Dual Enrollment for BS+MS Degree

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Technically, there are two separate mechanisms for undergraduate students to apply credits from their BS degree towards an MS degree at MSU: the Linked BS+MS program and dual enrollment. In reality, they are essentially the same program with very minor differences. In particular, all Linked BS+MS students automatically also use the dual enrollment mechanism. The dual enrollment option can be used by any student with any GPA , whereas the Linked BS+MS program requires a student to have a 3.5 GPA in their BS program. Typically, we recommend that students pursue the dual enrollment mechanism.


Dual Enrollment

MSU allows current undergraduate students to apply for "dual enrollment" in a graduate program. The MSU Academic Programs describes this option as "an opportunity for academically talented undergraduate students to enroll in graduate courses and conduct research toward a graduate degree while completing the last two years of their bachelor's degree(s)". Students from any undergraduate major at MSU may apply for dual enrollment admission to a Master's program in Engineering (or other graduate programs). When you are dually enrolled, up to 9 credits of the required 30 credits for a Masters degree can be waived. In order to waive 9 credits, you must carefully plan your senior-level technical electives IN ADVANCE and in consultation with the graduate program director in your intended MS program.

When to apply: You should apply for dual enrollment in your junior or senior year.  You would be admitted to the MS program in the same semester as the first course you take that includes credits that will be applied towards your MS degree. You must apply for admission to the MS program prior to that semester.

Requirements: Each department determines its own graduate admission processes and requirements. Please review their graduate admission website for more information, and talk to the graduate program director in the program to which you plan to apply to learn about requirements for GPA, GRE, etc.

Application Procedure

  1. Talk to the graduate program director of the program to which you will apply, and identify a faculty advisor for your Master's program.
  2. Complete the "Request for Dual Enrollment Status Form" located here.  Save this completed form as a PDF document and submit it with your graduate application (below).
  3. Apply to the Master's program of your choice using the online application system hosted by the MSU Office of Admissions.
  4. As part of the application process, using the Graduate Student Portal, upload the "Request for Dual Enrollment Status Form" you previously completed.  When you upload the form, it will ask for a type of document; use type certficate. These shared credits will officially only be in your BS program, and the credits will be waived from the required 30 credits for your MS program.
  5. Follow up with the graduate secretary in the department to which you have applied to ensure that your application has been received and is complete.

 Important Notes

  • Students must be admitted to the MS program before they take any credits that will be used towards their MS programs. For example, if you have agreed with your graduate program director that you will use course 4xx in Fall 2019 towards your MS program, then you must be admitted to the MS program and request dual enrollment status before Fall 2019 begins. Dual enrollment is NOT RETROACTIVE.
  • There are specific timelines and credit limitations for dual enrollment programs, and dual enrollment can have significant implications for students' financial aid and tuition costs; students are strongly encouraged to consult the MSU Office of Financial Aid prior to application. Most critically, you will be billed at graduate level tuition rates once you have completed 120 credits at MSU, regardless of whether you have actually completed the courses required to earn your bachelor's degree. In practice, this may not happen right at the moment when you have completed 120 credits, but it might. On the positive side, you will also be eligible for graduate assistantships and fellowships once you have completed 120 credits.


Linked BS+MS Degree Programs in Engineering

Please note: the dual enrollment option described above has largely superseded the Linked BS+MS programs. As of 2017-18, students are typically encouraged to pursue dual enrollment instead, because it offers the same benefits with fewer restrictions on GPA and majors.  Information on the LInked BS+MS program is included below for reference.

The Linked BS+MS programs allow academically talented undergraduates to waive 9 credits of the MS program, allowing them to complete the Master's degree at MSU in 21 credits instead of 30.  This is accomplished because "a candidate for a Linked Bachelor's-Master's Degree from Michigan State University may request the application of up to 9 credits toward the master's program for qualifying 400-level and above course work taken at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University or another postsecondary accredited institution of comparable academic quality." (MSU Academic Programs Catalog, as of 3/28/2015)

Current MSU undergraduate students in the College of Engineering may pursue Linked BS+MS programs in specific areas:

To participate, students must generally apply for the Linked program at least 1.5 semesters prior to completing their BS degree and must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 at the time they complete the BS degree.  The BS and MS programs are completed sequentially: students plan their senior-year classes with input from a graduate adviser in their department, and then after completing the BS degree students continue into the 21-credit MS program.

Applications for the Linked BS+MS programs are handled by the individual departments; please consult the graduate program director in your department for more information.