What is a Blended Program?
- Joint (blended) Bachelor's and Master's degree
- No “formal” application made through Admissions; no application fee
- Under Title V, minimum of 225 total units required (BS 180 + MS 45)
- Blended matriculation is “Graduate”
- Only certain bachelor/master programs are paired as blended. View/Download the Blended Program Pairings (PDF) for a list.
- To provide an accelerated route to a graduate degree, with simultaneous awarding of both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees
- In most cases, to allow for the possibility of students’ earning graduate credit for several of their senior electives, effectively decreasing the summed unit requirements for both degrees
- To provide a seamless process whereby students can progress from undergraduate to graduate status without having to apply through the Admissions Office (thereby eliminating the need to pay the application fee)
- To provide a meaningful capstone experience that in some cases integrates the senior project with the graduate thesis/project
Students admitted to the blended program will maintain their undergraduate status until their academic progress gauge (degree applicable units) reaches 91%.
The student must be at graduate status for a minimum of 2-quarters before they graduate.
Students must have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative SLO GPA in order to be accepted to a Blended Program.
*Note: Once students are admitted to graduating standing, they must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA for courses on their Formal Study Plan.
PLEASE NOTE: the GWR will be waived as a Blended transition requirement for the Fall 2021 transition deadline (April 19, 2021). However, the GWR is still required to graduate with a bachelor's and/or master's degree. Please visit the Writing and Learning Initiatives website to find out how to complete the GWR.
Must be satisfied before transitioning to graduate standing.
Admission to Blended Degree Program
- The criteria to be admitted to a Blended Program is determined by each department. All Blended Program pairings have their own criteria for admittance and application processes. Thus, students should first visit the department's website on All Graduate Degree Programs to determine how to submit a Blended application and be approved for admission. Students may also contact the Graduate Coordinator with any questions.
- Once approved by the program's Graduate Coordinator, the student should file a Blended Programs Application Approval Form (E-form).
- Cannot apply if the student has completed more than the maximum number of units required for Bachelor's degree.
- Admission to a Blended program does not constitute recognition of graduate standing by the Office of Academic Records. Students must file a Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective (E-Form) to officially transition to graduate standing. *Note: this will impact your tuition and possibly financial aid. If you have specific questions, please contact Financial Aid before submitting your Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective form.
Blended Transition Deadlines
Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective forms are due to the Graduate Education Office no later than the fourth week of the quarter prior to the quarter in which the student would like the change in standing to take effect. For example, if a student wants to transition to graduate standing in Winter, the student must submit their completed Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective to the Graduate Education Office by Week 4 of Fall quarter. If the student has met all Blended transition requirements by the Week 4 Fall deadline, they will be able to register for the Winter quarter as a graduate student.
The blended transition deadline is a hard deadline. The Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective will only be processed by the Office of Graduate Education if the Blended applicant has completed at least 91% of their undergraduate degree, cleared their GWR milestone in their Poly Profile, and previously submitted a Blended Programs Application Approval Form to the Office of Graduate Education. If any of these requirements are not met by the Week 4 deadline, the Blended applicant's Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective will not be processed in that quarter. There are no exceptions.
2020-2021 Blended Transition Deadlines*:
- To transition to graduate standing in Winter 2021, all requirements must be met by – Monday, October 5, 2020
- To transition to graduate standing in Spring 2021, all requirements must be met by – Monday, January 25, 2021
- To transition to graduate standing in Fall 2021, all requirements must be met by – Monday, April 19, 2021
*Post Baccalaureate Change of Objectives must be turned into the Office of Graduate Education by the Deadline, NO EXCEPTIONS.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Blended Program, BMS/BMA, or a 4+1 Program?
Blended Program, BMS/BMA, and 4+1 are different names for the same degree objective. Toward the end of his/her undergraduate degree at Cal Poly, a student can apply to pursue a Blended Program (this is the correct name to use) in which the student seamlessly transitions from undergraduate (Bachelor’s) to graduate standing (Master’s) without having to apply through Cal State Apply. 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. PLEASE NOTE: Not all majors on campus are eligible to pursue a paired Bachelor’s and Master’s degree (see Graduate Education website for eligible degree pairings).
