INTRODUCTION

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers a combined B.S./M.S. program that will allow outstanding students to earn both BSCE and MSCE degrees in a five-year program.  This accelerated program enables undergraduate students to begin their graduate experience at an earlier date and thereby receive both a more challenging education and the rewards of advanced learning activities.   The required research activities will enhance a student’s record of achievement such that it exceeds that of most undergraduate students nationwide.   This opportunity is not open to all undergraduates, but those who do qualify will find the BS/MS experience very rewarding.   This combined program does not compromise the requirements for either the BS degree or the MS degree.   

REQUIREMENTS

The BS/MS opportunity is only available to students who are currently enrolled in our department.   Students will complete all of the normal requirements for both the BS and MS degrees, but in a reduced time period because two courses count towards the requirements for both degrees.   The minimum requirements for acceptance into this combined program are:

  • At least a 3.50 GPA at the time of admission.
  • No more than 24 credits of ENCE courses remaining for the B.S. degree.
  • No more than 6 credits of GenEd requirements remaining for the B.S. degree
  • The applicant must have completed at least two semesters of CEE course work on campus prior to applying for admission to the BS/MS program. ·       

 If you opt to complete the BS/MS program, a M.S. thesis is required for the M.S. degree.

APPLICATION

To apply for admission to the program, the student should complete the attached forms and submit them to Dr. McCuen (room 1170).  

Richard McCuen

Richard McCuen

Professor, Ben Dyer Chair in Civil Engineering
1170 Glenn. L. Martin Hall, College Park, MD 20742
301-405-1949

 

Apply

FAQs

The program is an opportunity to complete the requirements for the two degrees in a five-year span.  Completing the MS degree usually requires 1.5 to 2 years full time beyond the BS degree.   

 Obviously, the reduced time to earn the graduate degree is the principal benefit.  However, those involved in the program also have the opportunity to become involved in research as an undergraduate and replace two undergraduate classes with up to two graduate courses while still enrolled as an undergraduate.

The program does not have any disadvantages.  You get to enroll in two graduate-level courses in your senior year, which provides you with the opportunity to experience graduate-level work before actually being a graduate student.  These courses will be focused on your primary career interest.  They will, of course, be more challenging than the undergraduate courses that you have had in the past.

Acceptance into the program requires a 3.50 GPA or better based on your UMCP record and junior-year or senior-year status.   The student must have completed at least two semesters of CEE undergraduate work at UMCP.

Planning ideally would start in the sophomore year.  If you do not plan early enough, you may not be able to take full advantage of the program.

The best time to apply is during the semester before you have two semesters remaining; however, you can apply if you only have one semester remaining.  We cannot admit you into the BS/MS program if you have more than three semesters remaining.  However, if you are fairly certain that you will apply to the program, you should talk with one of the undergraduate academic advisors much earlier in your program to ensure that you properly allocate the technical electives to be filled with the two graduate courses.

If you meet the qualifications, discuss the option with a faculty member in your technical specialty, complete the attached application form, and submit it to Dr. McCuen.

No, the graduate courses replace the free elective slots in the undergraduate program. They cannot be used to replace the in-track core courses or the out-of-track electives.Yes and no!  It is not a strict requirement, but it is definitely to your advantage to have an advisor who is committed to serving as your academic and research advisor when you attend graduate school.   The two graduate courses that you select should be approved by the faculty member who will serve as your research advisor, as these courses may be needed to complete the research on time.   While it is not a firm commitment, it is advisable to become involved in a faculty member’s research as soon as possible.   If you have no idea of an advisor, you should see the technical group leader for your track, as follows:

Environmental:  Dr. Davis                                                                                                                                                       
Geotechnical:  Dr. Aggour                                                                                                                                                                 
Project Management:  Dr. Cui                                                                                                                                                      
Structures: Dr. P. Chang                                                                                                                                 
Transportation: Dr.  Schonfeld                                                                                                                                  
Water Resources: Dr. McCuen        

 

No!  You will need to take the GREs before you apply for graduate school, but that is a separate application process.  Admittance to the BS/MS program does not automatically admit you to the graduate program.

No!   With respect to graduation requirements, the two graduate courses are taken as replacements for the two undergraduate technical electives.  Thus, the number of credit hours needed for the BS degree remains the same, but the BS/MS student will only need to complete 24 additional credit hours to be awarded the M.S. degree.   Six of the 24 credit hours are used to complete the M.S. thesis with the remaining 18 credit hours used for course work.

While the BS/MS program does not require a thesis, you cannot take the non-thesis option for the M.S. degree as a member of the BS/MS program.   A thesis is required for the M.S. degree.

Yes!  All good students should make every effort to be involved in research while they are an undergraduate.  Participating in research gives the student a perspective on both graduate school and on state-of-the-art problem solving that most undergraduates are not fortunate enough to experience.

The University requires that a student must complete a M.S. thesis in order to graduate as part of the BS/MS program.   The University allows a five-year period following the first semester of graduate study for the completion of a M.S. degree.   The student should make every effort to get involved in the research as early as possible, with some of the work completed prior to finishing the B.S. degree.

No, but it may be advisable.  The summer before the start of graduate school is a good time to make significant progress on the research.

The courses required depend on the track and the advisor.  They must also fit into the respective graduate program.   Again, it is important to select an advisor as early as possible.   Appendix A shows the courses that are usually acceptable.

No!   The two graduate courses must be at the 600-level or above.

No, the two graduate courses replace the two technical elective slots in the undergraduate program.  They cannot be used to replace the breadth electives.

In some cases, this may be approved; however, it must be approved by both the faculty member who will serve as your M.S. research advisor and the undergraduate advisors.   CEE is subject to accreditation requirements, so your undergraduate program will need to fully meet these B.S. requirements.

Not necessarily!  You need special permission to register for graduate classes.  Your research advisor will give you permission so that arrangements can be made with the undergraduate advisor who you meet with to approve your courses for the next semester.  Once you have been approved for the graduate classes, you must register immediately; if you delay, the clearance may be dropped.

Initially, you will only be applying to the BS/MS program.  Acceptance into the two programs is separate.  Therefore, you will also need to apply to the graduate program.  You should do this in a timely manner in order to be considered for financial assistance.  In fact, once you are in the BS/MS program, you should discuss the financial assistance for graduate school with your advisor. 

Yes!   The GREs are not required for admission to the BS/MS program, so you can be admitted to the BS/MS program without taking the GREs.    The GREs are required for admission to the graduate program.   The two programs are administered separately and applications for admission are made at separate times in your academic program.  

This is certainly acceptable.  Participating in the BS/MS program does not obligate you to complete all of the requirements for the M.S. degree.   There is no penalty for not continuing into the M.S. program.

Yes!   In fact, if you are a member of the EHP, it is a good idea to get the M.S. research started while an undergraduate.   Then the part completed can be used as the EHP requirement and the initial part of the M.S. thesis.   However, the EHP research does not have to be the basis for the BS/MS thesis.


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