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CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Accelerated MS Programs

To expose current UVM undergraduate engineering students to engineering research earlier in their undergraduate careers, the School of Engineering (SoE) offers three accelerated MS degree programs: in Civil and Environmental Engineering, in Electrical Engineering, and in Mechanical Engineering, in accordance with the guidelines given below. At present, the EE and ME programs only offer the thesis option for their accelerated MS programs. The CEE program offers both the thesis and non-thesis options. For more information, interested students are encouraged to review the Graduate College website's admissions information page.

The information below provides an overview of the School of Engineering Accelerated MS Programs. More detailed information can be found on the individual program webpages:


Admission

Students apply for admission to the accelerated MS programs in the spring (March) of their junior year, and not later than August before their senior year (note that it is Graduate College policy that admission decisions must be made prior to the start of a new semester). Admission to the accelerated MS program (AMP) requires the following:

  1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2
  2. Agreement of a faculty member to serve as MS advisor
  3. Completion of the online application
  4. Review by the appropriate Program, recommendation to the Graduate College, and review and decision by the Graduate College.

The application process is as follows. Qualified students must submit a letter expressing their interest in joining the particular (CEE, EE, or ME) Accelerated MS program to the SoE office. The application letter should indicate: (i) which faculty member has agreed to serve as advisor for the MS program (this faculty member should also write a recommendation letter in support of the student's application to the Graduate College), (ii) the student's current GPA, and (iii) the intended completion date for the BS program. The letter will then be routed to the appropriate Graduate Program Coordinator for evaluation, with a copy given to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator. The applicant must then submit a completed application to the Graduate College, requesting admission for graduate studies in their particular program and indicating intent to pursue the Accelerated MS option.

Following admission to the accelerated program, working with their advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator, AMP students prepare and submit a Plan of Study, indicating which courses to be taken during the undergraduate studies will also count toward the MS degree. Eventual admission to the MS degree program is contingent upon satisfactory academic performance.

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MS Studies

All accelerated MS degree students must meet the degree requirements for both the BS and MS degrees in full. The main consequence of admission to an accelerated MS degree program is a recognition on the part of both the faculty and the student that the student will continue for Master's thesis studies after conferral of the BS degree, thus allowing the student to start MS research early and to plan his/her academic program appropriately, including the possibility of taking courses for graduate credit before completion of all BS requirements. This accelerated program also enables students to further accelerate their degree by taking select courses that will count towards both the BS technical elective requirements and MS degree requirements.

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Curriculum

Only students formally admitted to an accelerated MS program will have the option of taking courses for graduate credit before all requirements for the BS degree have been satisfied. Students may take up to 9 credit hours of graduate courses before the conferral of the BS degree. Of these, a maximum of 6 credit hours may be counted for both the BS and MS degrees. The other 3 credit hours will only count toward the MS degree.

All courses to be counted toward the MS degree must:

  1. Be completed after acceptance of the student in the accelerated MS program.
  2. Be 200- or 300-level engineering elective courses, and may not include courses that are required for the undergraduate degree program.
  3. Be relevant to the MS study objective, as determined by the MS advisor.

Graduate research credits cannot be taken by undergraduate students. A student accepted into the CEE accelerated masters program who elects to pursue the non-thesis M.S. degree option (only available in CEE, not EE or ME), does not have the option of counting credits toward both the BS and MS degrees.

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Research and Teaching Assistantships

Assistantships (research or teaching) are only available to students fulfilling the requirements for the thesis option. Admission to an accelerated MS program does not imply financial support. Students in these programs will, however, be eligible for part-time support for teaching or research work while they are undergraduates and will be eligible for regular graduate student assistantship support after they have completed all requirements for the Bachelor's degree and are formally admitted to the MS degree program.

Note that Graduate College regulations require GRE scores before a student can receive a Graduate College Assistantship. GRE scores are submitted by accelerated MS applicants in the fall semester of their senior year along with all other Graduate College application materials.

Students in the accelerated MS program will normally work on research toward their thesis objective during the summers of both their junior and senior years.


Academic Standards

Students in the accelerated MS degree program are expected to continue the high degree of academic performance that was evident when they were admitted into the program. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 is required for continuation in the accelerated MS program. Undergraduate students whose cumulative GPA at any time falls below this minimum for more than one semester will be removed from the accelerated MS program. After students in the accelerated MS program receive the BS degree and are admitted to the regular MS degree program, academic probation matters will be dealt with in the same manner as for other MS students.

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