Computer Science & Engineering Integrated Program

Overview

The Department of Computer Science & Engineering offers an integrated Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree program. This is exclusively available to students officially admitted to the College of Science & Engineering Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor’s of Computer Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts Bachelor’s of Arts in Computer Science, and the College of Liberal Arts Second Major in Computer Science. The program allows students with strong academic performance records to take additional credits at undergraduate tuition rates during their last few semesters which can be applied towards the Computer Science MS program.

Many students add double majors or minors to fill in their last undergraduate year if they are ahead in their program. This is another option for them to consider when they have time for additional coursework beyond their undergraduate requirements. Students would have more time to take additional courses to become a specialist in a given area of computer science. Students would also have more time for research opportunities through this program.

Students accepted to the integrated program will be guaranteed admission to the Computer Science MS as long as they complete their undergraduate program. Accepted students will not need to take the GRE exam as part of their graduate application, unlike other students applying to our graduate programs.

Image showing how the five year integrated program works in terms of when undergraduate credits (years one through four) are taken and when graduate credits (years four through five) are taken. The overlapping semesters when undergraduate and graduate cre
Image provided by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

Why consider graduate school and this program?

  • Leave school with better credentials
  • A graduate degree can possibly lead to greater career advancements and autonomy in some companies
  • Become an expert in a field of computing
  • Make teaching and research your job if you love academia
  • Potential to get paid to go to graduate school through teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and fellowships
  • Through this program, the cost of attending a graduate program is reduced (up to 16 of the 31 credits for the Computer Science MS program can be completed paying an undergraduate tuition rate)

We recommend visiting the Conquer websiteTo learn more about the graduate program in greater detail please consider attending one of the general graduate information sessions: z.umn.edu/csgradinfosessions

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be an enrolled University of Minnesota - Twin Cities student admitted to the CSE Bachelor’s of Science Computer Science program, the CSE Bachelor’s of Computer Engineering program, the CLA Bachelor’s of Arts Computer Science program, or the College of Liberal Arts Second Major in Computer Science.
  • Applicants must meet a Technical GPA minimum of 3.5 (as defined by the College of Science & Engineering) OR they must have a strong recommendation from a Computer Science and Engineering faculty member or instructor (not an ECE Faculty member).

  • Applicants must have at least 75 credits completed at the time of their application.
  • Applicants must have passed with a C- or better all of the following courses:

    • CSCI 1933 or 1913
    • CSCI 2011
    • CSCI 2021 (CSCI students) or EE 2361 (CompE students)
    • CSCI 2033 or a math course containing linear algebra content
    • CSCI 2041 (CSCI students only)
    • CSCI 3081W (CSCI students only), CSCI 4041 and CSCI 4061 (applicants can have one of CSCI 3081W, CSCI 4041, or CSCI 4061 in progress at the time of application)

Application Procedures

Students should meet with a departmental advisor (Computer Science students link; Computer Engineering students link) to discuss the program, their eligibility, and the feasibility of completing the bachelor’s degree in four years while adding additional graduate credits in their senior year and completing the remaining master’s requirements in the fifth year. Students should bring the Advisor Verification Form (z.umn.edu/cs_integrated_avform) to their appointment. Students should be applying while they are in the junior level curriculum (i.e. have completed and have in progress the junior core courses CSCI 3081W (CSCI students only), CSCI 4041, CSCI 4061).

All the required Items listed below must be submitted to our Computer Science Integrated Program Application Form (z.umn.edu/csintegratedprogramapply) prior to our application deadlines (October 15 for spring admission consideration and March 15 for fall admission consideration):

  • Advisor Verification Form
  • Statement of Purpose - A statement should concisely detail the applicant's computer science educational, research, or industrial background as they relate to the student's objectives. It should include any unique experiences relevant to any research completed. The statement should include names of faculty members and research groups at the University of Minnesota whose research is of interest to the applicant. Use this statement to list any extenuating circumstances such as poor grades or test scores. (4000 character limit)
  • Resume
  • Reference List with 1-3 Computer Science faculty or instructor names and emails

Note: All applications are subject to review by the Grad Student Recruiting Committee

Application Timing

  • March 15th deadline for fall consideration (the application will open January 1st)
  • October 15th deadline for spring consideration (the application will open June 1st)

Application Decisions

Students will be notified of the outcome of their application via email by December 1st for a spring start or June 1st for a fall start. In some cases, an admission decision will be put on hold until semester grades are finalized. Students will be notified if their application is on hold.

