4+1 BS/MMSE Frequently Asked Questions

4+1 BS/MMSE Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to commonly asked questions about the Materials Science and Engineering (MSEG) 4+1 Bachelor’s – Masters (BSE/MMSE) Degrees at the University of Delaware.

Feel free to contact our Graduate Academic Support Coordinator, if you have additional questions.

Telephone: (302) 831-7183
Email: mseg-gradinfo@udel.edu

Materials Science and Engineering
The University of Delaware
201 DuPont Hall
Newark, DE 19716

What are MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE Degrees?

Students in the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program are allowed to satisfy some of the requirements for an MSEG MMSE (Masters in Materials Science and Engineering) degree while completing the requirements for the Bachelor’s degree. The undergraduate degree will either be a Bachelors of Engineering (BE) or a Bachelor’s of Science (BS), depending on whether the student is enrolled as an undergraduate student in the College of Engineering or the College of Arts & Sciences. A maximum of six hours of credit can be used for both the Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

What are the advantages of the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program?

Many employers now favor hiring more highly trained engineers at the entry level of the profession. Many in the academic community feel that a combined bachelor/master’s program will soon become the accepted standard training for engineers. The MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program is an integrated program that facilitates the completion of a master’s degree with two semesters of study beyond that required for the bachelor’s degree. Up to six hours of required course work can be double counted within the combined program. Thus, with proper planning and scheduling, a semester of study may be eliminated and students should be able to complete the B.S. and M.S. degrees with five years of study. Upon completion of the program students have all the job possibilities available with their traditional engineering or science degree as well as the additional possibilities created with a M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering.

What are the disadvantages of the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program?
4+1 BSE/MMSE status may impact negatively on the eligibility for undergraduate and graduate financial aid. The time-saving advantage of the 4+1 BSE/MMSE program may be lost if the student does not follow an efficient plan of study when they enter the program.
Why get a Master's degree?
Engineering is fast becoming a field where a master’s degree is of increasing importance for professional development. This degree is also a way to round out and enhance the knowledge gained by the undergraduate experience and to provide specific knowledge in a niche area of engineering.
When is the best time to get a Master's degree?
The best time will depend on personal goals and plans. There are several paths to the Master’s degree including continuation immediately after the Bachelor’s degree, part-time education in conjunction with employment, and a delayed return to the University after field experience. Students should choose the route that fits with their individual career goals and lifestyle choices.
Can I get Financial Support for MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE Degrees?
Generally, no, at least not from the MSEG Department itself. It is not anticipated that Graduate students enrolled in the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program will be awarded additional financial support by the MSEG Department. Students are however actively encouraged to explore the possibility of secure fellowships from such institutions as the NSF or DOD. Students are also encouraged to consider continuing on for a Ph.D., where financial assistance is often readily available.
What courses can I use to satisfy the requirements of both degrees?

According to the 4+1 BSE/MMSE guidelines, courses that are required to be taken as part of the core undergraduate program are not typically allowed to be double counted. However this can vary by department. Typically, graduate level technical course can be double counted. In all cases, students are advised to discuss their course selection with both the undergraduate and graduate advisors early and often.

Does this change the requirements for my undergraduate degree?
No, you still need to take all of the classes required for the undergraduate degree. The double counted classes will be those that are technical electives for the undergraduate degree. Classes that are specifically required for the undergraduate degree itself are not appropriate for double counting.
Can I get an MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE degree if I am an undergraduate in the Arts & Sciences College?

We expect that most of the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE students will come from undergraduate programs in the College of Engineering, and most likely these will be primarily from Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. However we also anticipate and hope that students from Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and  Biomedical Engineering will find this a valuable option. We are also expecting that there will be students who choose to pursue the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE degree after a degree from Arts & Sciences. This degree would likely make an excellent complement to undergraduate students from Physics, Chemistry, and perhaps Biological Sciences.

Will my undergraduate degree be a BS (Bachelor of Science) or a BE?
The type of undergraduate degree awarded will depend upon the department. The specific course requirements for these degrees are all determined by the corresponding departments, and are not changed in any way by this degree. The other departments of engineering at Delaware offer undergraduate degrees that are Bachelors of Engineering (specifically, Bachelors of Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering). We expect that MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE students from the College of Arts & Sciences would typically be those obtaining Bachelors of Science degrees in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, or Physics.
Will I need to pick a MSEG concentration option?
Yes. Each graduate student in MSEG is required to choose a particular technical option that determines the specific course requirements. Currently, the approved options include Soft Materials and Hard Materials. The specific course requirements vary depending on the particular option, as described in detail later in this document and on the MSEG web pages. An individualized option is also available with the permission of the MSEG Chair and the MSEG Graduate Program Director.
Who can apply?