Will I be able to complete all degree requirements for a Blended Program in 5 years?
Not necessarily. There is no guaranteed 4+1 time-frame. Consult with your Graduate Coordinator and develop a Working Formal Study Plan. You will receive your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees when you have completed all degree requirements for both degrees. This often takes longer than 5 years to accomplish, particularly if your program requires a thesis.
I want to apply to a Blended Program: What should I do?
If you are interested in applying for a Blended Program, there are three steps you will need to complete:
- Speak directly with the Graduate Coordinator of your program of interest. All Blended Program pairings have their own criteria for admittance and application processes. All Graduate Coordinator contact information can be found on Graduate Coordinators.
- File a Blended Programs Application Approval Form with the Graduate Education Office. You should only file your approval form once your program of interest has officially accepted you as a Blended student. PLEASE NOTE: You must also file a Postbac. Change of Objective to transition to graduate standing. The Blended Programs Application Approval Form does not replace the Postbac. Change of Objective.
- File a Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective (E-Form) 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 the Spring quarter, you will need to submit your Postbac. Change of Objective to the Graduate Education Office by the fourth week of the Winter quarter. PLEASE NOTE: You can only transition to graduate standing once you have completed 91% of your undergraduate degree, successfully completed the Graduation Writing Requirement, and submitted a Blended Programs Application Approval Form to the Graduate Education Office.
Can I apply for any Blended Program on campus?
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 Blended Program Pairings PDF.
Can I be conditionally admitted into a Blended Program?
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.
If I am accepted into a Blended Program, do I still need to complete my senior project?
Yes. All Blended Program students must also complete all senior project requirements identified in the Cal Poly catalog for their respective undergraduate program.
I have completed more than 180 undergraduate degree-applicable units; can I still apply for a Blended Program?
You must apply to a Blended Program BEFORE you have completed all undergraduate degree-applicable units required for your specific major. Check with the Cal Poly Catalog to be sure.
Also keep in mind that you must be matriculated at graduate standing for a minimum of two academic quarters before you 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 Master’s degree.
Do I need to complete the Graduation Writing Requirement before I apply for a Blended Program?
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.
Will I still have access to Degree Planner and my Degree Progress Report once I transition to graduate standing?
No. Unfortunately, you will lose access to Degree Planner and your Degree Progress Report once you transition to graduate standing. You must run your final Degree Progress Report before your Postbaccalaureate Change of Objective is processed.
I want to apply to a Blended Program, and I have already completed most of my graduate-level courses. How many quarters must I be matriculated at graduate standing?
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 Master’s degree.
Will transitioning to graduate standing impact my tuition rate?
Yes. Transitioning to graduate status will increase your tuition. PLEASE NOTE: Transitioning to graduate standing may also impact your financial aid status. Speak directly with the Financial Aid Office for more information.
As a Blended student, how many units do I need to complete to satisfy both my undergraduate and my graduate degree requirements?
Under California Code of Regulations, 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.
I have just been accepted into a Blended Program—is there anything else I need to do right now?
You should submit a Working Formal Study Plan and Advancement to Candidacy (E-Form) 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 matriculated in your graduate program.
I have been accepted to a Blended Program, but I want to participate in a Co-op or internship during the first quarter I will be matriculated at graduate status. What should I do?
If you will be gone for a Co-op or internship during the first quarter of your Blended 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 Continuous Enrollment.
I was accepted as a Blended 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?
Returning to Cal Poly as a Blended student can be extremely challenging. The first step is completing a Former Student Evaluation Request with the Office of the Registrar.
Once you have received a response from the Office of the Registrar, contact the Graduate Education Office directly before re-applying to Cal Poly. Our office will be able to assist you with this complicated process.