4+1 and 4+2 BS/MS Degree Programs

In conjunction with the University of Maine Graduate School, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering offers the opportunity for ambitious Electrical or Computer Engineering majors to begin taking graduate courses during their senior year, double-counting up to 9 credits toward the BS and the MS. Enterprising students will then be able to get a non-thesis MS by staying in up to one extra year (i.e., the 4+1 program) or a thesis MS by staying in up to two extra years (i.e. the 4+2 program).

Admission Process:

Provisional Admission:

Students must be provisionally admitted into the 4+1 non-thesis or 4+2 thesis MS programs during their junior year.  To qualify for provisional admission, students must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Students have completed at least 60 but no more than 100 credit hours applicable towards graduation.
  • Students have an average GPA of 3.5 or higher.
  • Students are on the track to complete the following core courses by the end of the junior year:
    • For M.S. in Computer Engineering: ECE 177, ECE 275, ECE 271, ECE 210, ECE 342, ECE 473, ECE 471 (or ECE 477)
    • For M.S. in Electrical Engineering: ECE 177, ECE 210, ECE 214, ECE 314, ECE 342, ECE 343, ECE 351

In the junior year, students must submit the following materials to the graduate coordinator by February 15:

  1. Undergraduate transcript (unofficial transcript is acceptable)
  2. A plan of study that leads to graduation within 15 months after receiving the bachelors degree (Students must work with the graduate coordinator and their undergraduate faculty advisor to develop this study plan).

The graduate committee will make decisions on provisional admission for each applicant by April 15 of the same year. All application materials and admission decision will be submitted to the Graduate School.

Final Admission and Matriculation:

In the senior year, provisionally admitted students must submit the formal application to the Graduate School (including payment of the application fee) by January 15. While submission of GRE score is optional for such students, GRE is highly recommended if the students wish to be considered for assistantships or scholarships.

During the senior year, provisionally admitted students would take up to 9 credits toward the masters degree. These courses would also count towards the bachelors degree (joint credits), but must be part of the Master’s Program of Study.

Upon graduation with a bachelors degree, and with satisfactory performance (defined as 3.5 cumulative GPA and no grade below “B” in the courses to be double-counted for the masters degree) in courses taken as an undergraduate, the student may be formally matriculated into the masters program. Students who meet these requirements must matriculate in their masters program within one semester/term after receiving their bachelors degree in order to use the joint credits. Under extraordinary circumstances, a student may petition to delay matriculation up to an additional 12 months.

To double count 9 credits toward the BS and the MS, the 4+1 degree requires students to complete the degree 15 months following matriculation, and the 4+2 degree requires students to complete the degree 27 months following matriculation.

Students can move between our 4+1 and 4+2 degree programs. If a student starts in a 4+1 program and requests to move to the 4+2 before the end of the 15 month 4+1 period, then in order to apply up to 9 credits of graduate courses taken as a senior to the master’s degree as well as to the undergraduate degree, the student must actually complete a thesis successfully in the 27 month period of the 4+2 program. If a student in the 4+2 option requests to drop back to the 4+1 option, s/he must complete all the requirements for the 4+1 within 15 months of finishing the bachelor’s degree, otherwise the graduate courses taken as a senior may not also be applied to the master’s degree. In addition, s/he cannot count ECE 699 as credits in the 4+1 program. A student may petition the Graduate School for an extension due to extenuating circumstances.