Concurrent Degrees

Concurrent BS/MS Degrees

The concurrent BS/MS classification offers an opportunity for well-qualified Iowa State juniors and seniors to begin working on a master’s degree before completing a bachelor’s degree.

These students can be eligible to receive graduate assistantships and/or scholarships. Once the student enters the BS/MS program, they can continue on or switch to a PhD degree.

Note: Concurrent BS/MS classification does not change any of the rules for either the BS or MS degree. Specifically, it does not reduce the number of credits that are required for either the BS or MS degree. It allows the student to get a head start in completing his or her master’s degree.

Program requirements

  • Up to two semesters of concurrent enrollment are allowed.
  • Students must take at least 3 credits of graduate course work each semester during concurrent enrollment.
    • 500-level and above ME courses
    • Qualified 400-level and above in other majors labeled nonmajor graduate credit
  • Students can count up to 6 credits of 500-level courses in mechanical engineering for both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
  • Concurrently enrolled students pay graduate tuition and fees and are eligible for graduate assistantships.

Admission requirements

  • You must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Students must be within 18 credits of completing the requirements.
  • An ME professor must agree to serve as your major professor.

Application procedure
The details for all of these concurrent programs are located in “Chapter 4” of the Graduate College Handbook. Concurrent students will no longer complete the Iowa State University graduate application and a concurrent enrollment form. There is one form located at the Graduate College website on the forms page that will be used for the admissions and concurrent enrollment process.

To obtain the new form, undergraduate/graduate concurrent applicants need to choose the link for “Concurrent Enrollment for Undergraduate/Graduate Degrees” under “Concurrent Student Request Forms” at

The process works as follows:

  • A student will contact the graduate department of choice and provide that program with the items needed for an admissions decision, along with the partially completed concurrent form.
  • The program will make an admissions recommendation and the DOGE will sign the form, indicating the admissions status and term/year of admission.
  • The form must then be approved by the undergraduate department and the undergraduate college.
  • The form must be delivered to the Graduate College, which will review the admissions recommendation and make an admissions decision.
  • That decision will be relayed to the Office of Admissions, which will officially admit the student and notify the Office of the Registrar of the new graduate concurrent status.
  • Programs and the student will also be notified of the final decision at this point.
  • All other requirements for the concurrent degree (double-counting courses, transfer of credits, etc.) remain the same.

Note: Your application material will be reviewed by the ME director of graduate education (DOGE). No decision will be made until you have identified a major professor and that professor has notified the Graduate Programs Office in writing that he or she will be serving as your major professor. Official action taken on your application will be communicated to you by the Office of Admissions.

Upon acceptance, you will be classified as a graduate student. To check on the status of your application, e-mail

Assistantships and tuition scholarships for BS/MS students
Students admitted to the BS/MS program will be eligible for at least a 1⁄4-time research assistantship. In some cases, students may qualify for up to a 1⁄2-time graduate assistantship. The graduate assistantship will be determined by your major professor in consultation with the DOGE.

Eligible graduate assistants receive tuition scholarship funds to help defray the cost of a graduate program of study. Master’s students on a half-time graduate assistantship generally pay 50% of the in-state tuition plus university fees.

Concurrent BS/MBA Degrees

The Iowa State University College of Engineering and the College of Business offer an integrated, concurrent program leading to a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Engineering/MBA program is available to undergraduate students majoring in agricultural, civil, computer, electrical, industrial, or mechanical engineering. The Engineering/MBA concurrent degree program reduces by one year the normal time period for completing both degrees separately.
Today’s successful engineers often need strong business management skills to complement their degree in engineering. These skills are especially important for engineers who are interested in working for technology companies, launching their own business ventures, or pursuing non-traditional jobs such as consulting. Generally, engineers will need highly developed technical and advanced business skills as their careers progress. The MBA may give engineers a competitive advantage for advancement or lead to accelerated opportunities for growth into management positions. Enhanced business skills may open a more diverse offering of career choices.

The Engineering/MBA concurrent degree program offers students the opportunity to integrate study in engineering and business management. Both the Bachelor of Science and the MBA are awarded to successful candidates of the concurrent degree program. The Engineering/MBA program is designed to be completed in a minimum of five academic years or ten semesters. While the program can be finished in five years (ten semesters), the actual time for completion may be longer depending upon semester course loads, internships, and course sequencing.
Careful planning between the engineering student and the academic advisor is essential throughout the program. The program requires engineering students to take a slightly accelerated program through the first six semesters in order to complete the general education requirements. The remaining four semesters integrate the engineering major requirements and the MBA courses. Twelve credits will be shared in common and will fulfill the degree requirements for both the engineering bachelor’s and the MBA degrees. Summer study is possible, although students are strongly encouraged to complete at least two internships or co-ops in engineering and business for practical experience.

Preparing for Engineering and Business
Engineering students interested in pursuing the MBA need to demonstrate exemplary academic performance throughout their undergraduate program. Mastery of the knowledge and skills in coursework taken in communications, economic theory, global and diversity perspectives, statistical data analysis, and the core professional curriculum is of particular importance. Engineering students are not required to have additional coursework in business in preparing for the MBA.

Student Selection
The Engineering/MBA concurrent degree program is open to only those currently enrolled Iowa State University students who have completed three years of their engineering degree program majoring in civil, computer, electrical, industrial, or mechanical engineering. The program is demanding and admission is very selective. Students are expected to exhibit superior intellectual ability, strong leadership attributes, and must be highly motivated and career-focused. Although not absolute minimums, admitted students will typically have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above and have scored 650 or higher on the Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). All application materials, however, are taken into account collectively in the applicant review and student selection process. Advisors for the Engineering/MBA concurrent degree are available for consultation about the advisability of applying to the program. Students must have completed a stipulated number of engineering credits from Iowa State to be eligible for the program.

Engineering students interested in the Engineering/MBA concurrent degree program must apply to the MBA by June 15 of their junior year.
The following application materials are required and need to be submitted to the Business Graduate Programs office in 1360 Gerdin.

  • Information about the concurrent graduate degree
  • Graduate Management Test (GMAT) scores
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay responses
  • Resume

Admission into the Engineering/MBA concurrent degree will only be considered for the fall semester of the student’s senior year. If admitted to the MBA program, students then complete a concurrent enrollment request form. Admitted students are classified as graduate students when concurrent enrollment begins and are subsequently assessed graduate tuition and fees.