Paul Allen CenterThe following are potential timelines for completing your Masters requirements:

  • Complete all master's requirements in one year. This can be accomplished by taking three graded courses per quarter plus a 1- to 2-credit colloquium/research seminar per quarter. One course per quarter can be replaced by research.

  • Take 12 credits as an undergraduate plus one year of master's work. You will then take two graded courses per quarter or one graded course plus research.  Students who are TAs or RAs as graduate students generally take two courses and two seminars per quarter.

Degree Planning Tools

We require students to have a working degree plan, which we will review periodically to make sure you are on track for grauduation. We have created an Excel worksheet to help you with your degree planning, should that be helpful.  The UW Graduate School has recently adopted MyPlan and added a degree audit, and you are welcome to use those tool as well. 

Use this empty Planning Worksheet to create your specialized plan, or use MyPlan. 


Here is a page of registration tips

Degree Planning Advice

You can apply courses taken as an undergraduate student to your MS graduation requirements if they meet all of these criteria:

  • Courses must have been taken after admission to the BS/MS program.
  • Courses must be at the 400 or 500 level.
  • Courses must be entirely in excess of all undergrad requirements, including the 180 credits needed to graduate (for students with double degrees, you do not need to exceed 225)

Some students choose to become an RA or TA to help finance their masters degree. This is not always an option, but if you do pursue it, here are a few things to keep in mind:

RA = Research Assistant

  • You receive Tuition and a stipend
  • 600 level research: if you are using it towards masters, must include a thesis write-up whether it is 2 credits or 12
  • Most RA's would take: 4 credits of 600 level research, and 1 maybe 2 other courses, generally not two quals courses + research
  • must be enrolled in 10 credits

TA = Teaching Assistant

  • Definitely 20 hours per week: leading a section
  • Generally two courses, two seminars, and a TA position
  • Must be enrolled in at least 10 credits.

Applying to Graduate

The quarter you plan to finish your courses for the graduate program you need to do the following:

  1. One quarter before you plan to graduate, meet with Maggie to make sure that you have all your credits set up. You should have the Degree Planning worksheet or your MyPlan completely filled out.
  2. Apply to graduate with the UW Graduate School. This must be done during the dates of instruction in your final quarter as a masters student.
  3. If you plan to count any CSE 600 level graduate research towards your masters degree, you need to write a substantial thesis and have it signed off on by your faculty research advisor and the BS/MS program advisor.

After Graduation

Graduates of the Combined BS/MS program have several options. Most students go into industry, or you can pursue a PhD. If interested in a PhD, you should work closely with faculty in your area of interest so you can get strong letters or recommendation about your research work and competency. If heading to industry, plan to attend career events and career fairs sponsored by the CSE department.

For a list of helpful links, visit the Undergraduate Career Advice. It may also be helpful to check out the FAQ section Beyond the B.S./M.S. for more information.