Why We Recommend The B.S. - M.S. Degree
- In today's world, the B.S. degree is not as valuable as it used to be. There is more material to learn, more techniques to master, and many more B.S. degree recipients out there. Engineering societies are increasingly requiring that one get a master's degree before becoming a registered professional engineer. For example, the American Society of Civil Engineers will require the M.S. degree after the year 2015 before professional engineering certification can be given. The work you do as an M.S. degree holder will be much more fulfilling and rewarding (professionally as well as financially) than a position you will have with a B.S. degree.
- The B.S. - M.S. program offers you an opportunity to broaden your horizons, knowledge and expertise, and to do all this in a way that is seamlessly integrated to your undergraduate degree and in a shorter time frame than if you went to another university for graduate study or if you begin your graduate study a few years after graduation.
Rutgers undergraduates who have a GPA of 3.2 or higher (note: some departments have different GPA requirements) and have completed (or are completing) their sixth semester are eligible to apply to the B.S. - M.S. program. Students usually apply during their sixth semester or right before their seventh semester. Eligibility requirements are identical to those for the James J. Slade Scholars Program of the School of Engineering. The interested student must have completed 96 credits of coursework at the end of their sixth semester of undergraduate study.
In addition to the possibility of completing your graduate studies in a reduced time frame, the B.S. - M.S. program offers the following advantages:
- The GRE requirement is waived for students in the B.S.-M.S. program. Please note that SoE still recommends that you take the GRE exam, as it is required for application to national fellowships, as well as by graduate programs at other universities.
- You do not need to submit a formal application to the Rutgers Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions. Your application will be processed internally and, even though you do not submit an application to OGPA, you will receive an official admissions letter from OGPA a few weeks after you are notified by your department that you have been admitted.
The B.S. - M.S. program provides students with the opportunity to get a Master's degree within a shortened time frame. This becomes possible if you enroll in the School of Engineering James J. Slade Scholars Program or take one or more graduate-level courses in the senior year in addition to undergraduate degree requirements. The following is a recommended study sequence:
- Summer following third year (optional): Apply for a summer internship or fellowship program and begin research/project work.
- Senior year: Enroll in Slade Scholars Program. Take six credits of 650:491 and 650:492, which count as course credits towards the M.S. degree (or Masters Engineering degree, if your department offers it). Research can become the thesis topic for the M.S. degree. Students can take graduate courses, if prepared.
- Fifth year: Three courses and three credit hours of research each semester. You can take fewer courses each semester, but this would lengthen the duration of the Master's studies.
- Summer (and perhaps fall) following fifth year: Write M.S. thesis (for thesis students) or take comprehensive final exam, or M.Eng. project report (for Masters Engineering students) and present your project.
Note: Students can change advisors at the end of their fourth year. The Slade Scholar research topic does not necessarily have to be the M.S. thesis topic or Masters Engineering project topic.
You apply to the graduate program office of the department in which you are enrolled. While departmental procedures (such as GPA requirements and deadlines) may vary slightly, the following general rules govern the application process:
- Fill out the B.S. - M.S. Degree Application Form (pick up from dept. office or from your department's web site)
- Attach a copy of your transcript (you can download from web)
- Brief personal statement
- Two letters of recommendation.
Once you are admitted to the B.S. - M.S. program and you maintain your department's requirements, then during the Spring semester of your studies you will receive official notice from the graduate program that you have been admitted. After that, you will receive an official letter from the Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions.
Please contact the garduate program director of your department or the Office of Graduate Education in Engineering for more information.