4+1 Program Overview
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 admission to the Graduate School by waiving the otherwise required GRE scores, letters of reference, statement of purpose, and application fee.
Note: Because of Covid-19 situation, seniors in the class of 2020 are eligible to apply to the program for Fall 2020. Please apply directly to the Graduate School. GREs will be waived for all applicants. Letters of reference and statement of purpose will be waived for all students with a GPA over 3.5. You may still apply with a GPA below 3.5, but must include two letters of reference and a brief statement of purpose.
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:
- Two additional 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. These two courses can also be counted towards the B.S. degree i.e. they can be “double-counted." With this provision, eight courses need to be taken during the fifth year in the M.S. program.
- Two online or independent study courses may be taken during the summer between the fourth and fifth years. With this provision, eight courses need to be taken during the fifth year in the M.S. program.
- The above two provisions may be combined to require six lecture-based courses during the fifth academic year in the M.S. program.
- Participants in the 4+1 program should 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.
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 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 - Fill out the internal application. The annual application deadline is May 1 of the candidate’s junior year, though application after this date is also possible. Decisions on admissions are made by late May after Spring semester grades are available. Students who are applying to the 4+1 program are encouraged to plan their course schedule for the Fall semester accordingly. Once admitted to the 4+1 program, students have the commitment of the MIE Department that they will be recommended for admission 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 their senior year, students should formally apply to MIE MS program through the Graduate School. Choose the Coursework option. Students who meet the GPA requirements do not have to fill out the otherwise required GRE scores, letters of reference, and statement of purpose.
Eligibility and Admissions
I am an MIE student (ME or IE) and my GPA at the end of the junior year is less than 3.5. Can I sign up for 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.
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 sign up for 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 sign up 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 sign up 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 qualify. You should contact the 4+1 program director for potential consideration.
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 a college or university 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. You should contact the 4+1 program director for potential consideration.
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.
I have been admitted to the 4+1 program. 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, exceptions are possible. Contact the program director to discuss your specific situation.
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 the program director to discuss your specific situation.
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.
I have been admitted to the 4+1 program after completing my B.S. degree. Can I transfer more than six credit hours of courses into the M.S. that I have taken in addition to my B.S. requirements?
No, because the current limit on transfers into the M.S. is six credit hours.
Can I specialize in a particular area while completing my MS In ME?
Yes, there are several topic areas within the ME program, and students can choose their courses to deepen their knowledge in these topic areas. See the Graduate Handbook for more details. There is also a Wind Energy Concentration that can be completed in parallel with the MS degree.
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.
How do I register for a 600 level class as an undergraduate?
Email Mindy Dow (email@example.com) for permission to enroll in any 600 level course.
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, Associate 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