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BS/MS Combined Degree in Materials Science and Engineering

The Materials Science and Engineering BS/MS degree is an accelerated program providing the academically qualified student an opportunity to earn both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in program areas of his/her choice in five years.

The program combines the practical work experience of Drexel undergraduate cooperative education with the graduate credentials of an advanced degree. Students may earn both degrees in the same major, or may complete their master's degree in a different field. With both an undergraduate and graduate degree and practical work experience, BS/MS graduates enter the work force with specialized knowledge and training, which gives the student an advantage and a wider range of career opportunities.

This is a demanding program, but several benefits are built into the BS/MS dual degree program which make it possible to do in the time allotted. For instance, 12 fewer undergraduate credits are required for the degree. Also, Co-op experiences may be adjusted (two Co-op periods instead of three) giving the BS/MS student two additional quarters to take courses. The junior and senior years of study are spent taking a combination of required undergraduate and graduate courses.  If needed, students may take one evening course per term while on Co-op.

Students enrolled in the BS/MS program must complete 180 (thesis option) or 188 (non-thesis option) undergraduate quarter credits for the bachelor's degree and at least 45 graduate quarter credits for the master's degree. All graduate department requirements must be satisfied in full, including a thesis, if required by the program. Master's thesis requirements may be completed in the summer term of the final year with prior approval. BS/MS students work closely with the program advisor to make sure they are following their plan of study and progressing appropriately.  

Students interested in pursuing the BS/MS accelerated degree program may be provisionally accepted upon entering Drexel. Once they reach their pre-junior (third) year, students meeting the credit and GPA requirements can formally apply.  Exceptional students with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 and who are enrolled as five-year co-op students are eligible for the program. Students formally apply for the program after they have completed 90 credits and before completion of 120 credits, but are strongly encouraged to begin planning for it as early as their freshman year. Students must maintain a 3.2 CUM GPA in order to stay in the BS/MS program. 

The junior and senior years of study are spent taking a combination of required undergraduate and graduate courses.  If needed, students may take one evening course per term while on co-op.  Students' co-op experiences may also be adjusted to two co-op periods instead of three, giving BS/MS students one additional quarter to take courses.

All graduate department requirements must be satisfied in full, including a thesis, if required by the program.  BS/MS students work closely with the program academic advisor to make sure they are following their plan of study and progressing appropriately.

Thesis vs Non-Thesis Option:

BS/MS students completing both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in MSE, and BS/MS students completing their MS degree in MSE but completing their Bachelor’s degree in other engineering disciplines, and who are also completing a Senior Design experience in their “home” department, may choose either a Thesis or Non-Thesis option for their MS in Materials Science and Engineering.

MSE BS/MS students electing to conduct research and to write and defend an M.S. thesis are not required to complete the undergraduate Senior Design course sequence (MATE 491-3), or to take MATE 460, which reduces the undergraduate BS degree credit requirement from 192 to 180.

BS/MS students must complete at least 45 graduate credits for the Master’s degree in MSE.  For students pursuing the MS Thesis option, up to six (6) credits may be from Research (MATE 897) and nine (9) credits must be MS Thesis (MATE 898), subject to the approval of the MSE Department Graduate Advisor.

BS/MS students electing to pursue the Non-Thesis option for the Master’s degree portion of the BS/MS accelerated degree program must satisfy the requirements for the Bachelor’s degree (a minimum of 188 undergraduate quarter credits for MSE majors, or whatever their non-MSE BS degree program requires, including completion of the Senior Design sequence).  The Master's degree portion requires completion of 45 graduate quarter credits, which in lieu of the 9 credits of MS Thesis shall include 6 credits of Thesis Proposal (a literature review) + 3 graduate course credits, or 9 credits from approved graduate courses, as agreed and approved by the MSE Department Graduate Advisor.

Limitations: Students applying for the BS/MS program must select either the Thesis or Non-Thesis Option at the time of application.  Changing from one to the other shall only be permitted up to the end of spring quarter in their Junior year, since Senior Design requires team projects, whereas MS Thesis is an individual investigator undertaking.

Note: Students selecting the Non-Thesis option for BS/MS need to complete 45 graduate credits. They also need to complete the Senior Design sequence in order to satisfy the requirements for the BS degree, and will therefore need to complete 8 credits more than students pursuing the MS Thesis option.  Non-Thesis option BS/MS students need to complete a minimum of 188 undergraduate credits plus 45 graduate credits, i.e. a total of at least 233 credits.