Concurrent BS/MS Program

by Chris Neary | August 19, 2011 1:54 pm

A concurrent bachelor of science/master of science (BS/MS) degree program is available to qualified seniors in Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (CCEE) at Iowa State University.

You also may be interested in the concurrent engineering/master of business administration program[1].

Benefits of the CCEE Concurrent Degree Program


To be eligible for the concurrent degree program in civil engineering, a student must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a minimum GPA of 3.2
  2. Be within two semesters of graduation
  3. Be able to satisfy all graduation requirements for the B.S. when the student is within the last 30 credits of graduation

Application Process

The concurrent degree program may begin when the student is within the last 30 credits of graduation. Juniors and seniors interested in graduate studies should visit with a faculty in their area of interest to discuss research and teaching assistant opportunities. The concurrent applicant must complete the Concurrent Enrollment for Undergraduate Student Wishing to Pursue a Graduate Certificate or Degree Form. If you have trouble loading the file, go to the Concurrent Student Request Forms list.


Fill out the top portion of the Concurrent Enrollment form and take it to the civil engineering or construction Engineering undergraduate advisors, depending on your specialization. They will sign the form if the requirements have been met. Do not get the other signatures on the bottom half of the form. These signatures will be obtained later.

June 15 is the deadline to submit a concurrent application for the immediate fall semester.

October 15 is the deadline to submit a concurrent application for the immediate spring semester.

A Statement of Purpose also is required stating why you want to be a graduate student in the specific specialization area and what you plan to do with your degree in the future.  Also mention any work or research experience you may have.

At the end of your Statement of Purpose include the names of the three (3) people who are willing to write a recommendation letter for you.  If your recommenders are in the CCEE department, you do not need to actually get a letter of recommendation from them. Just listing their names will be enough.

Applicants do not need to submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores.

Bring the Concurrent Enrollment form and your Statement of Purpose to the CCEE graduate secretary. She will give your form and Statement of Purpose to your specialization area for review. The departmental review process is similar to that used for all graduate students. The graduate admissions representative for the specialty area will review the application and submit the recommendation to the department’s director of graduate education (DOGE). The department DOGE reviews all division requests, seeks any needed changes, and forwards the final recommendation to the Graduate College.

Usually the admission category for a concurrent student will be a full admission status. A concurrent student will not be admitted with restricted admission.

Beginning the Program

Students accepted to the concurrent program should select a major professor from among the faculty in their specialization area to help develop a plan for completing the undergraduate requirements as well as guiding their graduate course selection. This plan is an unofficial document that is in addition to the formal program of study form that specifies the components of the graduate program.

Courses and Credits

Students should take up to six credit hours of 500-level courses during their senior year that could count toward the B.S. and the M.S. degree. All master’s programs require a minimum of 30 credits. Students enrolled in the concurrent program are required to do a thesis or a creative component.

All credits taken by the student will appear on the graduate transcript until the student has completed the courses required in the undergraduate program. At that time it is necessary to file a form to transfer the appropriate courses[3] back to the undergraduate transcript.

Program of Study Committee

A graduate program of study (POS) committee to help formulate and approve the graduate program elements must be established no later than the second semester following admission.

Detailed Benefits

Graduate assistantships

Students enrolled in the concurrent program are classified as graduate students and they may be appointed to graduate research or teaching assistantships, which pay a monthly stipend. These positions are typically quarter-time appointments, but may be up to one-half time. It is up to the student to check their financial aid package because under new federal regulations, being a graduate student may affect your undergraduate financial aid package.

For the purpose of tuition assessment, research and teaching assistants are considered at the in-state tuition rate. In addition, the tuition is reduced by one-fourth to one-half of the assessed tuition, depending on the assistantship appointment rate.

Graduate teaching and research assistants are eligible for additional benefits including a free single student health insurance coverage.

Registration priority

Graduate students receive registration priority.


The department provides students who are on appointment a desk work space in one of the graduate study areas.

Quicker degree completion

Because seniors with a research assistant appointment begin working with graduate faculty on research projects, which may become the foundation for the master’s thesis, the overall time to complete both degrees may be reduced.

Students in concurrent degree programs may apply, subject to program of study committee approval, up to 6 credits of major or non-major graduate credit courses used to fulfill the requirements for a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree program of study.

A summer research internship and coursework following the junior year is advised to meet an early graduation schedule.

  1. concurrent engineering/master of business administration program:
  2. teaching or research assistantship:
  3. file a form to transfer the appropriate courses:

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