Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Degree Programs


Many degree programs offer Mines undergraduate students the opportunity to begin work on a professional master’s degree, master’s degree, or doctoral degree while completing the requirements for their bachelor’s Degree. These combined bachelors–masters/doctoral programs have been created by Mines faculty in those situations where they have deemed it academically advantageous to treat undergraduate and graduate degree programs as a continuous and integrated process. These are accelerated programs that can be valuable in fields of engineering and applied science where advanced education in technology and/or management provides the opportunity to be on a fast track for advancement to leadership positions. These programs also can be valuable for students who want to get a head start on graduate education.

The combined programs at Mines offer several advantages to students who choose to enroll in them:

  1. Students can earn a graduate degree in their undergraduate major or in a field that complements their undergraduate major.
  2. Students who plan to go directly into industry leave Mines with additional specialized knowledge and skills which may allow them to enter their career path at a higher level and advance more rapidly. Alternatively, students planning on attending graduate school can get a head start on their graduate education.
  3. Students can plan their undergraduate electives to satisfy prerequisites, thus ensuring adequate preparation for their graduate program.
  4. Early assignment of graduate advisors permits students to plan optimum course selection and scheduling in order to complete their graduate program quickly.
  5. Early acceptance into a combined degree program leading to a graduate degree assures students of automatic acceptance into full graduate status if they maintain good standing while in early-acceptance status.
  6. In many cases, students will be able to complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s degrees in five years of total enrollment at Mines.

Students accepted into a combined program may substitute up to six credits of graduate coursework (500-level) to fulfill requirements of their undergraduate degree and then also use these credits to fulfill the requirements of their graduate degree.  These courses are referred to as double counted courses and must be completed with a grade of B- or better.  If a course (required or elective) is cross listed as 4xx/5xx, the 500-level version must be used for substitution purposes in order to be double counted. 

Combined students with graduate admit terms from Fall 2023 to Spring 2025 and who earned at least 60 credits toward their BS degree by the start of the Fall 2023 semester may continue to “double count” 400-level courses.

B. Admission Process

Students interested in applying to a graduate degree program as a combined degree student should first contact the departmental or interdisciplinary program into which they wish to apply.

  • It is recommended that contact be made during the sophomore year, but no later than the end of the junior year.
  • Graduate programs will provide initial counseling on degree application procedures, admissions standards and degree completion requirements.

Admission into a graduate degree program as a combined degree student may be granted after the student earns 60 undergraduate credits including transfer credit, and must be granted no later than the semester in which the student intends to apply to graduate with the bachelor’s degree. For example, if a student intends to graduate in May, admission to the graduate program as a combined student must be granted for that same spring semester.  See the Graduate Admissions webpage for the appropriate deadlines for the semester in which admission is sought. 

To apply, students must submit the standard graduate application package for the graduate portion of their combined degree program. Upon admission into a graduate degree program, students are assigned graduate advisors. Prior to registration for the next semester, students and their graduate advisors should meet and plan a strategy for completing both the undergraduate and graduate programs as efficiently as possible. Until their undergraduate degree requirements are completed, students continue to have undergraduate advisors in the home department of their bachelor’s degrees.

C. Requirements

Combined degree program students are considered undergraduate students until such time as they complete their undergraduate degree requirements. Combined degree program students who are still considered undergraduates by this definition have all of the privileges and are subject to all expectations of both their undergraduate and graduate programs. These students may enroll in both undergraduate and graduate courses (see section D below), may have access to departmental assistance available through both programs, and may be eligible for undergraduate financial aid as determined by the Office of Financial Aid. Upon completion of their undergraduate degree requirements, a combined degree program student is considered enrolled full-time in their graduate program.  Once having done so, the student is no longer eligible for undergraduate financial aid, but may now be eligible for graduate financial aid.

Once admitted into a graduate program, undergraduate combined program students must maintain good standing in the combined program by maintaining a minimum semester GPA of 3.0 in all courses taken. Students not meeting this requirement are deemed to be making unsatisfactory academic progress in the combined degree program. Students for whom this is the case are subject to probation and, if occurring over two semesters, subject to discretionary dismissal from the graduate portion of their program as defined in the Unsatisfactory Academic Performance section of this Catalog.

Upon completion of the undergraduate degree requirements, combined degree program students are subject to all requirements (e.g., course requirements, departmental approval of transfer credits, research credits, minimum GPA, etc.) appropriate to the graduate program in which they are enrolled.

D. Enrolling in Graduate Courses for a Combined Program

Once admitted into a graduate degree program, students may enroll in 500-level courses for graduate credit and apply these directly to their graduate degree.  Financial aid may be impacted.  Email for more information on financial aid impacts.

In addition, undergraduate seniors who have been granted admission through the combined degree program into thesis-based degree programs (master's or doctoral) may, with graduate advisor approval, register for 700-level research credits appropriate to their degree programs. With this single exception, while a combined degree program student is still completing their undergraduate degree, all of the conditions described in the undergraduate catalog for undergraduate enrollment in graduate-level courses apply. 700-level research credits are always applied to a student’s graduate degree program.