Blended Programs / BMS / 4+1
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a Blended Program, a BMS Program, and a 4+1 Program?
A: Blended Program, BMS Program, and 4+1 Program are different names for the same degree objective. Toward the end of his/her undergraduate degree, a student can apply to pursue a Blended Program in which the student seamlessly transitions from undergraduate (BS) to graduate standing (MS) without having to apply through CSU Mentor. Once the student has completed all degree requirements for BOTH the undergraduate degree and the graduate degree, BOTH degrees are then conferred at the same time. This student is known as a Blended student, a BMS student, or a 4+1 student. PLEASE NOTE: Not all majors on campus are eligible to pursue a paired Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Please see below for more information.
Q: Will I be able to complete all degree requirements for a BMS Program in 5 years?
A: Not necessarily. You have completed all degree requirements for a BMS Program when all undergraduate AND graduate degree requirements have been satisfied. This often takes longer than 5 years to accomplish.
Q: I want to apply to a BMS program—what should I do?
A: If you are interested in applying for a BMS program (also known as a Blended Program), there are three steps you will need to complete:
- Speak directly with the Graduate Coordinator of your program of interest. Each BMS program oversees its own individual application process, so the Graduate Coordinator of the program would be your best point of contact. All Graduate Coordinator contact information can be found here: http://grad.calpoly.edu/programs/coordinators.html
- File a Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective (PDF) with the Graduate Education Office the quarter BEFORE you would like to transition to graduate standing. For instance, if you would like to transition to graduate standing in Winter 2017, you will need to submit your Postbac. Change of Objective to the Graduate Education Office by the fourth week of the Fall 2016 quarter (the previous quarter). PLEASE NOTE: You can only transition to graduate standing once you have completed 180 degree-applicable units.
- File an Admission to Blended Programs Approval Form (PDF) with the Graduate Education Office. You should only file your approval form once your program of interest has officially accepted you as a BMS student. PLEASE NOTE: You must also file a Postbac. Change of Objective to transition to graduate standing. The Admission to Blended Programs Approval Form does not replace the Postbac. Change of Objective.
Q: Can I apply for any Blended Program on campus?
A: No. Only certain majors on campus are eligible to pursue a paired Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. To determine if your undergraduate program is paired with a corresponding approved Master’s degree, view the current paired program offerings by clicking here (PDF).
Q: Can I be conditionally admitted into a Blended Program?
A: No. There are no conditional admittances into any Blended Programs. Students who are accepted into Blended Programs should not be required to complete any additional courses other than those identified as required for the Bachelor’s and/or Master’s degrees in the Cal Poly catalog.
Q: If I am accepted into a Blended Program, do I still need to complete my senior project?
A: Yes. All Blended Program students must also complete all senior project requirements identified in the Cal Poly catalog for their respective undergraduate program.
Q: I have completed more than 180 undergraduate degree-applicable units—can I still apply for a BMS Program?
A: Yes. Students who have completed a minimum of 180 or a maximum of 192 undergraduate degree-applicable units (maximum of 205 in Engineering) are eligible to transition to graduate standing.
Q: Do I need to complete the Graduation Writing Requirement before I apply for a BMS program?
A: Yes. You must successfully complete the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) before your Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective will be approved. This means you cannot transition to graduate standing before you have successfully completed the GWR.
Q: Will I still have access to my Degree Progress Report once I transition to graduate standing?
A: No. You will lose access to your Degree Progress Report once your Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective is processed by the Office of the Registrar and you transition to graduate standing. You must run your final Degree Progress Report before your Postbac. Change of Objective is processed.
Q: I want to apply to a BMS Program, and I have already completed most of the graduate-level courses I need for my BMS degree. How many quarters must I be matriculated at graduate standing?
A: Blended Degree students must be matriculated for at least two academic quarters at graduate standing before they can graduate. If you are matriculated at graduate standing for less than two academic quarters, the Office of the Registrar will be unable to grant your degree.
Q: Will transitioning to graduate standing impact my tuition rate?
A: Yes. PLEASE NOTE: Transitioning to graduate status may impact your financial aid status and will certainly change your tuition rate. Speak directly with the Financial Aid Office for more information.
Q: As a Blended student, how many units do I need to complete to satisfy both my undergraduate and my graduate degree requirements?
A: Under Title V, a minimum of 225 total units are required (Bachelor’s 180 + Master’s 45) for receiving a blended degree. A Blended Program can allow double counting equal to the number of units greater than 180, but not to exceed 9 units. For more information about “double counting,” please speak directly with the Graduate Coordinator of your program of interest.
Q: I have just been accepted into a BMS Program—is there anything else I need to do right now?
A: You should submit a Working Formal Study Plan (PDF) to the Graduate Education Office before you have completed 12 units of applicable graduate work. In other words, you should submit a Working Formal Study Plan before the end of the first quarter you are officially in your graduate program.
Q: I have been accepted to a BMS Program, but I want to participate in a Co-op during the first quarter I will be matriculated at graduate status. What should I do?
A: If you will be gone for a Co-op during the first quarter of your BMS program (the first quarter you are matriculated at graduate standing), you must either:
- Enroll in an approved Co-op course, or
- Apply for GS 597 through the Extended Education Office BY THE FIRST DAY OF THE QUARTER IN WHICH YOU WILL BE GONE. For instance, if you will be absent from Cal Poly in Fall, you must enroll in GS 597 by the first day of the Fall quarter. All graduate students at Cal Poly must be actively enrolled the entire time they are completing their degree requirements. To maintain continuous enrollment, you must enroll in a 1 unit, credit/no credit course run through the Extended Education Office (GS 597). For more information about continuous enrollment, visit the following link: http://grad.calpoly.edu/students/continuous.html
Q: I was accepted as a BMS student, but I had to leave Cal Poly and was discontinued as a student. I would like to return to Cal Poly to complete my degree. What should I do?
A: Contact the Graduate Education Office directly before re-applying to Cal Poly. Our office will be able to assist you with this complicated process.