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Undergraduate Program

B.S. / M.S. Combination

If you are an RPI undergraduate Computer Science student interested in staying on for a Master's degree, you need to decide whether or not you want to apply to the co-terminal program. In the co-terminal program, you remain on undergraduate financial aid for up to five years, and you receive your BS at the same time that you complete the MS. If you apply for the regular MS program, you can apply for graduate funding (which usually offers more than undergraduate funding), and you complete the BS before you start the MS. Either way,

  • The minimum undergraduate GPA needed for admission is 3.0.
  • You must meet the same MS requirements, including completing a thesis or project. Details of the MS requirements are available at http://www.cs.rpi.edu/academics/grad/ms.html.
  • You will be considered a graduate student effective with the semester listed on your certificate of admission, so starting from that date, you will be responsible for fulfilling graduate student requirements, such as colloquium attendance.

How to apply to the co-terminal program

  • The coterminal program does not require recommendation letters, a statement of background and goals, and GRE scores. Instead, it is up to you to informally talk to faculty about your qualifications. You can't submit your application until you have found a faculty member who is willing to serve as your graduate advisor. This is the person who will supervise your thesis or project. Faculty may want you to take a class, do an independent study, or do a URP before they will accept you for the coterminal program. Therefore, you should start talking to faculty in your sophomore or junior year. For a list of faculty research interests, see http://www.cs.rpi.edu/people/faculty.html.
  • The application is due the semester before you will complete your BS requirements. It does not matter whether you are in your third year or fourth year, what matters is when you will complete the credits needed for your BS degree. If you will finish your undergrad requirements in December, you must apply by the preceding May 1. If you will finish your undergrad requirements in May, you must apply by the preceding November 15.
  • Apply when you have taken at least 90 credits (including those currently in progress).
  • See Terry Hayden in Lally 208 if you have questions.
  • Complete the co-terminal application at http://admissions.rpi.edu/graduate/admission/Co-TerminalBS-MS_Application_and_Procedures.pdf. Attach a copy of your CAPP report and a Plan of Study form. Instructions for completing the Plan of Study form are at http://www.cs.rpi.edu/academics/grad/plan.html. The Planner form (last page of the coterminal application) lists everything you will take in the future for both the BS and MS degrees. While you are working on your graduate degree, you should take no more than 15-16 credits per semester. The Plan of Study form lists only those credits which will count toward the MS, and should total 30 credits. You will probably have to revise your Planner and Plan of Study forms multiple times, so it will be easier for you if you complete the forms on the computer rather than hand writing them.
  • After you have completed the Planner and Plan of Study forms, have Terry Hayden review them. After you make any changes suggested by Terry, get signatures from your undergraduate and graduate advisors, and then give your documents to Terry again. She will obtain the Graduate Program Director signature and submit the forms to the Office of Graduate Education.
  • If you want to take a graduate-level course prior to your admission to the coterminal program, complete the approval form for an undergraduate to take a graduate level course. Do not register for a course at the 4000 letter and assume that you will be allowed to change to the 6000 level of the same course retroactively after being admitted to the coterminal program.

How to apply to the regular program

  • The application deadline is August 15 to be admitted for the spring semester and January 1 to be admitted for the fall semester. These are recommended deadlines. We will review your application even if it is submitted late.
  • See Terry Hayden in Lally 208 if you have questions.
  • Complete the Master's application at http://admissions.rpi.edu/graduate/apply_now.html. You will need to submit a statement of background and goals, GRE General Test scores, and recommendation letters. Admissions can access your RPI transcript, so you don't need to submit that. RPI students don't need to pay the application fee.
  • Your application will be reviewed by faculty in your area of interest. Be sure to indicate your research interest area in your application. Although it is not required, it is to your advantage to talk to faculty you are interested in working with. For a list of faculty research interests, see http://www.cs.rpi.edu/people/faculty.html.

* Return to main Undergraduate Program page