Integrated Degree Programs

Integrated Degree Programs (IDPs) are intentionally designed to serve as a bridge between College of Science and Engineering undergraduate and graduate programs.

Integrated Degree Programs allow College of Science and Engineering undergraduate students to complete master’s coursework as an undergraduate student and use those courses toward a master’s program. Students then transition to the graduate program and complete their master’s degree as a graduate student.

See a list of frequently asked questions about IDPs.

Programs available to CSE students

See the departmental webpage for specific program and admission details.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Who are candidates for Integrated Degree Programs?

Students are identified as strong candidates for an integrated degree program by criteria established by the department. Typically, strong candidates would be students who have made substantial progress toward a degree and are able to complete 120 undergraduate degree credits plus additional graduate level coursework within four years (eight semesters) for New High School (NHS) students and three years (six semesters) for New Advanced Standing (NAS) students. Undergraduate students must complete a minimum of one semester at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus before they will be granted admission to the program.

When are students admitted to Integrated Degree Programs?

Students apply to an integrated degree program the semester prior to the last year of their undergraduate academic studies, providing students one year (two semesters) to complete undergraduate degree requirements and also take graduate level courses. Generally, undergraduate students apply in the fall of their third year of study (90 credits completed or in progress) through the graduate school application process.

How are students admitted to Integrated Degree Programs?

Undergraduate students apply for admission to integrated degree programs via the graduate school application process. Accepted students will not need to take the GRE exam as part of their graduate application, unlike other students applying to graduate programs. Students are admitted for a particular term and then deferred for an academic year.

Admitted students receive an automatic notification from the application system, indicating admission to a combined program, and the program action is left at admit stage. Students are matriculated in the graduate program after completing one year of concurrent undergrad/grad study and after the undergraduate degree is awarded. At that point, the student enters the graduate program.

When is the undergraduate degree awarded?

The undergraduate degree must be completed and awarded no later than the four-year mark for New High School (NHS) students and the three-year mark for New Advanced Standing (NAS) students—with a minimum of one year to master’s degree completion. The undergraduate and graduate degrees should not be awarded simultaneously.

Should the undergraduate degree be completed prior to beginning master’s coursework?

No. Students should concurrently complete their undergraduate degree requirements while beginning master’s coursework. Once undergraduate degree requirements are completed, the undergraduate degree will be awarded.

Can University Honors Program students continue working on their thesis while taking graduate coursework?

University Honors Program students admitted to an Integrated Degree Program should be cleared for their undergraduate degree when degree requirements are met, after the four-year mark of undergraduate study for New High School (NHS) students and the three-year mark of undergraduate study for New Advanced Standing (NAS) students. Students are allowed to continue working on their honors thesis while working toward their graduate degree. The extended time for thesis completion post-undergraduate degree conferment is one year.

Can the graduate degree be awarded simultaneously with the undergraduate degree?

No. Students must be enrolled in a graduate program after completing an undergraduate degree in order to receive a graduate degree. Students must enroll in and complete a minimum of one semester as a graduate student and complete the minimum number of credits defined in the Application of Credits for Students Earning Graduate Degrees policy.

How is the tuition rate determined for Integrated Degree Programs?

Tuition rate is determined by student status. For example, undergraduate students pay undergraduate tuition rates regardless of whether they are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate career courses.

What are the financial aid implications related to Integrated Degree Programs?

Undergraduate students cannot pursue an undergraduate degree and a graduate or professional degree simultaneously. Financial aid eligibility is tied to a student’s standing as an undergraduate or graduate student. 

First-degree undergraduate students who have completed the FAFSA will be considered for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. Aid may consist of grants; work study funds; and subsidized, unsubsidized, and Parent loans.

Second-degree undergraduate students are not eligible for grants but will be awarded the loans for which they qualify given their grade level and dependency status. Once the undergraduate degree is awarded, students become eligible for graduate financial aid. Graduate financial aid consists primarily of loans (federal unsubsidized and Grad Plus). Eligibility for fellowships and graduate assistantships is determined by the student's department.

If students begin their graduate program mid-year or during summer term, financial aid staff will likely need to manually package and/or adjust previously awarded aid. If students begin their graduate program fall semester, they will likely be picked up by the system and packaged automatically with the appropriate aid and cost of attendance. Students should consult with One Stop Student Services with questions.

How are credits transferred from the undergraduate career to the graduate career?

Coursework applied to the graduate degree must be taken at the graduate level (i.e., 5xxx or above with the exception of some 4xxx credits - maximum of 9 credits allowed) and cannot also be applied to the undergraduate degree (i.e., no “double dipping”). There should be agreements in place in the departmental advising offices at both the undergraduate and graduate level that outline a clear path for progression to the master’s while also completing the bachelor's degree. In addition, the bachelor’s degree must be awarded prior to the admit term of the master's.

How are Integrated Degree Programs reflected in APAS for undergraduate students?

Integrated degree programs are represented as a sub-plan on the APAS with text explaining requirements for admission to the integrated program as well as course requirements (course list or group) for the graduate program. The sub plan may also be represented with a sample plan to make clear the path to concurrently completing the undergraduate requirements of the integrated degree program. The text would not prevent an APAS report from appearing complete when the undergraduate requirements are completed.

Courses that will be used to fulfill master’s degree requirements must appear in the IDP sub-plan by the 10th day of the semester in which the student is enrolled in the courses. Any final edits or updates to the IDP sub-pan must be reflected on the APAS no later than the last day of instruction in the semester in which the undergraduate degree will be awarded. Courses not in this sub-plan by that time cannot be updated at a later time and, therefore, will not be eligible for use toward the master’s degree.