Scientific Computing and Applied Mathematics Contiguous Bachelor's/Master's Pathway

4+1 Contiguous Pathway leading to the SciCAM M.S. Degree

The 4+1 pathway into the SciCAM M.S. program is an option that allows undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz to (1) take the SciCAM foundational courses during their undergraduate degree in preparation to join the 1-year track of the SciCAM program, and (2) apply to SciCAM through a streamlined application process. Undergraduate students currently enrolled in approved programs have the opportunity, any time between the start of their junior year and the end of the fall quarter of their senior year, to join the 4+1 contiguous pathway leading to the SciCAM degree program. Approved programs are:

  • B.S. in Applied Mathematics
  • B.S. in Astrophysics
  • B.S. in Computer Engineering
  • B.S. in Computer Science
  • B.S. in Electrical Engineering
  • B.A. in Mathematics (pure and computational)
  • B.S. in Physics
  • B.S in Robotics Engineering

Qualified undergraduates from other undergraduate majors may also apply to the 4+1 pathway and their applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Admission Requirements

The requirements for admission into the 4+1 pathway are (1) a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher, and (2) to have taken, or to have a plan to take, at least two of the three SciCAM foundational courses before the end of their senior year. The three foundational courses are: AM 100 (mathematical methods proficiency), AM 129 (computational proficiency), and AM 147 (numerical analysis proficiency). Note that some of the foundational courses are waived depending on the student’s major.

Interested students should schedule a meeting with the SciCAM 4+1 pathway director to discuss their curriculum plan and fill the application form, following the guideline on the 4+1 pathway website. The ultimate deadline for application to the pathway is Dec. 1 of the senior year, although students are encouraged to apply significantly earlier, ideally at the same time as their major declaration.

Students in the pathway who apply to SciCAM through the streamlined application process are not guaranteed admission, although we do expect to admit anyone who has passed all the foundational courses and has maintained a GPA of 3.3 or higher.

Program Requirements

Once accepted into the SciCAM program, students from the pathway will follow the same requirements as students in the regular SciCAM program (please refer to the SciCAM catalog page), but on an accelerated one-year track with anticipated graduation in June of their 5th year for Plan II (comprehensive exam track) students, and the end of the summer of their fifth year for Plan I (thesis track) students. 

Relationship of SciCAM Masters program and AM Doctoral Program

Students in the SciCAM M.S. program interested in an academic career will be strongly encouraged to apply to the AM Ph.D. program. Applications are reviewed in the standard academic cycle. Students interested in applying to the AM Ph.D. program are encouraged to discuss this option with the graduate director in the fall of each year.

Transfer of Credit

Up to three UC Santa Cruz courses (15 credits) fulfilling the degree requirements of the SciCAM degree may be taken before beginning the graduate program. Note that this 15-credit limit does not apply to the requirements of the three foundational courses (AM 100, AM 129, and AM 147), which may all be taken prior to the start of the SciCAM program without penalty. However, students will still need to take courses totaling 35 credits while graduate students to satisfy the university requirements.

Up to one course from other institutions may be applied to the M.S. degree course requirements. Petitions should be submitted along with the transcript from the other institution or UC Santa Cruz Extension. For courses taken at other institutions, copies of the syllabi, exams, and other course work should accompany the petition. Such petitions are not considered until the completion of at least one quarter at UC Santa Cruz.

Review of Academic Progress

Each year, the faculty reviews the progress of every student in the graduate programs. Students not making adequate progress toward completion of degree requirements are subject to dismissal from the program (see the UC Santa Cruz Graduate Handbook and the AM Graduate Handbook for the policy on satisfactory academic progress). Also, please refer to the Graduate Division's specific guidelines on annual student reviews.