Combined Degree Program

Integrated Five-Year BEE/MSEE and BCompE/MSEE Degree Program

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers the 5-year integrated BEE/MSEE and BCompE/MSEE degree programs, also referred to as the combined degree program. The programs were established to allow high-achieving undergraduates the opportunity to work toward a master’s degree while simultaneously working toward their undergraduate degree.

Application Deadlines:
• May 15 for admission the following fall semester
• Dec.15 for admission the following spring semester

Reasons to Complete a Master’s Degree:
• A master’s degree is necessary for those interested in design and development, or research and development. The program provides additional coursework and/or project experience for advanced design and development jobs.
• The competencies learned in a master’s program are difficult to obtain by other means.
• A master’s degree makes you more competitive in the job market.
• More employers are requiring a master’s degree.
• Increased salary.
• Technology changes 10% per year and almost completely in 10 years.

The combined degree offers several advantages:
• Students are able to work on the undergraduate and graduate degrees simultaneously.
• The amount of time to complete a master’s degree can be shortened by as much as one year.
• Students in the combined degree program qualify for graduate research/teaching assistantships and fellowships once they activate their  graduate status. These positions provide a stipend, tuition, and health insurance benefits.
• There is an increased chance of winning external fellowships. Students in the combined degree program will be eligible to apply for NSF and other external fellowships.
• Students save money because they are able to complete as many as 16 graduate credits at the undergraduate tuition rate. Since the master’s degree is 30 semester credits, this leaves only 14 credits to be taken at the higher graduate tuition rate.

How to Apply:
• Carefully fill in the Five Year Master’s Application Form
• Include a copy of your current APAS Report and a statement of purpose
• Submit by May 15 for admission to the fall semester or by December 15 for admission
to the spring semester

Application Decision:
Applications are evaluated after semester grades are received. Applicants will be notified in early June or early January. If you are accepted to the program, you must submit a graduate school application within a week of notification to indicate your acceptance of our offer of admission.
• Go to the Graduate School’s admissions page
• Submit an unofficial University of Minnesota transcript
• Enter the name Linda Jagerson (jager001@umn.edu) as a recommender. This will fulfill the form requirement for a recommender
• Fill out the application as completely as possible
• Submit the application fee

Frequently Asked Questions
What should I write in my Statement of Purpose?
• Your statement of purpose should speak primarily to your education, background, and fit for our program. Describe your undergraduate education. Describe your specific areas of interest in Electrical Engineering and your goals after the award of your degree. If your interests are broad, state that. Specifically, the statement should address the area or areas of research you are interested in according to the research groups available on the Research section

What GPA does a student need to apply?
• Students with a GPA of 3.4 or better are eligible to apply. Students with a GPA between 3.2 and 3.4 may apply, but they must also submit a GRE score.

When should students apply?
• Students should apply for a semester in which they will have completed a majority of their upper division required (non elective) courses for their BEE degree.
• Students may apply up to their final semester of their undergraduate work but are encouraged to apply earlier for planning purposes.
If accepted into the program, students need to complete the Graduate School application within one week of notification of acceptance.

Can the two degrees be granted at same time?
• The two degrees cannot be granted at same time. The BEE or BCompE degree must always precede the MSEE degree.

Can I double count course credits?
• Students may not double count credits toward both degrees.

Can I enter the Ph.D. program through the Combined Degree Program?
• Yes, but you must complete the MS degree before entering the PhD program. Credits from the MS program count toward the PhD, not
making the time to degree any longer.

How is GPA calculated?
• Courses taken as an undergraduate student count toward your undergraduate GPA even if the course is eventually transferred to the graduate program. Courses transferred to the graduate program do not affect your graduate school GPA.

How do I apply for a teaching or research assistantship?
• To apply for a teaching assistantship, email Prof. William Robbins (robbins@umn.edu)
• To apply for a research assistantship, speak with a faculty member in your research interest area as faculty make their own hiring decision for research positions.

A 50 percent graduate assistantship pays for a student’s full tuition, 95 percent of health benefits, and has a salary of about $19,500 for the 9-month academic year (2016-2017). To be eligible, you must have completed your undergraduate degree and activated your graduate status. Undergraduate assistantships also are available, but they are paid by the hour and do not have tuition benefits.

For additional information please contact:
Roopa Sukumaran Berzins (Undergraduate Advisor: 612-624-2285 or suku0005@umn.edu) or Linda Jagerson (Graduate Advisor: 612-625-3564 or jager001@umn.edu)