4+1 Program Overview
For those of you about to start your graduate year, please see our +1-faq
In this program students can obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering as well as a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, or Engineering Management within a five-year time frame. The B.S. and M.S. degrees offered through this program are identical to the individual B.S. and M.S. degrees offered by the MIE Department. The combined five-year program enables students to obtain these degrees in less time than would be required when pursuing them independently, and can help students boost their salary when entering the workforce. In addition, the 4+1 program offers a fast-track process for students with a GPA over 3.5 for admission to the Graduate School by waiving the otherwise required GRE scores, letters of reference, statement of purpose, and application fee.
Structure of the 4+1 Program
To manage all the required courses* for the B.S. and M.S. degrees in five years, students should consider the following provisions:
- Up to four graduate-level courses (500 or 600 level) may be taken during the first four years (typically the senior year), to be later transferred into the M.S. program. Of these, two courses can also be counted towards the B.S. degree i.e. they can be “double-counted." If any of the graduate courses you took as an undergraduate did not count toward any undergraduate requirement, then it can be used for your graduate degree along with any double-counted courses.
- Two online or independent study courses may be taken during the summer between the fourth and fifth years or during the fifth year. Students should discuss possible independent study topics with faculty with whom they want to work.
- Participants in the 4+1 program should review the degree requirements in the MIE Graduate Student Handbook, and if needed consult with their academic advisor or the 4+1 program director to ensure that their study plan meets the necessary requirements.
- All degree requirements for the B.S. degree and the M.S. degree must be met. While the 4+1 program does not affect the requirements for either one of these degree programs, as stated above, two graduate-level courses can be used to satisfy requirements for both the B.S and M.S. degrees.
* Courses are assumed to be 3 credit hours.
Eligibility Requirements and Fast-Track Admission
The 4+1 year BS+MS program in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Engineering Management is open to all undergraduate students at UMass Amherst who are enrolled as majors in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering, as well as students in related fields, such as other engineering disciplines, physics, mathematics, kinesiology, etc.. Fast-track admission is available for all students with a minimum GPA of 3.5 based on at least 30 credits of engineering courses or other courses required for the engineering degree. For the GPA requirement, the cumulative GPA at the end of the third year, including all required 300-level MIE courses, is used.
All admissions into the 4+1 year BS+MS program are conditional. Specifically, admission into the M.S. program through the fast-track process is contingent upon the students completing their B.S. degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher.
Application and Admission Process
There are two steps to enter the 4+1 program.
1 - During the spring semester of your junior year, fill out the MIE 4+1 Interest Form. Note that the interest form is not a formal application, and you will not receive a response to the form - it simply helps us track interest in the program. Students are encouraged to plan their course schedule for their senior year accordingly. Students who qualify for fast-track admission have the commitment of the MIE Department that they will be admitted to the M.S. program in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, or Engineering Management after completion of their B.S. degree as long as the minimum GPA requirement for the B.S. degree is met.
2 - During the Fall semester of senior year, formally apply to the MIE MS program through the Graduate School. Choose the Coursework option. Students who meet the fast-track GPA requirements do not have to fill out the otherwise required GRE scores and letters of reference. In the statement of purpose section, please write that you are applying as a 4+1 candidate. If you also meet fast-track admission, please indicate this here as well. Once you apply through the graduate school, email Kevin Romani (firstname.lastname@example.org) and inform him that you have applied as a 4+1 student. Fast-track eligible students will be admitted quickly, assuming you meet the GPA requirements. Note that if you miss the application deadline, you may be able to still apply.
Eligibility and Admissions
I am an MIE student and my GPA at the end of the junior year is less than 3.5. Can I apply fo fast-track admission to the 4+1 program?
No, because a GPA of at least 3.5 is required. You may, however, apply to the M.S. program through the normal graduate school application process. Note that the 4+1 director, Prof. Lackner, does not make admissions decisions for those applying through the normal graduate school application process.
I am an ME or IE major and my GPA is above 3.5 at the end of the junior year, but I am missing one required junior-level MIE course. Can I apply fo fast-track admission to the 4+1 program?
No, because all required junior-level courses need to be completed by the time of application. You may submit an application once you have completed the missing required course.
I am a transfer student. Can I apply for the 4+1 program?
Yes, if all eligibility requirements are met.
I am majoring in something other than Mechanical or Industrial Engineering, but I am planning on pursuing an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, or Engineering Management. Can I apply for the 4+1 program?
Yes, even though the 4+1 program is ideally suited to students majoring in Mechanical Engineering or Industrial Engineering, those majoring in related fields, such as other engineering disciplines, physics, mathematics, kinesiology, etc., at one of the Five-Colleges may also apply.
I have already completed my B.S. in Mechanical or Industrial Engineering. Can I sign up for the 4+1 program?
No, this program is for current B.S. students. You can apply to the M.S. through the normal graduate school application process.
I am currently pursuing / have completed my B.S. at one of the Five-Colleges other than the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I would like to do my M.S. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Can I sign up for the 4+1 program?
Yes if you are enrolled in a related field, such as other engineering majors, physics, mathematics, kinesiology, etc. at one of the Five-Colleges. Although the program is ideally suited to B.S. students in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, it can work for other majors.
I have been admitted to the 4+1 program and I am in my senior year. The GPA for my B.S. degree is going to be below 3.5. Will I be admitted to the M.S. program?
No, because the minimum GPA requirement is not met. Contact the 4+1 director to discuss your situation.
