FAQ: Five-year BS/MS IUG Degree

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Who is eligible?

  • Current undergraduate (UG) students of the Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering with 6th-semester (junior) standing who will have completed at least 30credits of science and engineering coursework (100-level or higher) by the end of their sixth semester.
  • UG students with a minimum cumulative grade-point average (GPA) of 3.50 at the time of application. There are no waivers for this minimum GPA requirement.
  • Students who have secured the support of at least three (3) faculty willing to write letters of recommendation supporting their application to undertake graduate-level studies. One of these letters must be written by the prospective MS graduate research advisor accepting the responsibility to serve as the student’s MS thesis supervisor.

What is the typical length of study?

The Integrated Undergraduate-Graduate (IUG) Degree in EME is designed for a total of five years of study:

  • During the first three years, the student follows the course scheduling for the EME undergraduate major and begins to take upper level classes.
  • During the junior year, a prospective student applies for admission to the IUG program. A decision of acceptance would be made prior to the beginning of the senior year.
  • During the senior year, the student follows the scheduling of the EME undergraduate major with an emphasis on completing 500-level coursework, as appropriate.
  • During the fifth year the student completes the M.S. Thesis and takes any remaining courses needed to fulfill the M.S. degree requirements.

How to apply?

IUG applications must be submitted electronically through the Graduate School’s Electronic Application Portal (http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/prospective-students/how-to-apply/) before the end of the student’s junior year and prior to any taking any graduate level classes. As per Graduate School regulations, any graduate class taken before the formal approval of IUG studies will not count towards any M.S. requirement. The following materials must be uploaded through the portal:

  1. A statement of purpose and resume (uploaded as one document) which should include the student’s name, PSU student ID number, undergraduate major(s), current cumulative grade point average, and intended EME graduate degree option. The statement of purpose should cover the student’s academic goals, summarize the student’s academic experience to date that justifies consideration of the IUG program, and describe how the student’s long-term goals can be complemented with an IUG. The application letter and statement of purpose should demonstrate the student’s mature scholarly ability, communication skills, and potential success in graduate school.
  2. A minimum of three (3) letters of recommendation submitted electronically by faculty elaborating on the reasons why the applicant should be considered for graduate studies. One of these letters must be written by the prospective EME graduate research advisor, who should further address the details of the proposed area of research or scholarly work and the student’s ability to conduct the proposed work.
  3. Do not forget: Under the “Campus Special Notes” on the online application form, please write: “Applying for the IUG program” to ensure that IUG applications are identified and reviewed in a timely manner. If you are a Schreyer Scholar, please also indicate so.

In addition, IUG applicants must submit the following items to the EME Graduate Education Office in 103 Hosler (Sue Hyde, EME Graduate Program Coordinator) or electronically (Sue Hyde, esh17@psu.edu) after the online application has been completed:

  1. Copies of the most recent UG transcript and degree audit demonstrating a grade-point average (GPA) of 3.50 or higher. Transcripts and degree audits printed from E-lion are acceptable.
  2. Plan of study covering the five-year IUG period, prepared in consultation with his/her prospective EME graduate research advisor. This plan of study must be approved by the UG program officer of the B.S. major and the research advisor. Approval signatures must be found at the end of the plan. Please find the required plan of study format at the end of this document.

What is the total credit requirement needed for the integrated BS/MS?

IUG students have to meet the credit requirements of the B.S. degree major AND the M.S. degree option/core simultaneously by the end of the program. Up to twelve academic credits earned by the IUG student may be applied to both undergraduate and graduate degree programs (i.e., “double- counted”):

  • Two 400-level undergraduate courses are allowed to count toward the M.S. degree.
  • Two 500-level courses are allowed to be used towards the B.S. degree to satisfy B.S. technical elective requirements.

The M.S. degree requires 24 credit hours of course work and 6 credit hours of research (EME 600). Since two 400-level courses taken by the IUG student can be used towards the M.S. degree, 18 credits of additional 500-level course work must be taken to satisfy core and option graduate requirements. An added benefit is that two of these 500-level courses can be used to satisfy B.S. technical elective requirements. Therefore, as many as twelve academic credits (two 400-level courses and two 500-level courses declared as UG technical electives) can be considered “double-counted.”

Could a course taken prior to IUG admission be used to satisfy MS requirements?

No. Any course taken prior to the student’s acceptance and effective IUG start date cannot be used to satisfy MS requirement. For example, 400-level courses taken prior to acceptance cannot be “double counted” as per the description above. Also, as stated previously, even graduate class taken before the formal approval of IUG studies will not count towards any M.S. requirement.

What are the tuition rates?

Undergraduate tuition rates will apply as long as the student is an undergraduate (i.e., has not received his B.S. degree) and student does not receive financial support in the form of an assistantship requiring the payment of graduate tuition.

What is the SARI@PSU requirement?

Any student completing a graduate degree at PSU is required to complete the SARI@PSU program prior to graduation. The Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) program provides an opportunity to learn and discuss ethical issues relevant to each discipline. The IUG student must have completed the CITI online program and all 5-hrs of discussion-based SARI sessions prior to M.S. graduation. More details SARI@PSU requirements are summarized at: https://www.research.psu.edu/training/sari

What if an IUG student does not finish the graduate degree requirements?

A student who is enrolled in the IUG program but is unable to complete both the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree may graduate with only the bachelor’s degree.

What if an IUG student graduates with the B.S. degree first?

IUG students can graduate with their B.S. degree first, but they would need to request to ‘resume studies’ if they want to continue as a Masters graduate student. In such a case, they would no longer be part of the IUG program and would immediately be charged tuition at the graduate student rate. At that point, they would no longer be able to double count credits.

What about Schreyer Scholars?

The Schreyer Honors College offers a program for Schreyer students who wish to obtain their bachelor's degree and master's degree simultaneously. If you are a Schreyer Scholar, and are interested in an IUG in EME, you should start your IUG in EME application via the Grad School portal (see “How to Apply” above, follow same instructions): http://www.gradschool.psu.edu/prospective-students/how-to-apply/ If you are a Schreyer Scholar interested in an IUG with a Department other than EME, please contact the Schreyer Honors College directly. For more information: http://www.shc.psu.edu/students/iug/program/ Approved: 02/2016 Updated by EME Associate Head Grad Ed; 03/2013 by EME Associate Head for Graduate Education upon review and recommendation by EME Graduate Program Committee

Proposed IUG Plan of Study Form

View the IUG Plan of Study form