Contiguous Bachelor’s/Master’s Pathway: Computer Engineering

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering offers a computer engineering bachelor’s/master's pathway. Undergraduate students in computer engineering, robotics engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science can apply to the pathway in order to earn a B.S. degree in their own major together with an M.S. degree in computer engineering. Depending on the student’s progress, the B.S./M.S. pathway can be completed in five years.

The B.S./M.S. pathway offers a competitive edge to students who are completing their undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz, by enabling those with advanced preparation to move directly from the undergraduate to the graduate program. The pathway assists qualified enrolled students with a simplified graduate application process that does not require students to take the graduate record examination (GRE), and makes it possible to complete an M.S. degree with just seven courses beyond the B.S. program in either of the allowed majors.

The pathway prepares students for leadership positions in industry, and is also attractive for undergraduate students planning to pursue a Ph.D. degree targeting research careers in industry or academia. The School of Engineering has many opportunities for undergraduate research, and B.S./M.S. students can continue their undergraduate research projects with the same research group. Upon advancement to graduate standing, B.S./M.S. students are eligible for financial support as graduate research assistants and teaching assistants.

Particularly motivated B.S./M.S. students can complete the entire pathway in 14 quarters (or fewer with Advanced Placement credit); however, advance planning is essential. Interested students should contact the department and their faculty adviser early in their college career-no later than the start of their junior year. B.S./M.S. students retain undergraduate status until the completion of all undergraduate requirements, but may begin graduate coursework in advance of graduate standing.

Admission to the B.S./M.S. Pathway

The undergraduate degree requirements are the same as those for other computer engineering, robotics engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science majors; however, the B.S./M.S. pathway capitalizes on graduate-level courses that may apply toward both degree requirements. B.S./M.S. candidates may use (at most) two graduate courses taken as undergraduates toward both the M.S. degree and B.S. degree electives. At the time graduate status is achieved, no more than three graduate courses taken as an undergraduate may count toward the nine courses required for the M.S. degree. Furthermore, B.S./M.S. students may not apply undergraduate courses toward the M.S. degree.

Admission to the B.S./M.S. pathway is by formal application, but is very simple. Undergraduate applicants seeking admission to the pathway can apply at any time starting in the first quarter of junior standing, and no graduate record examination (GRE) is required to apply. To qualify, applicants must have a 3.0 GPA when they apply to the B.S./M.S. pathway, and must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher until the completion of their undergraduate requirements.

Students who cannot meet the B.S./M.S. application requirements or who are not admitted into the pathway are encouraged to apply for admission to the standard M.S. or Ph.D. program during their senior year.

Additional information about this pathway can be found on the department's website.