 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 Seamless 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 Seamless 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, a Seamless BS/MS student 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., the student would take a total of 30 graduate credits. To earn a thesis track M.S., the student 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, a student in good standing in the Seamless BS/MS degree will have priority over other MS students to receive a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) offer provides tuition waivers and a stipend.
To be considered for the Seamless 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 completed 89 credits and have junior class standing
- By the Fall of your third year you must submit a Request for admission to the Seamless BS/MS track
To continue to the MS degree you must meet the following requirements:
- In the Spring of your fourth year you must submit an application for admission to the MS program
- By the Fall of your fifth year you must have finished your BS degree (graduated)
- Fall of first year
- Incoming freshmen are advised about the possibility of following the Seamless BS/MS course plan
- Students who elect to follow the Seamless BS/MS plan schedule their classes to track the Seamless BS/MS plan
- Fall of third year
- To reserve the 12 credits towards their graduate degree, students must apply to be admitted to the Seamless BS/MS track. To apply, you must submit the Request for admission to the Seamless BS/MS track to your advisor.
- GSoC evaluates the application to ensure that:
- Your GPA is at least a 3.25
- You have earned at least 89 credits
- Spring of third year and Fall and Spring of fourth year
- Seamless BS/MS students are allowed to reserve 12 credits towards the M.S. degree. To reserve the credits, submit the Petition to Reserve Credits form to your advisor.
- 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
- Seamless BS/MS students apply to the Graduate School for admission to the CS MS program. Admission is contingent on finishing your undergraduate degree.
- Seamless BS/MS students interested in pursuing the MS thesis track identify a thesis advisor, who agrees to serve in that role by submitting a letter of recommendation with the student's graduate school application. The letter will state the willingness of the faculty member to serve as the MS thesis advisor.
- Summer of the fourth year
- Seamless BS/MS students file their MS program of study on the courses-only or thesis track.
- 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 Seamless 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 Seamless BS/MS course plan might look like:
|Semester||Term||Course||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 Seamless BS/MS?
A: Yes, provided you meet the requirements for admission to the Seamless BS/MS program by Fall Semester of your third year.
Q: I didn't know about the Seamless BS/MS when I started the CS BS at MSU and now I'm behind on the Seamless BS/MS course plan. Can I still catch up and do the Seamless BS/MS?
A: Yes, provided you meet the requirements for admission to the Seamless BS/MS program by the Fall of your third year. To do so, you may take Summer classes.
Q: If I'm on the Seamless 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.