Contiguous BS/MS Pathways for UCSC Undergraduate Students

Five-year contiguous BS/MS pathways allow UCSC undergraduate students to complete both a BS and an MS in an accelerated timeframe.

Contiguous BS/MS pathways (sometimes called "4+1" pathways) enable well-prepared undergraduate students to complete specific upper-division or graduate courses in the latter stages of their undergraduate degree and apply those courses toward a master’s degree once admitted to the master’s program.  

Students typically do not need to be enrolled in one particular major to pursue a contiguous BS/MS pathway.  Instead, these programs are open to students from any major, as long as the required prerequisites are completed.  Contiguous BS/MS pathways provide qualified undergraduate students with increased opportunities for career and/or future academic success. Students are able to deepen their knowledge and experience in an academic field, complete both degree programs efficiently and often in a shorter time, obtain additional employment credentials, and improve their competitiveness for pursuing doctoral studies in top doctoral programs. 

Because the bioinformatics concentration of the Biomolecular Engineering and Bioinformatics (BMEB) B.S. provides excellent preparation for a graduate program in bioinformatics, we offer a contiguous B.S./M.S. degree pathway that allows those students to complete the BMEB M.S. (or Ph.D.) program somewhat sooner than students with a less-tailored preparation.

You can find more information about the BMEB contiguous pathway on the UCSC Catalog. Interested students should schedule an appointment with the BMEB graduate advisor early in their college career—no later than the end of their junior year.

The 4+1 pathway offers a competitive edge to students who are completing their undergraduate degree in computer engineering, robotics engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science at UC Santa Cruz, by enabling those with advanced preparation to move directly from the undergraduate to the Computer Engineering M.S. graduate program. The pathway assists qualified enrolled students with a simplified graduate application process that does not require students to take the graduate record examination (GRE), and makes it possible to complete an M.S. degree with just seven courses beyond the B.S. program in either of the allowed majors.

You can find more information about the Computer Engineering contiguous pathway on the UCSC Catalog. Interested students schedule an appointment with the Computer Engineering graduate advisor early in their college career—no later than the end of their junior year. Students who are entering their junior year should complete this online form to indicate their interest in the program.

The 4+1 path offers a competitive edge to Computer Science students who are completing their undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz, by enabling those with advanced preparation to move directly from the undergraduate program to the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) M.S. program. The path assists qualified enrolled students with a simplified graduate application process that does not require students to take the graduate record examination (GRE) if they have an overall GPA of 3.5 or above by the end of their junior year standing, and makes it possible to complete an M.S. degree with just nine courses beyond the bachelor’s degree.

You can find more information about the CSE contiguous pathway on the UCSC Catalog.  Interested students should register by completing this online form and schedule an appointment with the CSE graduate advisor early in their college career—no later than the end of their junior year. 

Undergraduate students currently enrolled in approved programs (currently, the B.A. in mathematics, or the B.S. in computer science, the B.S. in robotics engineering, the B.S. in physics, the B.S. in applied physics and the B.S. in physics [astrophysics]) have the opportunity, any time between the start of their junior year and the end of the fall quarter of their senior year, to join the 4+1 contiguous pathway leading to the SciCAM degree program. Qualified undergraduates from other undergraduate majors may also apply to the pathway and their applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

You can find more information about the SciCAM contiguous pathway on the UCSC catalog or on the 4+1 Information page.  To apply to the pathway schedule an appointment with the SciCAM (AM) 4+1 Coordinator.

Knowledge of statistics and data science has become an indispensable tool.  However, the level of training in this area typically included in undergraduate curriculums is usually quite limited because of competing demands for student’s credit.  This contiguous 4+1 pathway allows highly qualified students to get a leg up in graduate school and private job applications by allowing them to gain much deeper knowledge of statistics and data science tools by jointly completing an undergraduate major and an M.S. degree in Statistical Science.

The pathway is open to students from a wide variety of majors, including Computer Science, Technology Management, Economics, Mathematics and Physics.  Sample planners for selected majors can be accessed here.  Students must declare their interest in pursuing this contiguous pathway no later than their ninth quarter of study at UCSC, and more typically at the end of the sixth or seventh quarter of enrollment. 

You can find more information about the Statistical Science contiguous pathway on the UCSC catalog.  To apply to the pathway schedule an appointment with the Statistical Science graduate advisor.