The MCS is a course-based program for individuals who seek to enhance their careers with advanced knowledge of computer science. The MCS normally requires one and a half to two years of course work (32 semester hours) beyond the bachelor’s degree (120 semester hours). The combined BA/MCS and BS/MCS programs allow qualified students to obtain both degrees in five years. The combined bachelor/master's programs require a combined total of 140 s.h., which is 12 semester hours less than the sum of the requirements for both degrees earned separately.
Students in the joint programs must complete all requirements for each degree. They may count a maximum of 12 s.h. (four courses) toward both degrees. The four courses must be taken during the fourth year of undergraduate study, after admission to the joint program, and must satisfy degree requirements of both the B.A. or B.S., and the M.C.S.
When a student withdraws from the joint program before completing his or her bachelor's degree, credit earned in the four courses is counted only toward the undergraduate degree.
Students are granted the B.A. or B.S. when they complete all requirements for the undergraduate degree.
Students apply for admission to the joint program during their third year as undergraduates and enter the program at the beginning of their fourth year—becoming both an undergraduate and graduate student. Students will switch to graduate status only in the semester following the award of the baccalaureate degree (usually at the end of their fourth year), and should complete the program comfortably in one additional year.
In order to be eligible for admission, candidates
Each applicant must:
All documents and forms should be completed and then uploaded at the University of Iowa's myUI website. If you are new to the University you will be given access to myUI after you complete the graduate application.
The Application for Admission to the BA/MCS or BS/MCS Program form: Bachelors/MCS Application
Coursework credits to be applied toward the MCS must be earned after admission to the joint program. The specific classes to be cross-credited are reflected on the Course Credit Form, which is filed with the Graduate College by the Department. The Graduate College, in turn, notifies the Registrar’s Office, which places a designator on the student’s transcript. This designator indicates pre-baccalaureate graduate credit.
A total of at most four courses (12 semester hours) will be cross-credited for both the BA and BS degrees. These courses must be taken during the student’s senior undergraduate year, after admission to the joint program. Cross-credited courses do not change program requirements for the BA, the BS, or the MCS degrees. Rather, they must be carefully selected so as to satisfy requirements in both undergraduate and graduate programs. The four courses to be cross-credited will be determined at a meeting with the Graduate Programs Director as soon as official admission to the program has been finalized.
Note that many (but not all) of the advanced technical electives that may be used by undergraduates to fulfill their advanced electives are graduate Computer Science courses numbered CS:4000 or above. These courses are ideal candidates for cross crediting; students in the joint program should therefore choose their advanced electives carefully, being sure to avoid courses that do not carry graduate credit. BS/MCS students will typically use cross-credited courses to satisfy the BS theory of computation requirement (e.g. taking CS:4330 satisfies both the BS theory requirement and MCS Foundations requirement) and three of the four required advanced technical elective courses. BA/MCS students will typically use cross-credited courses to satisfy their required advanced technical course and a maximum of 9 additional elective semester hours.
Students in the joint program will be granted the BA or BS after completing all requirements of the undergraduate degree, including up to 12 semester hours of cross-credited course work. A total of 120 semester hours are required for both the BA and BS degrees. If withdrawal from the joint program occurs prior to granting the BA or BS, all courses completed as cross-credited courses will be counted only as undergraduate credit on the student’s transcript.
Students enrolled in the joint program who wish to switch from the BA to the BS or from the BS to the BA must do so prior to being awarded the undergraduate degree.
Students enrolled in the joint degree program will pay undergraduate tuition and fees through the first semester of their fourth year. Starting with the second semester of their fourth year, students will be assessed tuition and fees at the graduate rate and thereafter. Please note: if award of the bachelor’s degree is delayed beyond the first two semesters of the program, students will continue to pay graduate tuition. However, students in the combined program will be eligible to hold graduate assistantships starting the second semester of their fourth year. Any student holding an assistantship of 25% or greater will be assessed tuition at the resident rate, and will be eligible for a tuition waiver as mandated by the graduate student collective bargaining agreement.