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Engineering  |  School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering

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

The accelerated 4+1 program in Software Engineering is available for students currently admitted in the Bachelor of Science (B.S) in Software Engineering program. Students entering the 4+1 accelerated program will be admitted to the Master’s of Science in Software Engineering (students can elect to choose thesis or non-thesis).  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 Secondary Focus electives for the bachelor’s program. Two of the secondary focus electives (SER 501/502) will double count toward the 30-hour master’s degree, the last two double counted courses will be two of your SER 4XX primary focus courses (in addition to applying toward the 120-hour bachelor’s degree). Once the bachelor’s degree is completed, students will need an additional 18 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 3.2 or higher.
  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.
  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. degree can use up to twelve credits of course work which can be a combination of SER 4XX and 5XX courses. Within those 12 credits there is a maximum limit of six credits of SER 4XX courses that will double count towards their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements.

How to apply?


Spring deadline to apply:  12/15

Fall deadline to apply:  8/1

Application process for CIDSE 4+1 programs:

How to enroll in graduate courses once accepted

  • Meet with CIDSE Graduate Advisor to develop graduate IPOS. Students should plan to finish their graduate program within one year of completing their Bachelor’s degree.
  • Students who do not finish their graduate requirements within one year of completing their Bachelors degree may be converted to the regular SE Master’s, which would result in the forfeit of the shared 12 credit hours.
  • 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.
  • 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 B.S. program requirements have been completed.  Students will need to work closely with their undergraduate advisor to determine the appropriate graduate courses to register for while enrolled in the B.S. degree and to complete the graduate course registration process.  Please note:

Upon receipt of the B.S. 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 Software Engineering 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. 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 twelve hours towards their graduate degree.  Those twelve hours will only count for undergraduate credit for their B.S. 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 Software Engineering.