High performing undergraduate students interested in graduate school, should consider the opportunities listed below to accelerate their graduate degree completion. Not all engineering programs offer these option, so it is important to discuss your academic plan and goals with the graduate advisor or graduate assistant in your program.
Undergraduate students interested in research or graduate study are encouraged to get involved in a research lab in their focus area. This may be developed through a specific faculty member or through the KU Center for Undergraduate Research. Undergraduate researchers may be voluntary (minimal responsibilities) or paid positions (with expectations and responsibilities defined). Students should contact the Center for Undergraduate Research or individual faculty to inquire.
At the University of Kansas, the School of Engineering offers ample opportunities for undergraduates to get involved in research, even as underclassmen. Participating in research as an undergraduate can provide you with insight and experiences not found in the classroom and can help prepare you to be successful in whichever direction your career takes you. Learn more about undergraduate research!
Well qualified undergraduate students with a strong interest in graduate study may choose to complete an early application to the engineering graduate program making them eligible for co-enrollment or early admission in their final semester of undergraduate study. Students who are considering this option should plan to enroll in 3-6 credit hours of graduate study along with the remaining credit hours towards their undergraduate degree. This is a good option for students interested in accelerated master's programs or would like to transfer graduate credits to another university (generally up to 6 credits are accepted). The department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science offers early admission to well qualified students. Other interested students should consult the graduate advisor or assistant in their chosen program.
Students receiving financial aid and undergraduate scholarships or fellowships are ineligible and should discuss their situation with the Graduate Advisor or Assistant in their department or program. More information can be found in the Policy Library.
Accelerated Master's Degree Program Options (Bachelor’s to Master’s Degree)
There are currently two engineering MS degree options that may allow students to graduate within one year, Civil Engineering MS program and Bioengineering MS program. This option requires students to manage a high level of graduate classes, making them ineligible to work as a GTA or GRA in most cases. The accelerated program balances the strengths of highly-motivated student in these academic programs with a research or real-world project experience to make them highly successful/competitive in the job market. Most of these students will leave the university after 5 years of study holding both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degree.
Fast Track PhD Programs (Bachelor's to Doctoral Degree)
Exceptionally well-qualified students, interested in doctoral study, currently pursuing an undergraduate engineering degree are encouraged to apply directly to a fast-track Ph.D. program without prior completion of a master’s degree. Students admitted to the fast-track Ph.D. program have the option to write a master’s thesis or complete the M.S. degree while working towards the Ph.D., but it is not required.
Requirements for fast-track admission:
- Completed at least 75 hours toward the BS degrees
- Overall GPA and a GPA in math, basic science, and engineering courses at or above 3.50