The five-year BS/MS program is designed to allow qualifying students to take up to six hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee, thus reducing the amount of time it takes for a student to earn a master's degree.
Detailed procedures are listed below.
Admission. Students to be admitted to the program must have completed 96 hours of required course work with a minimum overall GPA of 3.4. Interested and qualified students need to fill out the Admission Form and return it to Ms. Julia Elkins at 401 Min H. Kao Building. The Admission Form needs to be approved by both the department chair and the Graduate School.
Course Approval. All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the departmental chair of the program. Admitted students need to fill out the Course Approval Form and return it to Ms. Julia Elkins at 401 Min H. Kao Building. This should be done by the beginning of the student’s last semester of their BS degree, at the latest. The Course Approval Form needs to be approved by both the department chair and the Dean at the College of Engineering. The courses will appear in DARS under “MASTERS PROG”. The signed Admission Form from Step 1 needs to be attached to the Course Approval Form when submitted to the College for approval.
Senior Requesting Graduate Credit Petition. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Admitted students need to fill out the “Senior Requesting Graduate Credit Form” that can be downloaded from http://gradschool.utk.edu/gradforms.shtml. Students need to return the signed form to Ms. Julia Elkins at 401 Min H. Kao Building. This process must be completed in the semester in which the course is taken. No retroactive changes from undergraduate to graduate credit level will be made once a course is on a student's academic history.
Applying to Graduate School. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to Graduate School. Admission to the Five-Year BS/MS Program does not automatically admit them to Graduate School. This process must be completed in the semester in which the first course for graduate credit is taken. No retroactive changes from undergraduate to graduate credit level will be made once a course is on a student's academic history.
The approved courses include all ECE 4xx/5xx and COSC 4xx/5xx lecture-based courses taken as graduate credits.
This program is designed for students pursuing their MS degree at UT. Other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the BS degree.
For questions regarding application to Graduate School, please see Ms. Dana Bryson at 401 Min H. Kao Building.
The Senior Privilege (as described in the Graduate Catalog) limits an undergraduate student to a maximum of 9 graduate credits (prior to formal admission to the Graduate School and completion of the undergraduate degree). Therefore, we recommend that BS/MS students take two approved 4xx or 5xx courses during either the junior or senior year to satisfy the 6 dual credit hours (which count toward both degrees). One additional 4xx or 5xx course (keeping in mind that only two 3-credit 4xx courses can count towards the MS degree) can be taken to count soley for the MS degree before completing the BS degree. Upon completion of BS degree requirements, a maximum of 9 graduate credits can be accrued toward the MS degree.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why would I choose BS/MS vs. separate B.S. and M.S. programs? A: Two reasons: With BS/MS, you get to have 6 hours of graduate credits double counted which means less course work for Graduate School (only need 24 hrs instead of regular 30 hrs of course work). If admitted to the program, the students become preferred candidates for departmental scholarship and fellowships.
Q: Why would I choose BS/MS vs. double B.S. degrees? A: If you are considering a double major, e.g., CpE and EE, you might want to consider this program. With the same amount of work you get a B.S. degree and an M.S. degree instead of two B.S. degrees.
Q: Would BS/MS be appropriate if I were considering a Ph.D. someday? A: Being in the BS/MS program does not conflict with Ph.D. study at all. If, for any reason, you decide to apply for the direct Ph.D. program instead of BS/MS, the graduate credits can still be counted toward your Ph.D. study.
Q: Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) when applying to Graduate School? A: Yes. The College of Engineering (COE) requires that all students take the GRE test when applying for admittance to Graduate School. EECS and the COE expect to see a high GRE average from incoming graduate students. Undergraduate students should take the GRE exam no later than the first semester of their senior year so that scores will be available to the Graduate School and EECS Graduate Admissions Committee and thereby complete the graduate admission before the Senior Privilege (see above) expires.
Q: What thesis options are available to BS/MS students? A: BS/MS students have the same three thesis options: course only (with 24 hours of additional graduate credits), thesis option (with 18 hours of additional graduate credits), and a non-thesis project option (with 21 hours of additional graduate credits).