Combined Bachelor of Science/Master of Science

photo of students studying togetherThe Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering (BIE) offers a combined Bachelor's of Science/Master's of Science (BS/MS) degree program, which allows students to receive both a BS in Biomedical Engineering (BME) or Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) and a MS in BME or IHE in 5 years. Up to twelve (12) semester credit hours of 6000-level courses, respectively, may be double counted and applied towards both BS and MS degree requirements.

Admission Process

In the junior year, typically when between 60 and 30 hours are remaining for completion of the BS degree, a student interested in pursuing combined BS/MS degrees should submit the Application Application to a Combined Degree Program (PDF) to a Combined Degree Program to the BIE Department. This application requires verification of eligibility by the department and approval of the Department Chair.  Along with the application, the applicant is required to submit a graduate Program of Study, signed by the student’s graduate faculty advisor and Department Chair.  

Admission Requirements

The student must have:

  • completed at least 75 semester credits of the course work required for the BS degree,
  • achieved a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.3, and
  • have no grade lower than B in any BME/ISE course to be admitted into the combined BS/MS program

Application Deadlines

Applications are due two weeks prior to the end of the semester before the student expects to begin the program (i.e. two weeks before the end of the fall semester for spring admission and two weeks before the end of the spring semester for fall admission).

Admission Status

Once the application is approved in the BIE Department and the Graduate School, until completion of the undergraduate course requirements, the student remains in undergraduate status; however, students will be permitted to register independently for their approved graduate level courses. Following completion of the BS degree, the student will be transitioned to graduate status, provided the student’s graduate GPA is 3.0 or higher. 

Undergraduate Program Options

Students can take up to fifteen (15) semester hours of graduate courses while in undergraduate status.  The first twelve (12) semester hours of graduate work will be counted on both the undergraduate and graduate transcripts.  An additional three (3) semester hours of graduate work can be taken to count on the graduate transcript only.  In other words, students can complete up to one-half of their MS degree while still in undergraduate status with a combination of dually counted and additional graduate coursework. Please be sure you understand how your selected graduate coursework will fulfill both BS and MS requirements when you apply to the program.      

Graduate Program of Study Requirements

The graduate Program of Study that is submitted at the time of application to the BS/MS program must include:  30 semester hours total; 18 or more semester hours of discipline-specific coursework (6000- or 7000-level); 15 or more semester hours (BME students) or 12 or more semester hours (ISE/IHE students) of 7000-level coursework in the BIE Department; BME/IHE 6010 (1 credit hour); 6 semester hours of approved coursework with mathematics, computer science or statistics content.  The graduate Program of Study should be turned in with the application and already signed by the student and the graduate faculty advisor.

Suggestions for developing a graduate Program of Study: 

  • Determine your preferred focus area(s) and meet with a faculty advisor for advice about which graduate courses would best suit your interests.
    • Thesis option students should meet with an advisor in their selected research focus area. 
    • BME course option students should meet with Dr. Ramirez-Vick for initial graduate advising. 
    • ISE/IHE course option students should meet with Dr. Parikh or Dr. Ganapathy for initial graduate advising. 
  • Do not get overwhelmed by the credit hour requirements above.  Work backward by finding courses that interest you first and then determine if those courses satisfy the requirements.  Oftentimes, students need only a few, if any, adjustments to the draft program of study using this strategy. 
  • The initial Program of Study is required for the BS/MS application, but any changes can be resubmitted later as needed. 

Program Withdrawal

A student admitted to the combined BS/MS program may withdraw from the combined program and continue as a traditional undergraduate student. However, if the student is awarded a BS degree and becomes a graduate student again at a later time, the graduate credits applied to the BS degree cannot also be applied to the MS degree.

Program Dismissal

Failure to keep a minimum cumulative or discipline-specific undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or to complete the BS requirements within three years of admission to the combined degree program will result in dismissal from the combined BS/MS program. 

Students whose graduate GPA is below 3.0 will be required to petition to be admitted conditionally to the Graduate School following the completion of the BS program.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Students in the combined BS/MS degree program will pay undergraduate tuition through completion of the BS degree. Upon transition to the Graduate School, students will pay tuition at the graduate level.

Students are eligible for undergraduate financial aid until completion of the BS requirements. Upon transition to the graduate school, they become eligible for graduate forms of financial aid, including graduate tuition scholarships and graduate assistantships.

Grades & Transcripts

Students will receive both undergraduate and graduate transcripts, from which two separate GPAs will be calculated.  Credits that are dually counted will appear on both transcripts.