Skip to Content
Report an accessibility problem
Engineering  |  School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

Save time and money

Count part of your senior year towards a master’s degree in computer science.



The text, 4+1, appears in black inside a maroon, rectangular frame.The accelerated 4+1 programs in computer science (CS) or computer systems engineering (CSE) is available for students currently admitted in the Bachelor of Science (BS) in computer science or the Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in computer systems engineering program. Students entering the 4+1 accelerated program will be admitted to the Master of Science in computer science thesis program or the Master of Computer Science non-thesis program.  Due to the research required for the thesis based programs, it may take more than one year of graduate work to complete the master’s degree.

How does it work?

The merge (or integration) between the two programs occurs when students select their CSE 4XX courses if they are CS students or when they CSE students choose their CSE Technical Electives for the bachelor’s program. The courses that you choose to double count will apply toward the 30-hour master’s degree (in addition to applying toward the 120-hour bachelor’s degree). Once the bachelor’s degree is completed, students will need an additional 21 credit hours to earn the master’s degree. *Courses can only be eligible for double counting after acceptance into the 4+1. Students interested in this program must meet the following eligibility requirements to be considered for admission:

  1. Have at least 75 credits completed.
  2. Have a cumulative ASU GPA of 3.50 or higher for MS thesis based program and a 3.25 or higher for the MCS non-thesis based program. Students who apply for the thesis option who are are not considered competitive for the thesis option may be admitted into the MCS non-thesis program initially.
  3. Have grades posted or in-progress for all 300 level required courses. A grade of B or better in these courses is strongly recommended. Computer Systems Engineering students will be assessed CSE 340 OR CSE 355 as deficiency courses if they are not completed at the time of admission. Students will need to complete one course or the other to meet the requirements of the deficiency.
  4. Have two semesters left in undergraduate program at time of admission to the master’s program (senior year course work).
  5. Students will not be required to take the GRE.

Students earning a B.S./B.S.E. degree can use up to nine credits of course work which can be a combination of CSE 4XX and 5XX courses. Within those 9 credits there is a maximum limit of six credits of CSE 4XX courses that will double count towards their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.  Students can also reserve an additional three credits of graduate courses towards their future graduate program.  Students interested in this option will need to work with their undergraduate and graduate advisors for details on how this works.

How to apply


Spring deadline to apply:  12/15

Fall deadline to apply:  8/1

Application process for CIDSE 4+1 programs

  • Review your eligibility for the program by meeting with your CIDSE Undergraduate Academic Advisor
  • Review the 4+1 GENERAL GUIDELINES CS and CEN to understand the complete requirements for your 4+1 program and the semester in which you should apply
  • Review Master’s handbook for the program you wish to apply to
  • Identify three recommenders (at least two need to be completed by CSE faculty) Students with a 3.5 GPA or higher are not required to submit letters of recommendation as part of their application packet. 
  • Complete a Statement of Purpose (1-2 page document outlining why you want to pursue a master’s degree)
  • Apply for the 4+1 program by going to There may be a late fee associated with the application depending on the timing of the submission
  • International students must complete 90 domestic credits of courses to be eligible to waive the English competency requirement
  • If you are an international student, please review the international students admission requirements to learn which additional documents need to be submitted

How to enroll in graduate courses once accepted

  • Meet with CIDSE graduate advisor to develop the graduate interactive plan of study. Students should plan to finish their graduate program within one year of completing their bachelor’s degree
  • Complete the 4+1 Proposal Form with your CIDSE graduate advisor which identifies up to three (3) courses to be shared for both degree programs with your CIDSE Graduate Advisor which identifies up to three (3) courses to be shared for both degree programs.
  • 4+1 Proposal form will be routed to the Undergraduate Advisor upon completion. The Undergraduate Advisor will assist the student with registration and DARS exceptions while the student is still enrolled in their undergraduate degree.

Admission into the 4+1 program is competitive and not guaranteed. Several factors are taken into consideration when evaluating a student’s application: the student’s cumulative GPA, major, institution, personal statement, letters of recommendation, standardized test scores, and performance in individual courses.

Steps after admission

Undergraduate students accepted into the integrated program will be eligible for graduate-level courses and seminars. They will be considered as undergraduates until all BS or BSE program requirements have been completed.  Students will need to work closely with their graduate advisor to determine the appropriate graduate courses to register for while enrolled in the BS or BSE degree and to complete the graduate course registration process. Please note:

Upon receipt of the BS or the BSE degree, the status of the student will change from undergraduate to graduate, which means the student will be eligible for graduate research assistantships and related health insurance and tuition waivers. Students will not be able to register for their first semester as a master’s student without notifying a graduate advisor regarding their graduation.

Upon admission to the MS Thesis 4+1 program, students should identify a faculty member at CIDSE as an advisor, if they have not done so already. In consultation with the faculty advisor, the student will finalize their integrated plan of study (iPOS) leading to the dual degrees.  Students should frequently check the MS in Computer Science handbook to make sure that they are meeting all of the requirements for their master’s degree.

Maintaining good academic standing

Satisfactory progress in the integrated 4+1 accelerated program is achieved if the student maintains a 3.00 GPA in overall graduate course work in the student’s approved master’s program of study.  Students who are concerned that they may not be meeting this requirement should meet with their graduate advisor for advice on next steps.

The student may drop out of the 4+1 accelerated program and return to a regular B.S. or B.S.E. program at any point of time. Students opting to not continue with the 4+1 accelerated program will no longer be able to double count the nine hours towards their graduate degree.  Those nine hours will only count for undergraduate credit for their B.S. or B.S.E. degree.  Students who are dismissed, or voluntarily withdraw, from the 4+1 accelerated program and return to undergraduate status, are eligible to apply for admission to the stand-alone master’s program in Computer Science.