Things to Consider Before Applying to the Integrated Program

The CS&E department has an Integrated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree Program. In this program, students add graduate courses into their undergraduate schedules toward an M.S. in CS.

While the integrated program is a unique opportunity, it also is a fairly specific program with very specific parameters. If students are interested in learning more, one of the things we often recommend is carefully reading through the following reflection questions:

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Do I need an M.S. in CS for my future goals? If "yes", how do I know?

Depending on your goals, it may be that a different graduate degree (an M.S. in software
engineering, an MBA, etc.) is possibly a better fit. As you research job descriptions and
talk to professionals currently working in the jobs that interest you, consider:

  • Are you seeing “M.S. in computer science” specifically listed in the job descriptions as a required qualification? 
  • Are you being advised to earn an M.S. in CS before even entering the workforce, or are you hearing that eventually having an M.S. in CS may be helpful?
  • Is it common for industries/organizations you’re interested in to subsidize part or all of graduate education for their employees?

Do I want to go to grad school immediately after undergrad?

Integrated program students  immediately transition into and commit to full-time graduate school.
Unlike other graduate programs, matriculating (starting the program after you’re accepted) cannot
be deferred (delayed).

Have I considered all of the finances?

IDP students have at least one semester where they can earn graduate credits at an
undergraduate tuition rate; however, once their undergrad degree requirements are completed,
they must commit to at least 2 semesters of full-time graduate school/paying graduate tuition.
Tuition support is not guaranteed for integrated program students.

What would my timeline actually be?

Each student’s integrated program experience is unique; it is NOT guaranteed that you will
finish the M.S. in just two additional semesters. 

  • A maximum of 16 credits of graduate coursework can be taken alongside your undergraduate requirements (this is the “integrated” function of the program); however, this varies widely depending on your unique circumstances and course planning.
  • Full-time enrollment for graduate programs is 6 credits/semester. This means even if you can fit in the max of 16 credits as an undergraduate student, you’ll need at least 2-3 semesters to finish the 15 remaining credits.

These questions are not intended to discourage students from applying, but to highlight that this is a fairly unique and also very specific opportunity. If it makes sense for you and your future goals, fantastic! However, if you're not sure, it may make sense to first engage in some informational interviewing, researching job descriptions (look to see what's actually listed in the qualifications of jobs that interest you!), and playing around with those options. Reach out to your CS major advisor with any other questions or concerns!