Bx/MS Joint Degree Program FAQ

Where can I get more information about the program?

Consult the College Catalog Joint Degree Program
Consult the CS Bx/MS webpage
Contact the CS Department Bx/MS Counselor Dr. Borja Sotomayor
Contact your College Advisor

Must I be a CS major to apply to the program?

No! We now have an option for non-CS majors.

Can I double major and complete the MS?

A double major is not explicitly disallowed. However, it is generally not possible to fit in all the required courses in four years. See the CS Department Bx/MS Counselor, Dr. Borja Sotomayor, to evaluate your personal situation.

If I am a CS major, will I automatically get an honors BA or BS degree?,

No, not automatically, but possibly. Although it may appear that the Master's graduate courses also satisfy the Bachelor's honors requirement for CS majors, the requirements for honors in CS are different from the MS requirements. For an honors BA or BS degree, all courses taken for the degree must have grade B or better. For the MS all courses must have a grade B- or better. Also note that the MS project CANNOT also be used for CMSC 29900 Bachelor's thesis. A Bx/MS student will receive an undergraduate CS honors degree if all of the BA/BS courses and three graduate-level courses are completed with grade B or better.

How many courses can I take the 4th year?

The normal course load for graduate students is three courses per quarter, or nine per year. Students accepted into the program are expected to have completed 39 courses by the end of their third year. Therefore, only nine courses should be needed to complete the Bx/MS degree requirement of 48 courses. In exceptional cases, the Department Bx/MS Counselor Dr. Borja Sotomayor may approve taking a 4th course in some quarters.

Are all students required to do a Master's Project?

No.  Only CS majors who choose the research-oriented option (Option 1) are required to do a Master's Project.

What are the requirements for the Master's Project?

Bx/MS students who are CS majors and choose to the research-oriented option are required to complete a Master's project, write a report describing the project, and give a public presentation. Students must complete their presentations by the end of 8th week of their final quarter. Presentations must be announced two weeks in advance (end of 6th week), and a draft of the report must be made available when the presentation is announced. The final report must be submitted by the Wednesday of 10th week. Each student must have a committee with three members, including the student's advisor. At least two of the members of the committee must be voting members of the CS faculty (Assistant Professor or higher).

What will be my tuition in the 4th year?

You will be billed at the graduate student rate. College aid can be applied toward tuition charges in the fourth year of study but will not cover the additional expenses associated with graduate tuition rates and fees. Students on financial aid should consult the financial aid office to gain a complete understanding of any additional (out-of-pocket) costs engendered by participating in this program. Students should consult with the Director of the Masters Programs in Computer Science Anne Rogers should these additional costs prohibit them from participating in this program.

Am I considered a graduate student or an undergraduate student?

You are both an undergraduate and a graduate student. However, the goal is for you to have a "graduate experience" in your 4th year.

What if I don't finish the MS requirements by the end of the 4th year?

The goal is to have both degrees awarded at the same time. If the BA/BS is completed, you may march in Spring convocation. If all of your MS coursework is complete, you may petition to finish the MS project in the summer of the 4th year. You would receive your MS degree at next Spring convocation. Students who do not finish all of the MS requirements by the end of the summer of the 4th year may be terminated from the MS program.