The combined program is available for undergraduate students whose academic performance shows readiness and motivation for graduate study. One should plan for one more year of study than is typically required for the BS degree alone, since three of the courses in the Master’s core are taken in the senior year and applied to both degrees.
Admission to the Program
Students who are interested in the BS/MS program should discuss their interest with a department advisor as early as the sophomore year. A student should request acceptance into the program in the first semester of the junior year. This will be the semester following the one in which 60 credits have been earned toward the BS degree.
To be eligible for this program, a student must have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.2 or higher at UMBC and all other institutions attended. This is a minimum requirement, and attainment of a 3.2 GPA does not guarantee admission to the combined degree program. The admission decision is determined on an individual basis taking into account the student’s past record, expected future performance, and how well the combined program would meet student’s educational objectives.
Applicants for the combined program must have completed the IS gateway and be enrolled in IS 410 prior to applying for the combined program. Students should be aware of the current requirements for admission to the department’s Master level graduate programs so that they will complete coursework meeting these same requirements, or their equivalents. Applicants should have completed or have those courses underway prior to applying for the BS/MS program.
Students seeking admission to the combined program should complete the online IS Department Combined Program application form, and request recommendations from two members of the faculty. Faculty who are providing a recommendation should send an email to the Undergraduate Program Director, Dr. Sreedevi Sampath (firstname.lastname@example.org) stating how they know the applicant and why they think the applicant is a good candidate for the combined program. The Undergraduate Programs Director will review the application and make a recommendation to the IS Graduate Program Director, who makes the admission decision. Students are notified of the decision, and the Graduate School is also informed when a student is accepted. This acceptance is by the IS Department only; the student still must formally apply to and be accepted by the Graduate School in order to finish the Masters portion of the program. Deadlines for applications to the combined programs are December 15 and May 15.
Acceptance into the combined program neither obligates the student to complete the program beyond the BS degree, nor does it obligate the Department or Graduate School to admit the student into the graduate program, when applying formally to the Graduate School. If the Graduate School finds reason to reject a student’s application, that decision is binding, even though the student may have been accepted into the combined degree program by the IS Department.
BS/MS Program Regulations and Procedures
Once admitted to the combined program, the student must maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average. No more than two “C” grades may be received in all courses taken after admission. If the GPA falls below 3.0 or if more than two “C” grades are received, the student will be removed from the combined program. This does not affect the student’s eligibility for the BS degree under normal University undergraduate requirements. Any one “D” or “F” also results in removal from the combined program.
Students in the combined program must formally apply for admission to the Graduate School before the UMBC Graduate School’s application deadline during the semester in which the course work for the BS is completed. No more than 9 credits of graduate courses may be taken while the student is paying undergraduate tuition.
Students in the combined program must take three of the courses required for the undergraduate major as graduate courses under their graduate course numbers. These are IS 625 or IS 603 (in place of 425), IS 636 (in place of 436) and IS 651 (in place of 451). These courses count for both degrees; therefore, a minimum of 21 additional credits is required for the Master’s degree. For additional information about MS requirements, see the MS section of this website or the Graduate School Catalog.