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Five Year BS/MS

GRad Students work with faculty member in the Power Lab

Five-Year BS/MS Program

The Five-Year BS/MS program is designed to allow qualifying students to take up to nine hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their BS and MS degrees, thus reducing the amount of time it takes for a student to earn a master’s degree.

How to Apply


Students must be in the process of completing or already have completed 96 hours of required undergraduate course work. They must have an overall GPA of 3.4 or better when applying and continue to meet that minimum until graduation. Interested students should discuss their case with EECS Academic Advisors Mike Taylor, Joanna Rathbone, or Noah Blacker and, when given the go-ahead, fill-out and submit the Admission/Course Approval Form for signature. DO NOT SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE FORM FOR THE SAME COURSE(S).

All applications are reviewed and approved by the EECS Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Jens Gregor.

The deadline for applying to the Five-Year BS/MS program is the drop/add deadline of the semester in which a course will be taken.

Approved Courses

The list of approved courses includes all lecture-based 400- and 500-level ECE and COSC courses listed in the graduate catalog that are scheduled for the upcoming semester. Note that 400-level courses will be approved only if the corresponding 500-level course is not offered in the same semester. Students must submit an Admission/Course Approval Form for each semester they take want to courses under the program. Approval will not be given retroactively. Students MUST obtain approval prior to taking a course.


Approved courses will appear in DARS under “MASTERS PROGRAM”. Once the BS degree has been conferred, approved courses are automatically transferred to the MS degree by the Graduate School.

Senior Requesting Graduate Credit

During their senior year, students may choose to instead request taking graduate credit that only count toward a graduate degree. See Graduate School Instructions for Senior Requesting Graduate Credit. The associated form is not needed for courses approved for the Five-Year BS/MS program.

Applying to Graduate School

Students admitted to the Five-Year BS/MS program must follow the normal procedure for graduate admission, including filing an application complete with references, etc. Students are not required to apply for or accept admission to the EECS graduate program in order for the course credits to count toward the BS degree.

Additional Information

  • Only lecture-based ECE 400- and 500-level and COSC 400- and 500-level courses will be approved. Independent study, off-campus study, and seminar courses are not considered lecture based.
  • Undergraduate students are not allowed to take 600-level courses.
  • The program is designed for students pursuing their MS degree at UT. Other universities will likely not allow transfer of graduate courses that have been used to satisfy the requirements for a BS degree.
  • For questions regarding graduate admissions, please see Christian Franco.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why would I choose to do the Five-Year BS/MS program vs. completing separate BS and MS degrees?

A: Two reasons: With the Five-Year BS/MS program, you get to double-count up to 9 credit hours, which means less course work for graduate school (you’ll only need 21 hours instead of the regular 30 hours of coursework). If admitted to the program, you’ll become a preferred candidate for departmental scholarship and fellowships.

Q: Why would I choose the Five-Year BS/MS program vs. doing double BS degrees?

A: If you are considering a double major, you may want to consider this program. With the same amount of work you will receive a BS degree and an MS degree instead of two BS degrees.

Q: Would the Five-Year BS/MS program be appropriate if I were considering a PhD someday?

A: Being in the Five-Year BS/MS program does not conflict with PhD study at all. If, for any reason, you decide to apply for the PhD program instead of the Five-Year BS/MS program, the graduate credits can still be counted toward your PhD degree.

Q: Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) when applying to Graduate School?

A: No, the GRE is not required for MS applicants.

Q: What MS options are available to students in the Five-Year BS/MS program?

A: Once in the MS program, students have the same three options as regular MS students: course only (30 hours of graduate course credits), thesis option (24 hours of graduate courses credits plus 6 hours of thesis (500) credits), and a project option (27 hours of graduate course credits plus 3 hours of project (501) credits). Courses taken in the Five-Year BS/MS program reduce the number of course credits needed.