An Advanced Degree in Less Time
WPI provides an opportunity for outstanding undergraduate students to earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree concurrently, and in less time than would typically be required to earn each degree separately. The principal advantage of this program is that it allows for certain courses to be counted towards both degree requirements, thereby reducing total class time.
With careful planning and motivation, the combined program typically allows a student to complete requirements for both degrees with only one additional year of full-time study (five years total).
Students enrolled in the BS/MS program may count certain courses towards both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. The Undergraduate Catalog states that for the BS/MS the conversion equivalence is:
- 1/3 WPI undergraduate unit = 2 WPI graduate credit hours
Note: Courses, whose credit hours total no more than 40% of the credit hours required for the master’s degree, and which meet all other requirements for each degree, may be used to satisfy requirements for both degrees.
The Regulations section (below) details which courses may be shared between the two degrees.
Students may formally apply for admission to the BS/MS program during or after taking their second 4000-level Computer Science course. Forms are available through the graduate admissions office or via their web site.
Students who have entered the BS/MS program, or are considering it, qualify for BS/MS credit for the courses listed below. In order to receive BS/MS credit for a course, the student must complete a Course Selection Form; the instructor will indicate the conditions that the student must satisfy in order to receive BS/MS credit for the course, such as earning a specific grade or doing additional assigned work.
Faculty may offer, at their discretion, an additional 1/6 undergraduate unit or equivalently a 1 graduate credit for completing additional work in the course. To obtain this credit, the student must register for 1/6 undergraduate unit of independent study at the 4000-level or a 1 graduate credit independent study at the 500-level with permission from the instructor.
The CS department allows only selected 4000-level undergraduate courses to count towards the BS/MS. The 4000-level courses that may be counted towards both degrees are:
- CS 4120 Analysis of Algorithms
- CS 4123 Theory of Computation
- CS 4233 Object-Oriented Analysis and Design
- CS 4241 Webware: Computational Technology for Network Information Systems
- CS 4341 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- CS 4401 Software Security Engineering
- CS 4432 Database Systems II
- CS 4445 Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery in Databases
- CS 4513 Distributed Computing Systems
- CS 4515 Computer Architecture
- CS 4516 Advanced Computer Networks
- CS 4533 Techniques of Programming Language Translation
- CS 4536 Programming Languages
- CS 4731 Computer Graphics
- CS 4732 Computer Animation
- Undergraduate Independent Studies, with permission of instructor and either the Graduate Committee or the Department Chair
- CS graduate courses except CS 505
Some undergraduate and graduate courses cover similar material. Students may receive credit for both when the graduate course covers extensive material beyond the undergraduate course. The table below lists courses with significant overlap. A student can receive credit for at most one of the two courses in any row of this table.
|Undergraduate Course||Graduate Course|
|CS 4341 Introduction to Artificial Intelligence||CS 534 Artificial Intelligence|
|CS 4432 Database Systems II||CS 542 Database Management Systems|
|CS 4513 Distributed Systems||CS 502 Operating Systems|
|CS 4516 Advanced Computer Networks||CS 513 Introduction to Local and Wide-Area Networks|
|CS 4533 Techniques of Programming Language Translation||CS 544 Compiler Construction|
|CS 4536 Programming Languages||CS 536 Programming Language Design|
|CS 4731 Computer Graphics||CS 543 Computer Graphics|
A BS/MS student may use 1/3 unit of undergraduate course or independent study/project work taken for BS/MS credit to satisfy an MS bin requirement, if either of the following conditions is met:
- The undergraduate course covers material similar to that of a graduate course that satisfies the MS bin. The table above provides pairs of undergraduate and graduate courses that cover similar material. The undergraduate course under consideration must appear in this table, and the corresponding graduate course must satisfy the MS bin requirement.
- The course or independent study/project work is deemed to satisfy the MS bin by the instructor, Bin Committee, and Graduate Program Chair as indicated on the Graduate Bins Petition Form.