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BS/MS Combined Degree Program

A great opportunity!

The Combined BS/MS Program provides qualifying students the opportunity to apply credits earned as an undergraduate toward completion of Master's degree requirements. Enrolling in a combined BS/MS program can shorten the total time to earn both a BS degree and an MS degree by 1-2 terms. When enrolled in a combined BS/MS program, a student may count in-program advanced elective credits taken as a undergraduate toward the completion of a Master's degree.

In addition, students enrolled in the Combined BS/MS Program may be eligible to hold a Graduate Research Associateship (GRA), which addresses the student's academic tuition and fees, 100% payment of OSU Student Health Insurance premiums, as well as a monthly student stipend.

Minimum criteria for consideration

Applicants for the BS/MS program are required to submit documentation to demonstrate fulfillment of the following criteria:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 90 undergraduate semester credit hours.
  2. A minimum of 3.5 cumulative point-hour ratio in all previous undergraduate work (this is an inflexible minimum).
  3. Current registration in the MSE or WE undergraduate program.
  4. A rank of Senior in the MSE or WE undergraduate program at the time of proposed admission.

College of Engineering Combined Degree Program

Our MSE and WE BS/MS programs are offered within the parameters of the College of Engineering Combined Degree Program. The College site provides information on important program constraints including

  • deadlines for submission of changes to the list of dual-credit courses,
  • when a student may or may not enroll in graduate-only credit,
  • deadline for completing the dual-credit courses, and more.

General timeline and application

The general process is as follows:

  • The student should discuss GRA funding with faculty who share their interests. If a faculty member is willing to support the student, the student should secure email confirmation of this GRA funding. 
  • The student completes the BS/MS Notification form. This should occur, ideally, at least two months before the start of the proposed term of admission. Submissions less than two months before will be accepted.
  • The Undergrad Advisor (Kami Westhoff.11) and Graduate Studies Coordinator (Mark Cooper.73) will review the form submission and confirm if the student qualifies to apply for the BS/MS program.
  • Upon receiving confirmation, the student submits an OSU Graduate School Application and supporting documents.
  • The student submits Combined Degree Program form on indicating which courses will be dual-counted. This is the formal "application" to the BS/MS program MSE or WE. The general process is described on the College of Engineering Combined Program page.
  • The student is to email Mark Cooper(.73) once the Combined Degree Program form has been submitted.
  • The Undergrad Advisor (Kami Westhoff.11) posts approval on GradForms.
  • The MSE or WE Graduate Admissions Committee makes an admission decision by approving the Combined Degree Program form on GradForms. This decision is posted by the Graduate Studies Coordinator (Mark Cooper.73).
  • The Graduate School processes the admission with the Office of Admissions.
  • The student will receive an email from the Admissions Office notifying him/her of admission. The student should then accept admission.
  • The student should contact the MSE-WE Undergraduate Advisor for aid in enrolling the student in the appropriate undergraduate section of dual-use courses. Later, after receipt of the BS, these courses will be duplicated in the student's graduate career with the grades used toward the graduate GPA.
  • GRA employment forms will be emailed to the student to complete. Around this time the student will meet with the MSE-WE Grad Studies Coordinator to go over grad student orientation information.

Application deadlines

The following are the suggested deadlines for application to the BS/MS program. Students typically apply in the middle to late in their Junior year in the MSE or WE Bachelor's program.

For admission in:

Apply by:

Autumn or Summer

May 1*


November 1

* Note: Autumn term admission decisions occur as early as February of a given year. Therefore, it is beneficial for the student to apply as early as possible in the year.

Funding and the BS/MS

Funding the BS/MS
Admission to the BS/MS Combined Program may negatively effect scholarship funding. Includes information about securing a Graduate Research Associateship (GRA) position. GRA positions provide tuition payment and provide a monthly stipend for the student.

Dual-use courses--what double counts

To earn a Master's with Thesis degree in MSE or WE a student must take at least 30 semester credits of graduate-level course work, a prescribed number of which are to come from graded courses. The BS/MS program allows for fixed number of graded credits to be earned as part of the Bachelor's degree.

Nine dual-use credits are to come from MSE elective courses at the 5000-level or greater.

  • By petition, up to three credits of these 5000-level in-MSE courses may be counted as 6000-level in-MSE credits toward the MS degree requirements.

(Effective for AU24 admissions) Nine dual-use credits are to come from WE elective courses at the 5000-level or greater (i.e., graduate-level courses in WE which typically equates to 7000-level offerings). WE BS/MS applicants admitted to the BS/MS program prior to AU24 may use up to 12 dual-use credits.

The student must satisfy the remaining Master's with Thesis degree requirements for his/her program (MSE or WE). Students seeking to pursue a Master's non-Thesis degree must gain prior approval from the MSE or WE Graduate Studies Committee.

The "BS/PhD"--continuing on to a doctoral degree

Depending on a number of factors--advisor approval, project funding, etc.--a student admitted to the BS/MS program may continue on to pursue a PhD. The 9 dual-use credits earned as an undergrad will be applied toward the PhD requirements. Please contact the Grad Studies Coordinator concerning pursuit of a PhD.

Changes to these guidelines

An individual's circumstances may not exactly match the above guidelines. A BS/MS applicant should keep in mind that s/he may petition the GSC to deviate from these directions. A petition should be submitted and approved prior to deviating from the guidelines. Submit such a petition using the form at the link below.

Petition form



Please contact the MSE-WE Graduate Studies Coordinator, Mark Cooper.

Additional information:


BS/MS Notification form

Please use this one-page form to indicate your interest in the BS/MS program in either MSE or WE. A copy of the submission will be sent to the student, the MSE-WE Undergrad Advisor, and MSE-WE Grad Studies Coordinator.