To officially enter the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program a student must:

  • Have obtained senior standing (85+ hours) by the time of entry
  • Have a GPA of 3.2 or above
  • Be enrolled in one of the following undergraduate programs: In the College of Engineering: Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering. In the College of Arts and Sciences: Chemistry, Physics, or Biological Sciences.
How can I apply and what is needed to apply?

Apply Online

  • The statement of purpose
  • Transcripts (only needed for courses taken at other universities)
  • Two recommendation letters should be submitted directly to the MSEG Department (mseg-gradinfo@udel.edu)
  • General Record Exam (GRE) scores are not required by MSEG.
When should I apply?
Students must apply by March 1 of Junior year.
Is my admission automatic if I meet the basic criteria (GPA and senior standing)?
Admission is not automatic. Your application will be carefully reviewed by the MSEG faculty. Your statement of purpose and letters of recommendation are important parts of the admission decision.
Are GRE's required for 4+1 BSE/MMSE?

GRE scores are not required for admission to any MSEG graduate programs.

Must international students retake the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for admission to the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE?
The TOEFL is waived for students who have already taken it.
How can I become involved in the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program before I reach senior standing?
Students who are interested in the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program can begin to follow the recommended curriculum for their particular area of study as early as their sophomore year. There are also seminar courses and a research symposium that a student can become involved in before they are officially in the program. Students are also welcome to join in other department events such as the annual picnic and holiday gatherings.
May an MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE student continue for a Ph.D.?

Yes, the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE program academic selections are oriented toward a well-rounded preparation for professional life in engineering or continuing their academic career in graduate school.  Admission to the Ph.D. program is not guaranteed and those interested should ask the MSEG Graduate Academic Advisor mseg-gradinfo@udel.edu for what they need to do.

How many undergraduate courses or credits can I count towards the M.S. degree?

Six credits can be double counted towards the bachelors degree and the M.S. degree. These will usually be courses taken as undergraduate technical electives that are also appropriate for fulfilling the requirements of the MSEG MS degree. Courses that are specifically required for the undergraduate degree are not appropriate for double counting. Students are permitted to transfer additional graduate level (600-800) courses taken during their undergraduate degree that did not count towards their bachelor degree. Please contact the MSEG Academic Advisor mseg-gradinfo@udel.edu regarding this.

When are the concurrent courses taken?
Most students will take the concurrent courses during the last two final terms of undergraduate study. Some may prefer to take one course in one term and the second in the subsequent term.
How do I know which graduate courses to take?
Curriculum listings are available on the MSEG website for each of the concentrations or you may pick up a copy from the MSEG office.
Does enrollment in the MSEG 4+1 BSE/MMSE affect when I receive my Bachelor's degree?
You should graduate with your Bachelor of Science degree at the end of the term in which your degree requirements are met. You must complete a diploma application and your final academic audit with your undergraduate department. You must complete the Bachelor’s degree within one year of enrolling in the 4+1 BSE/MMSE program. You may participate in the appropriate graduate ceremony for your Bachelor’s degree and again when you receive your Master’s degree.
What happens after the Bachelor's degree is complete?
Your university standing will be changed to the Master’s degree level.
What are the MSEG 4+1 Degree requirements?

30 credits hours of lecture work are typically required for an MSEG MS degree. However the MSEG 4+1 degree program allows for 6 credits of double counting, so only 24 additional credits are necessary beyond the BS degree. The specific degree requirements are kept current on our website. There are two separate curricula tracks: Soft Materials, and Hard Materials.

Degree Requirements for 4+1 M.S. Degree

Nine (9) credits must be the three required core courses
Required Core Courses (9 credits):

  • MSEG608 – Structure and Properties of Materials I (3 credits)
  • MSEG803 – Equilibria in Materials Systems (3 credits)
  • MSEG804 – Kinetics in Materials Systems (3 credits)

Six (6) credits must be chosen from the approved list of five (5) non-core courses:
Required Non-Core Courses (6-15 credits):
With your advisor, choose a minimum of two (2) from the following five (5) courses. If you chose to take more than two, they can count as electives.

  • MSEG640 – Applied Quantum Mechanics I (3 credits)
  • MSEG841 – Solid State Materials I (3 credits)
  • MSEG832 – Principles of Polymer Synthesis (3 credits)
  • MSEG835 – Polymer Physics (3 credits)
  • MSEG817 – Composite Materials (3 credits)

Fifteen (15) credits of technical electives must be chosen from the list of five (5) non-core courses above or other courses approved by the student’s advisor.
Technical Elective Courses (15 credits):

  • Elective courses will be chosen after discussion with student’s academic advisor. Students can choose 600-800 level technical courses from any of the departments within the College of Engineering, Physics or Chemistry.
  • Additional courses from the list above can be used to fulfill this requirement.

All graduate students are expected to do the following:

  • Students must earn a grade of B- or higher in all courses counting towards the degree requirement.
  • Students must take four 800 level courses to earn their degree.
  • Attend departmental seminars.