Process After Applicants Admitted to Integrated Program

  •  If a student is accepted into the program, they must submit a graduate school application within one week of notification to formalize their acceptance of our offer of admission. 
    • Students must complete the Graduate School application form
      • Students must complete the minimum application items like biographical information.
      • Students must upload an unofficial copy of their University of Minnesota transcript.
      • Letters of recommendations are not required by us, but the system will require this information is inputted. Our program will send more information on how to bypass this in the application after admission.
      • The GRE will be waived by our program once an application is submitted.
      • Students must pay the associated application fee.
    • Students must contact after they have applied for admission so the program staff can approve the integrated program officially in the system.

Sample Plans

The following sample plans can be used as a check sheet for the integrated program. These plans do not need to be followed exactly in terms of when courses are taken.

Credit Transfer Limit/Minimum Graduate Student Career Time/No Double Dipping Rule

  • Students can transfer a maximum of 16 credits to the graduate program taken during their integrated senior undergraduate year.
  • Students must spend a minimum of two semesters as a graduate student after the completion of their undergraduate degree.
  • Coursework applied to the graduate degree must be taken at the graduate level (i.e., 5xxx or above)
  • Credits being applied to the Computer Science Master’s taken while the student is an undergraduate for use in the integrated program can also be applied later to a Computer Science Ph.D. within our department if a student applies and is admitted.
  • Credits cannot also be applied to the undergraduate degree (i.e., no “double dipping”).

The image essentially points out that credits cannot be double dipped between the undergraduate and graduate programs. 120 credits minimum must be earned for the bachelor's degree; 30 credits minimum must be earned for the master's degree.
Image provided by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost. Please note that our graduate program requires 31 credits minimum (not 30).

Undergraduate Degree Completion Rules

  • The undergraduate degree and graduate degree cannot be awarded simultaneously.
  • Students who become off track to graduate in four years from their bachelor’s program may have their admission to the integrated MS program revoked.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I'm interested in this program. What should I do first?

A: Meet with a departmental advisor. Links below:

Computer Engineering Students

Computer Science Students

To learn more about the graduate program in greater detail please consider attending one of the general graduate information sessions: z.umn.edu/csgradinfosessions

Q: Are there funding opportunities during my graduate program semesters?

A: Yes. MS students can be considered for TA or RA positions. Funding is not guaranteed to MS students in our department.

Q: When would I become eligible for graduate funding through TA or RA positions.

A: You wouldn't be eligible for graduate type funding until your graduate career begins officially. If admitted to the integrated program, you would still be an undergraduate student in most respects. After you graduate from the undergraduate program is when you can apply to be a Graduate TA or Graduate RA. You would only be eligible for the undergraduate versions of these positions during your integrated senior year, which do not come with the same type of financial benefits. Undergraduate TA and RA positions would be hourly positions with no tuition and health benefits included.

Students entering their official graduate start (not the shared semesters of pursuing graduate work as an undergraduate) can apply to be a Graduate Teaching Assistant here. There is no general application to apply for Research Assistant positions. Students should connect with faculty members directly to see if they have availability in their labs and check the Graduate Assistant Employment page. Fellowships and grants can be viewed on this Graduate School page. We also have this cs specific page regarding funding, but most opportunities are for Ph.D. students.

Q: Can I use the integrated program to pursue the Data Science MS or any other MS program at the U?

A: No. This is exclusively for the Computer Science MS. Credits would not transfer to other programs.

Q: I don't have a 3.5 Technical GPA or a strong recommendation from a CS faculty member. Can I still apply?

A: No. You need one of these two options in order to apply. We encourage you to connect with a CS faculty member or CS instructor to see if they would support your application and act as a reference to allow you to apply.

Q: I am missing one or more of the required courses needed in order to apply. Can I still apply?

A: No. You can apply in a future term when you have completed the required courses.

Q: I missed the deadline to start the program for next semester. Can I apply late?

A: No. We strictly enforce the March 15 deadline for a fall start and the October 15 deadline for a spring start. You can apply next semester to be considered.

Q: What are the reasons applicants are denied admission to the integrated program?

A: These are the main reasons:

  • Applicants below the 3.5 Technical GPA without strong support from a faculty member or instructor will be denied.
  • Applicants missing prerequisite coursework will be denied but encouraged to apply later.
  • Applicants with known academic dishonesty cases during their undergraduate career will be denied.
  • Applicants missing materials for their application or who did not provide a strong statement of purpose may be denied.
  • Applicants who will be delaying their timely graduation in order to take the additional coursework for the integrated program will likely be denied.

