Combined Graduate & Undergraduate Programs
The College of Engineering offers a number of combined degree (BS/MS) programs for undergraduate students with outstanding academic records to encourage them to pursue advanced degrees. This allows well-qualified undergraduate students at Ohio State to start graduate study before completing their undergraduate degree. Enrolling in a combined BS/MS program can shorten the total time to get both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree. By enrolling in a combined BS/MS program, you are eligible to count up to 12 semester credit-hours (depending on the program) of courses taken as a graduate student toward your bachelor's degree - and these credit-hours also count toward your master's degree.
Eligibility & Deadlines
You must meet all requirements imposed by the Graduate School for combined BS/MS programs. Section II of the official OSU Graduate School Handbook contains up-to-date information about these requirements. You are eligible to apply for a combined graduate & undergraduate program in Engineering if:
- you are an OSU undergraduate student (not necessarily in Engineering); and
- you have at least a 3.5 CPHR in all previous undergraduate work; and
- you have completed at least 90 undergraduate semester credit hours toward the BS degree.
The application deadline for a combined degree program depends on the application deadline for the MS program. See the program links below for more details. In addition to meeting any MS program application deadlines, applications to a BS/MS program are due no later than three weeks before the start of each term. International student applications are due no later than nine weeks before the start of each term in order to allow sufficient time for the Graduate School's financial review process. It is best to apply early in order to allow time for programs to review the application before the final deadlines.
For information about the specific combined BS/MS programs in Engineering, including possible additional restrictions on undergraduate CPHR, courses that can be double-counted, timetables and procedures for application, admission, and enrollment, etc., see the department-specific information for these graduate areas:
Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
City and Regional Planning (The Knowlton School of Architecture offers a BS/MCRP in City & Regional Planning)
Computer Science and Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Materials Science and Engineering
Application, Admission, and Enrollment
There are several steps you’ll need to complete before enrolling as a Combined Degree student.
First, meet with both your undergraduate advisor and the graduate program coordinator to discuss your plans. Talk about which degree plan you would like to pursue, ask how to apply to the graduate program, make a list of the classes you would like to double-count for both the undergraduate and the graduate degree, and make sure both advisors have approved the coursework as meeting requirements. Be sure to keep in mind that no more than 12 credit hours can be double-counted, and that you can only double-count courses taken after admission to the BS/MS program; no coursework from past terms may be double-counted.
Next you will need to apply to the graduate program from which you plan to earn the master’s degree, following the normal graduate admission process, and indicate on the application your desire to enter the combined BS/MS program. You must complete the normal application to the MS program before you can apply to the Combined Degree program.
After completing the first two steps, you can access the online application form for the Combined Degree program at https://gradforms.osu.edu/grad-forms/form/enrollmentForms. It’s important to note that you will not be able to edit the form after submitting it, so you need to plan your coursework carefully and be sure you have discussed these plans and received approval from your advisor and the graduate program coordinator.
After your application form has been reviewed by the Graduate School, the undergraduate advisor for the BS program, the graduate coordinator for the MS program, the Graduate Studies Chair for the MS program, and the College of Engineering BS/MS Coordinator, you will receive an email notifying you of your admission status.
After admission to the Combined Degree program, you will be charged with graduate tuition and fees. When you schedule the courses which will double-count, be sure to choose the undergraduate option in your student center as you enroll. If you schedule any courses on the graduate option, they will only apply to the MS and cannot be double-counted. Be sure to follow the course plan from your application, or let your undergraduate and graduate advisors know about any challenges or changes to your plan. After you have earned the BS degree, the courses which you listed on your Combined Degree application form and completed as part of your undergraduate record will be duplicated and applied to your graduate record.
Here are some additional points you should consider:
- When you apply to a combined BS/MS program, you get no preferential treatment for graduate admission merely by virtue of being an OSU undergraduate. You apply, and are admitted, to graduate study under the normal graduate admission criteria and processes. This means that the time at which you apply and the semester during which you actually enroll in the combined BS/MS program (after being admitted) are very important. Make sure to check with the department whose graduate program you are considering as soon as you think you might be interested in a combined BS/MS program.
- Courses you take while you are enrolled in a combined BS/MS program (i.e., while you are officially a graduate student) may count toward your MS degree. So you must apply for, be admitted to, and enroll in a combined BS/MS program before you reap this benefit.
- Once you are enrolled in a combined BS/MS program, you become a graduate student and are charged graduate tuition and fees. Since these are higher than undergraduate tuition and fees, the result can be a financial burden. Provisions to deal with this vary by program. For example, some programs cover the difference in cost between undergraduate and graduate tuition and fees for some period. Students enrolled in a bachelor’s/master’s combined program may hold GA appointments that do not involve teaching of other students provided all other eligibility criteria are met. Check with the Graduate School for details.
- If you hold a graduate fellowship or graduate associate position, then you must meet all graduate-credit-hour and other requirements associated with that position. Again, check with the Graduate School for details.
- You will have two GPAs – one for undergraduate and one for graduate. You will be subject to academic standards at both levels.
Financial Aid for BS/MS Students
Students should file the FAFSA as an undergraduate student (dependent with parent’s information)until completion of the undergraduate degree. Once students complete their B.S. degree they should file the FAFSA as an independent graduate student.
Students who have been previously classified as "Independent", who wish to maintain their undergraduate aid eligibility status while enrolled in the BS-MS program, should continue to select one of the qualifying criteria for “Independent” student status and indicate non-graduate program enrollment with no degree received by July 1 of that academic year.
All BS/MS students will have a dual track in SIS as both an undergraduate student and a graduate student at Ohio State. Students will be counted as graduate students and charged graduate level fees. Students will be eligible to receive undergraduate scholarships (including those with undergraduate full-ride awards, such as Joyce and Land Grant) and participate in federal and state financial aid programs until all bachelor degree requirements have been met. Once bachelor degree requirements have been met, students will lose eligibility for undergraduate aid.
What Should Students Do If Financial Aid Status Changes to Probation or Cancellation Status?
If your financial aid status changes to probation or cancellation status due to the lack of a graduate level GPA, students should file an appeal at the Student Services Center. This may happen to students who complete S/U graded courses at the graduate level before establishing a graduate GPA.
Engineering Undergraduate Program Fee
BS/MS students will not be charged the Engineering Undergraduate Program Fee. This fee should be removed from their bill.
For more information about the competitive admission process for graduate programs, curricular requirements, or other academic questions, please contact the advisor for the specific graduate program.
For information about general requirements, the Combined Degree Approval Forms, or other questions, please contact Jamie Paulson, the College of Engineering’s coordinator for combined BS/MS degree programs, at email@example.com.
For information about completing the online Graduate School forms to apply to the graduate program or to the Combined Degree program, please contact the Graduate School directly.