We provide answers to many questions about the BAM program here. If you think of anything not covered, please ask the departmental undergraduate advisor:csug@gmu.edu.

Getting started

Who should I speak to first if I’m interested in the Bachelor’s-Accelerated-Master’s program? Ask your Undergraduate Academic Advisor if BAM is the right choice for you.

Rules & Requirements

What is the GPA requirement to apply to the BAM program? You need a minimum GPA of 3.3. You also need to have passed CS 310 and CS 330 with a grade of C or higher. Please note that meeting the minimum required GPA does nota guarantee acceptance.

When is the earliest that I can apply to the BAM program? You may apply after completing 60 credits, and, if accepted, start taking graduate courses after completing 75 credits.

How many credits taken during my undergraduate program can I use towards my graduate degree? Up to 18. Up to 12 credits can overlap both degrees, and an additional 6 can be taken on reserve. (Reserve graduate courses are courses you took as an undergrad that do not count to your undergraduate degree but are held “on reserve” for your MS degree.)

How will this impact my F-1 or J-1 status? None as long as you are an undergrad. F-1 and J-1 students must request a change of program level and an I-20/DS-2019 extension when you become a graduate student. Funding for the additional time in F-1 or J-1 status must also be documented due to the federal immigration regulations. You can ask questions directly from the Office of International Programs and Services (OIPS) reached at oips@gmu.edu.

Applying to a BAM program>

Who should I list as my recommender? List Dr. Elizabeth White, Associate Chair of the Computer Science Department, as your recommender.

What supplemental materials do I need to submit with my application? Only the contact information for Dr. White.

How long will it take to get a decision? It usually takes four to six weeks, but sometimes longer during peak times.

How will I receive my decision? The decision will be released in the Application Portal.

While still an undergraduate

When do I apply for my undergraduate degree conferral? The same time and the same way as non-BAM students—after your final semester starts, apply through Patriot Web. The Registrar’s office maintains official Graduation Timelines.

How do I become a graduate student? You will need to submit a Bachelor’s-Accelerated-Master’s Transition form during your last semester as an undergraduate. It declares which graduate courses you want to use in your MS program, as well as any graduate courses you took on reserve. (Reserve graduate courses are courses you took as an undergrad that do not count to your undergraduate degree but are held “on reserve” for your MS degree.)

What if I decide to switch to another Master’s program? This is fine and students often transfer among the four MS programs within the CS department. The simplest way is to wait until you are classified as a Graduate Student, then submit a Graduate Change of Program application from the Registrar’s website. To change your MS program before being classified as a Graduate Student, you will have to submit an entirely new BAM application.

I’m a BAM student but I receive an error when I try to register for a graduate course. What should I do? BAM students are classified as “Senior Plus", so first check that your classification is correct. If you are, then please contact csug@gmu.edu and we can issue an override for the course.

Taking graduate classes as an undergraduate

Are graduate courses harder than undergraduate courses? Not much. We carefully chose pairs of courses for which the graduate course has significant overlap with the undergraduate course, and that are not much more challenging.

Are graduate courses harder to get into than undergraduate courses? Quite the opposite. Most senior-level courses fill up quickly, but many graduate courses do not fill up at all.

Which MS program should I apply into? The department offers four computing MS programs, all of which are valuable and lead to great careers. They also all share electives. So in some sense, it doesn’t matter—there is no wrong choice. They have different characteristics, goals, and learning outcomes. You should look at the courses you would need to take, especially the core required courses, and talk with faculty who teach in the different programs and students in the programs. It’s also easy to switch to a different program after you become a graduate student.

What if I decide not to get an MS degree? You don’t lose a thing. It costs nothing to apply, and the graduate courses you take still count towards your BS. Depending on which graduate courses you took, you might learn a little more.

What if I decide to get an MS degree somewhere else? Although we can’t speak to other universities’ policies, it is most likely that you will not be able to transfer your overlapping courses. You may be able to transfer reserve courses, since they were not used for a prior degree.

Graduate programs & courses

When do I become an official MS student? You are officially a graduate student the semester after completing your undergraduate degree. Normally, BAM students should begin their MS program the semester after graduation. However, it may be possible to get a one-year extension by contacting the graduate advisor at csgrad@gmu.edu.

When should I declare my concentration for my MS program? Declare a concentration during your first semester as a graduate student. Currently, the MS-CS and MS-ISA programs have concentrations, although MS-CS students are not required to have a concentration. Use the Graduate Change of Program form to declare a concentration.

Why aren’t my overlapping credits showing up on my Degree Works for my MS degree? The overlapping credits are not processed into Degree Works until after the drop date in the semester after completing your undergraduate degree.If you still don’t see them ask us for help at csgrad@gmu.edu.