Contiguous Bachelor's/Master's Pathways for UCSC Undergraduate Students

Five-year contiguous bachelor's/master's pathways allow UCSC undergraduate students to complete both a bachelor's degree and a master of science degree in an accelerated time frame.

Contiguous Bachelor's/Master's 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 Bachelor's/Master's Pathway.  Instead, these programs are often open to students from any major, as long as the required prerequisites are completed.  Contiguous Bachelor's/Master's 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. Specific information about each pathway program's eligibility requirements and application process are detailed below.

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 Student Advisor early in their college career—no later than the end of their junior year.

The Computer Engineering B.S./M.S. Pathway offers a competitive edge to students who are completing a bachelor of science degree in Computer Engineering, Robotics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, or Computer Science at UC Santa Cruz, by enabling those with advanced preparation to move directly from their undergraduate program 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 in only one additional year of study with appropriate planning. Eligible students must have and maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of their junior year until the completion of their bachelor's degree program.

You can find more information about the Computer Engineering B.S./M.S. Pathway on the UCSC Catalog. Interested students are welcome to schedule an appointment with the Graduate Student Advisor for the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Master's Programs early in their college careers and are encouraged to attend the CSE Pathways Workshops held every Fall and Spring Quarter. Students who are interested should complete this online form to confirm their eligibility for the program.

Please note that confirmed eligibility for this pathway does not guarantee admission to the Computer Engineering M.S. program. Pathway applicants must formally apply and be admitted to the Computer Engineering M.S. program through the regular graduate admissions process, although the GRE requirement is waived.

The Computer Science and Engineering Contiguous 5-Year Bachelor's/Master's Pathway offers a competitive edge to Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE) students who are completing their undergraduate degree at UC Santa Cruz by enabling those with advanced preparation to move directly from a BSOE 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 and maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 or above by the end of their junior year until the completion of their bachelor's degree. With appropriate planning, the CSE Contiguous Pathway Program makes it possible to complete a bachelor's and a master's in as little as five years.

You can find more information about the CSE Contiguous Pathway on the UCSC Catalog. Interested students should register by completing this online form and are welcome to schedule an appointment with the CSE Graduate Student Advisor early in their college careers—ideally before the end of their junior year. Undergraduate students are also encouraged to attend the CSE Pathways Workshops held every Fall and Spring Quarter.

Please note that confirmed eligibility for this pathway does not guarantee admission to the CSE MS program. Pathway applicants must formally apply and be admitted to the CSE M.S. program through the regular graduate admissions process, although the GRE requirement is waived.

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 this 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, please 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 Student Advisor.