The combined bachelor/master's programs specific to BA/MCS and BS/MCS U2G 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:
- must already be enrolled as either B.A. or B.S. students majoring in computer science at The University of Iowa;
- must have completed a minimum of 80 s.h. at the time of admission to the joint program, with at least 30 s.h. earned at The University of Iowa; and
- must have a cumulative University of Iowa GPA of at least 3.25, and a GPA of at least 3.25 in the computer science major (computed on math prerequisites and core computer science course work taken at The University of Iowa).
Each applicant must:
- submit the Application for Admission to the BA/MCS or BS/MCS Program form as early as possible but no later than May 15 for a program beginning the following fall semester and no later than November 1 for a program beginning the following spring semester;
- submit a statement of purpose expressing current academic interests and why a master’s degree is being pursued;
- submit three letters of recommendation;
- submit copies of all college transcripts;
- complete the University of Iowa Graduate College application. For application information, please visit the University of Iowa's Graduate and Professional Admissions website. The Graduate College application must be submitted before forms and documents can be uploaded onto myUI. The Graduate College application process asks for the effective session of admission. If a student enters the program in the fall 2021 semester, which would be the senior year of study, the effective session on the Grad College application would be fall 2021;
- TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students;
- GRE scores may be submitted, but are not required.
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.
Coursework credits to be applied toward the M.C.S. 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 B.A. and B.S. 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 B.A., the B.S., or the M.C.S. 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 B.S. theory of computation requirement (e.g. taking CS:4330 satisfies both the B.S. theory requirement and M.C.S. 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.
Granting of BA or BS
Students in the joint program will be granted the B.A. or B.S. 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 B.A. and B.S. degrees. If withdrawal from the joint program occurs prior to granting the B.A. or B.S., all courses completed as cross-credited courses will be counted only as undergraduate credit on the student’s transcript.
Changes in Undergraduate Program
Students enrolled in the joint program who wish to switch from the B.A. to the B.S. or from the B.S. to the B.A. must do so prior to being awarded the undergraduate degree.
Students enrolled in the joint degree program will pay undergraduate tuition and fees through their entire fourth year of studies.