Updated April 20, 2018
There are two separate mechanisms for undergraduate computer science students and computer engineering students to apply credits from their BS degree towards an MS degree in computer science at MSU: the Linked BS/MS program and dual enrollment. In reality, they are essentially the same program with very minor difference. In particular, all Linked BS/MS students automatically also use the dual enrollment mechanism. The dual enrollment option can be used by any student with any GPA whereas the Linked BS/MS program requires a student to complete their BS program with a 3.5 GPA. Moving forwards, we will not make a distinction between these two mechanisms and will just use the dual enrollment mechanism.
Dual enrollment offers high achieving undergraduate students a chance to complete both a Bachelors degree and a Masters degree in five years. More specifically, up to 9 credits of the required 30 credits for a Masters degree can be waived. In order to waive 9 credits, you must include at least one graduate level course in your Bachelors program plan.
Key element: students must be admitted to the MS program before they take any credits that will be used towards their MS programs. That is, if you plan to use a 4xx course in Fall 2018 that will count towards your MS degree, you must request dual enrollment and be admitted to the MS program before Fall 2018 begins.
Tuition: Technically, your tuition will change to graduate level tuition once you have completed 120 credits. In practice, this may not happen right at the moment when you have completed 120 credits, but it might. On the positive side, you will also be eligible for graduate assistantships and fellowships once you have completed 120 credits. This may also affect your financial aid package.
- When to apply: You should apply in your junior or senior year. You would be admitted to the MS program in the same semester as the first course you take that includes credits that will be applied towards your MS degree. You must apply for admission to the MS program prior to that semester. For example, if you take CSE 410 in Fall Semester 2018 and use that course to waive 3 credits from the 30 required MS credits, then your MS program will begin no later than Fall 2018 and you should apply for admission to the MS program no later than Spring 2018.
- Requirements: There no longer is an explicit GPA requirement, but you should have a GPA of at least 3.5 to have a good chance of being admitted. Exceptions can be made if there is a strong faculty advocate who supports your request for dual enrollment despite having a lower GPA.
- Application Procedure:
- Fill out this google form indicating that you intend to apply for dual enrollment: form.
- Find an initial Masters advisor (the Graduate Director can often serve in this role).
- Apply to the MS program in computer science completing the official graduate school application. See here for more information about this application process. We typically do not require GRE test scores, but you should still consider taking the GRE, particularly if you are considering applying to other graduate programs.
- As part of the above application process, using the Graduate Student Portal, upload the "Request for Dual Enrollment Status Form" located here. When you upload the form, it will ask for a type of document; use type certficate. These shared credits will officially only be in your BS program, and the credits will be waived from the required 30 credits for your MS program. This can include at most 6 credits from 4xx level couses, so at least one course must be 8xx or 9xx if you use all 9 credits. The waived credits do count towards satisfying the MS breadth requirement when applicable.
If your request for dual enrollment is granted, you are under no obligation to complete the MS degree. You can complete your BS degree as if you had never requested dual enrollment.