I have been admitted to the 4+1 program through the fast-track process. Do I need to take the GRE, submit letters of recommendation, and/or Statement of Purpose to be admitted into the M.S. program?
No, because the fast-track admission process of the 4+1 program does not require any of the above.
I missed the deadline to submit my application to the department or to the graduate school. Can I still be considered for the program?
Yes, you may apply after the deadline. Contact Kevin Romani once you have applied.
Is admission to the program binding? When do I need to decide to enter the program?
Admission is not binding. Students may withdraw from the program anytime before the start of their first semester in the MS program.
Can I defer my admission to the program?
Yes, students may defer their admission to the program for 1 year. Contact Kevin Romani if you wish to defer.
I am having trouble with my application through the graduate school. What do I do?
Contact the graduate school at email@example.com. The MIE Department does not manage the graduate school application process.
Program requirements, options, and details
I have been admitted to the 4+1 program after completing my B.S. degree. Can I transfer a course into the M.S. program that I have used to meet my B.S. requirements?
Yes, you may use up to six credits hours i.e. two courses to satisfy degree requirements in both your undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs. These "double counted" classes will be 500 or 600 level classes.
Can I specialize in a particular area while completing my MS?
Yes, there are several topic areas within each program (ME, IE, EM), and students can choose their courses to deepen their knowledge in these topic areas. See the Graduate Handbook for more details. Students can also complete a Wind Energy Concentration or a Project Management and Leadership Certificate in parallel with the MS degree. All required courses for the concentration or certificate count towards the MS degrees. However, this is a coursework only program, so you should not select a specific sub-plan when applying and a sub-plan will not be reflected on your diploma. You can specialize in areas on their own, but unless the complete one of the certificates or concentrations offered, the specialization is unofficial.
Do all 500 and 600 level classes in the MIE department count as graduate-level classes for double-counting purposes?
Yes, any 500 or 600 level MIE class taken as an undergraduate can be double-counted as a graduate level class.
Can 500 and 600 level classes in other departments be used to satisfy the course requirements?
It depends - 500 or 600 level classes in other department listed in the Graduate Handbooks can be used. If you believe a course from another department is relevant, but it is not listed in the Graduate Handbook, please send Kevin Romani the course title and syllabus to see if the course can be approved as one of your graduate courses.
I took more than two 500 and 600 level classes as an undergraduate. Can more than two classes be used for my graduate degree?
Only two courses may be double counted from your undergraduate studies. If a graduate course you took as an undergraduate did not count toward any undergraduate requirement, then you could count that course as well. But if you used all three to satisfy some sort of undergraduate requirement, including credit total, you may only apply two of them toward your graduate program.
How do I transfer credits for courses taken as an undergraduate for double counting as a graduate student?
Use this form provided by the graduate school.
Do I need to be admitted to the program to take graduate courses while an undergraduate.
No, you can take graduate courses at any time while an undergraduate, as long as you have the required pre-requisites.
When can I take independent study credit?
Up to 6 credits of independent study can be completed as part of the degree requirements. These credits can be completed during the summer or during the 5th year in the program. Interested students should discuss possible independent study projects with a prospective faculty advisor.
How do independent study courses work?
Independent studies typically consist of joining the research lab of a faculty member and completing a research project. It is not as involved as a MS thesis, but will give you a good idea of what research is all about! The research project should also a good item to list on your resume, a unique experience. If you are interested in completing an independent study in a particular area, you should talk to the faculty members in that field to see if they have any potential projects for you. If you find a good topic of mutual interest, then all you need to do is fill out a form with your project adviser and submit it to Kevin Romani, who will enroll you in the independent study course. You do not sign up for independent studies on Spire.
Can I take online courses in all the programs (ME, EM and IE)?
Yes. The ME program includes 6 elective courses and you can choose to take some of the online offerings to cover those requirements. The EM program can be fully completed online. Most courses in the IE program can be taken online as well.
Can I take some ME graduate courses as part of my Engineering Management degree?
Absolutely! The best combination is to have engineering depth and management breadth. Taking a couple of courses in your engineering field of specialization in encouraged.
How do I register for a 600 level class as an undergraduate?
First contact the instructor for permission, and then email Kevin Romani (firstname.lastname@example.org) for permission to enroll in any 600 level course.
When do I start registering for courses?
If you are starting in the fall, the Graduate School will contact you in early June with information and instructions for registering for courses.
How do I enroll in summer UWW courses?
If you are starting in the fall, then you are not yet an active student. But you can enroll for summer courses as a non-degree student. If you are already an active graduate student, then you can enroll in UWW courses through Spire by first requesting an enrollment appointment: Enrollment > Summer/Wtr/Non-deg Enroll Appt. If you take a course as a non-degree student, please complete this transfer form after you receive your final grade and send it to Kevin Romani so that the course is added to your Graduate Transcript.
Can I get financial support for the fifth year?
No, the MIE department does not provide support to enrollees in the 4+1 program. However, if a student decides to switch to a PhD program, then (s)he may be eligible for financial support as a teaching assistant (TA), research assistant (RA), or graduate fellow.
How long does it take to complete the program?
It is recommended, but not mandatory, that students complete the M.S. program in one year.
At the end of my MS program, can I proceed into the PhD program directly, or do I need to re-apply?
You may ask the Graduate Program Director to admit you directly. All requests are handled on a case-by-case basis.
How much does tuition for this program cost?
Tuition information is available through the UMass bursar's office.
Matthew A. Lackner, Professor
Director, Five-Year B.S./M.S. Program
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
324 ELab I
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003