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BS/MS

The Integrated BS/MS (Bachelor of Science and Master of Science) Program in Civil Engineering is intended as an honors graduate program for highly motivated and qualified BS students who wish to pursue an advanced degree. Students admitted to the Program may, in the senior year, take up to nine credit hours of graduate courses that will count toward both BS and MS requirements.

Applications to the BS/MS Program must be made after the completion of 75 credit hours of coursework and prior to attaining senior status (completion of 90 credit hours). Normally, this means that students will submit applications in the sixth semester of the BS program (usually the Spring semester of the junior year). Please check with the Professor Mullen, the BS/MS Advisor to learn the specific due date for your application. Two advantages to our BS students applying for the BS/MS Program over the standard MS program are:

  • No application fee is required
  • The GRE exam is not required

The Case School of Engineering (CSE) sets the minimum GPA for admission to the BS/MS Program at 3.00. Individual departments may set a higher minimum GPA.

Applications to the BS/MS Program include the following:

  • The completed application form
  • A Statement of Objectives
  • An official Case transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • An approved Program of Study

The Program of Study must list the courses (research and classes) that will be counted for the MS degree (minimum of 27 hours). Up to nine hours of graduate courses can be double-counted toward both the MS and BS requirements. The courses to be double-counted are to be specified on the Program of Study. The Program of Study must be approved by the Faculty Advisor and the Department Chair before being submitted as part of the application. The completed application file should be returned to the Engineering Student Programs Office in 304 Nord Hall. Any questions concerning the BS/MS Program of the application process can be directed to the Associate Dean James McGuffin-Cawley. When a student is admitted to the BS/MS Program, a Faculty Advisor will be assigned to that student.

The current regulations for the MS degree by the Office of Graduate Studies require a minimum of 18 or 21 credit hours of coursework at the 400-level (or higher), depending upon whether a thesis is completed (for 9 credit hours) or a project is completed (for 6 credit hours), respectively. Please note that any 400-level course taken prior to admission to the BS/MS Program cannot typically be counted as part of the MS degree. If a student is required to complete a senior project as part of their BS degree, they will often utilize the MS thesis to satisfy the senior project requirement, using BS/MS double-counting credit hours.

Financial Aid

The Civil Engineering Department has no involvement with undergraduate financial aid or with the Office of Financial Aid. Undergraduate scholarships typically last until the end of the eighth semester of UG work, or until you graduate with your BS degree (whichever comes first). You can use your undergraduate financial aid until it expires. A few students who entered with advanced placement credit or who have taken extra courses each semester have managed to complete their BS/MS requirements in four years.

The Office of Undergraduate Studies will require you to graduate with your BS as soon as you have completed all your undergraduate degree requirements. As soon as you have completed adequate thesis or project work to satisfactorily double count for senior project, you may apply for your BS degree. Typically, when you graduate with your BS degree earlier than the MS degree, your Research Advisor needs to certify that you have completed sufficient thesis or project work adequate for double counting for senior project towards your BS degree even if you have not fully completed your MS work.

There are a few programs that provide financial aid for the MS degree. Please check the Civil Department Website for links to financial aid programs which may be applicable. Organizations that may support MS Fellowships include the National Science Foundation and NASA.

You might consider searching for a faulty member who is willing to support you as a research assistant on a research contract. You would need to contact the individual faculty member to determine if they have funded research and are looking for a research assistant. Such positions typically require you to work on very specific research projects, which may also be suitable for a thesis. Also BS/MS students are often given preference for Departmental jobs, such as graders and recitation leaders.

The US Department of Education will require at least 6 credit hours each semester for you to obtain any additional Federal loans, but the prior loans will not require repayment until you graduate with your MS. The Office of Financial Aid has made arrangements with SALLIE MAE for a graduate student who is taking at least 1 credit hour per semester to be classified as full-time for purposes of their private Signature Loan. The rate on the Signature Loan could be as low as (Prime minus _%). This can be an excellent backup if you run out of funding.

Often BS/MS students want to know whether they are UG students or Graduate students (or both). Of course, in some ways, they are both, but both the University and CSE officially considers them as undergraduates until they complete the necessary requirements for the BS degree (your records are still kept in UG studies, and if you make inquiries of the Office of Graduate Studies, you will find that they will have no record of your graduate status; these records are only kept in CSE). As soon as you complete your UG BS requirements, you will be required to graduate with your BS degree. At that point you will officially become a graduate student. This distinction can be important because undergraduate and graduate rules are often different. For example, to be a full-time UG student, you must register for at least 12 credit hours for that semester, whereas graduate students are only required to register for 9 credit hours to be considered as full-time students.

There are two graduation deadlines which you must watch closely. These are the deadlines for applying for graduation and for completing the degree. You are responsible for checking with the Office of Graduate Studies to learn the exact deadline dates for applying for graduation and to satisfy all graduation requirements for the MS. You must apply for graduation at the beginning of the semester in which you are expecting to graduate. The deadline is typically about 4-6 weeks after the semester begins.

The MS must be defended before your committee and all materials turned in to the Office of Graduate Studies approximately four weeks before the end of the semester in which you are graduating. There are no exceptions to this rule. The student is responsible for scheduling the oral presentation. This means that you must contact all committee members to determine a mutually acceptable time for the exam.

All MS theses require a written thesis that follows the format established by the School of Graduate Studies. All MS projects require a suitable written report that satisfies your Research Advisor and the committee; there is no specific format for this report. You must provide your thesis/project committee with a copy of your thesis/report 10 days before the oral presentation.

Many students do not know that you can still turn in your materials to the Office of Graduate Studies after the deadline for that semester (known as the