Q: I transferred to the University of Minnesota after some time at another university/community college. Am I eligible to apply?

A: Transfer students are eligible to apply to the integrated program. The program should not dramatically slow down timely graduation from the undergraduate program.

Q: I have room to take the additional integrated program graduate credits in three semesters and still graduate within four years with my bachelor's degree. Can I do that?

A: Yes. Your only limitations are that you can only apply up to 16 additional graduate credits towards the graduate degree and you should stay on track for a four year graduation.

Q: Can I use the 5000 level courses I am using to meet undergraduate requirements to also meet my graduate requirements?

A: No. The integrated program allows students to take additional graduate level credits while they are undergraduates to apply to the Computer Science MS program. Completed 5000 level credits are not allowed to be used for both an undergraduate and graduate degree (no double dipping is allowed).

Q: I have room to take more than 16 credits to apply toward the graduate program. Can I take more credits to apply towards the Computer Science MS while I'm still an undergraduate?

A: The maximum number of credits we can transfer to the Computer Science MS through the integrated program is 16. You will need to take at least 15 of the 31 credits for the Computer Science MS program over two different regular semesters (fall and spring; not summer) while paying graduate level tuition rates.

Q: I have room to take more than 16 credits to apply toward the graduate program. Can I take more credits to apply towards the Computer Science MS while I'm still an undergraduate?

A: The maximum number of credits we can transfer to the Computer Science MS through the integrated program is 16. You will need to take at least 15 of the 31 credits for the Computer Science MS program over two different regular semesters (fall and spring; not summer) while paying graduate level tuition rates.

Q: What courses should I consider taking for the additional graduate level credits once I am admitted?

A: Students should consider taking the following courses/requirements to apply toward their graduate degree as an undergraduate integrated program student (16 credits max):

  • CSCI 8970 - Computer Science Colloquium (1 credit)
  • Course to meet the Theory and Algorithms Breadth requirement (3 credits)
  • Course to meet the Architecture, Systems, & Software Breadth requirement (3 credits)
  • Course to meet the Applications Breadth requirement (3 credits)
  • CSCI 5XXX level course that fits your interests and background (3 credits) or an approved graduate level elective or graduate minor course.  We recommend waiting to take CSCI 8XXX level courses for your graduate year, but this level of coursework is still available to you if you have the appropriate prerequisites.
  • CSCI 5XXX level course that fits your interests and background (3 credits) or an approved graduate level elective or graduate minor course. We recommend waiting to take CSCI 8XXX level courses for your graduate year, but this level of coursework is still available to you if you have the appropriate prerequisites.

Q: I have applied to the integrated program and I'm waiting for my decision. When should I hear back and what should I do in terms of registration not knowing the results?

A: Students will be notified of the outcome of their application via email by December 1st for a spring start or June 1st for a fall start. In some cases, an admission decision will be put on hold until semester grades are finalized. Students will be notified if their application is on hold.

Applicants should register for additional coursework with the assumption of acceptance. Applicants who are not accepted to the program can then simply drop the additional courses from their registration prior to the start of the term. Some courses, like CSCI 8970 (Computer Science Colloquium), will require permission to register. This permission can be requested after admission to the program. Permission will not be granted prior to admission.

Current graduate students have earlier assigned registration times than undergraduate students. This means that some popular course options may be full before undergraduate students have a chance to register. We recommend that students always have some backup course options in mind that will meet their undergraduate requirements and additional graduate requirements they are adding as part of the integrated program.

Q: If I get admitted to the integrated program, can I graduate from my undergraduate program and then go work in industry prior to starting in the graduate program?

A: No. The integrated program is intended for students who will go straight from their undergraduate program into the graduate program with no break.

Q: Can I start the integrated program in a spring semester?

A: Yes.

Q: Can I start as a graduate student after completing my undergraduate degree and semesters of integrated program work in a spring semester?

A: Yes.

Q: If I get admitted to the integrated program and take the additional classes but then decide to go to a different university for graduate school, can the credits transfer to that school?

A: That would be up to the other university. We cannot guarantee that another university would accept the transfer of credits taken during your undergraduate degree as part of our integrated program.

Q: What are the full requirements to earn the Computer Science MS?

A: You can find the requirements to earn a Computer Science MS degree here for all plans (A, B, and C). The Plan C option is the most common plan for all MS students including integrated program students because it only requires coursework and will not require the student to find a faculty advisor to complete research or project work.

Program Handout

Computer Science Integrated Program Application Form

(please read this page prior to submitting your application)