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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 (BS) in Software Engineering ground campus 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 prepare to take their 400-level SER electives (3 classes) and the upper division engineering technical elective (1 course). SER501 and SER502 will be used for two of the four classes (double count for the master’s degree), and students will then select two, 400-level courses that will also double count for both degrees.

*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:

  • Review your eligibility for the program by meeting with your CIDSE Undergraduate Academic Advisor
  • Review the SE 4+1 GENERAL GUIDELINES 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 SER faculty)
  • 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
  • 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, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and performance in individual courses.

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.

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 and shared 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.