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:
• March 15 for admission the following fall semester
• October 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.
• Keep up with changes and advancements in technology.

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 March 15 for admission to the fall semester or by October 15 for admission
to the spring semester

Application Decision:
• You will be notified of the outcome of your application (usually by email) by the time the registration period opens for the upcoming semester i.e. usually within 4/5 weeks of application. In some cases an application decision will be held back until final semester grades are in (you will be notified of this situation). If you are accepted to the program, you must submit a graduate school application within 1 week of notification to formalize your acceptance of our offer of admission
• Go to the Graduate School’s admissions page
• Submit an unofficial University of Minnesota transcript
• No letters of recommendation needed, but you may need to list 3 email addresses to successfully submit the application. Two of these can be the Undergraduate and Graduate Advisors
• Fill out the application as completely as possible
• Submit the application fee

Frequently Asked Questions
What should I write in my Statement of Purpose?
• Describe your area(s) of interest within electrical engineering (e.g., signal processing). If you have more than one area of interest, please feel free to elaborate. The statement should address the area or areas of research you are interested in according to the research groups available on the Research section. The statement should be no longer than one paragraph. Please see the Sample Statement of Purpose on the ECE Matrix.

What GPA does a student need to apply?
• Students with a technical GPA of 3.4 or higher are eligible to apply. Students whose technical GPA falls between 3.2 and 3.4 are eligible to apply, and these applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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 or BCompE 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?
• You can apply for a teaching assistantship (form available here)
• You can 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 had 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:
Kimberly Scott (Undergraduate Advisor: or Sarah Dohm (Graduate Advisor: