Combined Bachelor Master Programs


Those departments that offer a combined bachelor master program invite a select group of highly qualified students to apply for the combined degree program during their undergraduate studies.  Students who are admitted to the combined bachelor master programs need to know several facts before they decide to pursue this option:

1) The university does not guarantee that a student will finish both degrees in five academic years.

2) Summer Courses. Enrolling in summer courses both after the fourth and fifth years of study is extremely common for combined bachelor master candidates. In some cases due to course scheduling and thesis completion, beginning a sixth year of study may be necessary for a student to complete both degrees. 

3) Double-Counting. Up to nine hours or nine credits of graduate courses taken by undergraduates may count for both the bachelor’s degree and the master’s degree, whether or not a student is formally enrolled in a bachelor master program. Any additional graduate courses taken while an undergraduate will count toward the undergraduate requirements and will be included in the student’s undergraduate record, but will not be allowed to “transfer” or count toward a subsequent graduate degree. (Exceptions to this policy have been approved for certain combined  programs.) In order to count for graduate credit, the student must earn at least a B in the graduate course. (See Undergraduates in Graduate Courses)

4) Grades of B or better must be earned in all of the master’s level courses taken while an undergraduate in order for courses to count for graduate credit. When a student earns a grade of B- or lower in a master’s level course taken as an undergraduate, the course will not count toward the graduate degree, and number of courses that can double-count is reduced. That student will have to take an additional course to make up the credits, in most cases at the student’s expense.

5) Time to complete master's degree. Once the student becomes a master’s level student, he/she has six calendar years to finish the master’s degree requirements. So, students may choose to take a gap year or semester after completing their undergraduate degree before returning to complete the master’s degree.

6) Students are permitted to enroll in only one combined bachelor master program. Double majors may NOT enroll in two bachelor master programs simultaneously.

7) Contract. When students are formally admitted into the combined program, they will receive a letter from the Graduate Studies Office outlining the specific policies and procedures that pertain to their program. This letter will explain:

how many courses the student may take while still an undergraduate;

how many courses taken as an undergraduate will double-count for undergraduate and graduate credit;

how many courses may or may not be “free” during the last term of the student’s graduate program.

 This document serves as the contract between Graduate Studies and the student.

8) Exceptions to the written combined bachelor master policies/contract are not permitted. Only written policies will be followed.

Approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies, October 24, 2013



Procedure for Admission

Qualified students are invited to apply for admission into the Combined Bachelor Master Program in their department during the first semester of the junior year. After the department has reviewed the applicant’s credentials, the names of those formally accepted into the Combined Bachelor Master program (typically no more than five) are sent to the Graduate Dean’s Office. At this time, the student will receive the admissions letter/contract from Graduate Studies regarding the specifics of their program (see #7 above).

Procedure for Registering for Graduate Courses while an Undergraduate

Undergraduates accepted into a Combined Bachelor Master program typically enroll in three graduate courses in their senior year. Before enrolling in graduate courses as an undergraduate, a "Permission to Enter a Graduate Course" card (gold card) must be signed by the department, Undergraduate Dean's Office and forwarded to the Graduate Dean’s Office for approval and submission to the Registrar.  Typically, those three graduate courses taken as a senior are counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Procedure for Change of Status from Undergraduate to Graduate Student

When the student enters the last semester of senior year, it is not necessary for the student to submit a graduate application form to the Graduate Studies Office, but the Program Department must send Graduate Studies the Combined Bachelor - Master Information Form, listing the graduate courses taken as an undergraduate (provided they are graded a “B” or better) which are to be applied toward their graduate program. This should be accompanied by a copy of the student’s undergraduate academic audit.  The student will then receive a modified/updated acceptance letter indicating their formal admission into their respective graduate program. This letter will request a copy of the final official transcript. When the final transcript is received and reviewed, the transfer of credit form will be forwarded to the Registrar in order for the graduate courses taken as an undergraduate to be applied toward the master’s degree.

Procedure for Financial Arrangements

For students accepted into Combined Bachelor Master programs during academic year 2009- 2010 and beyond, in most cases, the tuition for the last two courses is covered by the University*. After students have registered for their final semester of graduate courses, they must report to the Office of Graduate Studies to complete a tuition remission form. This form will be approved by the Dean and forwarded to the Bursar's Office to make the appropriate adjustment to the student's account.

*For some programs, one course is covered, and for a few programs, no final courses are covered. Please check with your individual Program Director for details.