Joint Bachelors/Masters (5th Year M.S.)

This program is available only to Berkeley EECS and CS L&S Undergraduates. It is a five year combined Bachelor/Master's program geared toward outstanding and highly motivated students who desire a program of study that offers greater breadth than is practical in the B.S. or B.A. programs alone.

Accelerate Your Master's Degree

The Five Year Bachelors/Masters Program, called the 5th Year M.S. Program for short, offers qualified Berkeley EECS and L&S CS undergraduate students a unique opportunity to begin graduate study during their undergraduate years, thereby accelerating the Masters degree by requiring only one additional year beyond the Bachelors degree. This is not a concurrent degree program. Students earn their Bachelors degree first and then the Masters. However, careful planning during the undergraduate program allows motivated students to begin a research project and complete some Master's course requirements while still in undergraduate standing. Depending on how quickly a student progresses through the undergraduate program, the additional graduate year may come sooner than the fifth year at Berkeley. 

The 5th Year M.S. requirements are identical to those of the M.S. that is regularly obtained by Ph.D. students along the way, including a mandatory research project with written report or thesis.  Applicants to the 5th Year M.S. program are considered separately from those applying for a Ph.D. and can later apply for admission for the Ph.D., where they will be considered in competition with other Ph.D. applicants. The M.S. component of this program is equivalent to the "M.S.-only" program except that there is an additional breadth requirement. Upon completion of the program, one receives either a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EE) or a Master of Science in Computer Science (CS).

This program is geared toward students who would like to pursue an education beyond the B.S./B.A., allowing them to achieve greater breadth and/or depth of knowledge, and who would like to try their hand at research as well. It is not intended for students who have definitely decided to pursue a Ph.D. immediately following graduation. Those students are advised to apply for a M.S./ Ph.D. program at Berkeley or elsewhere during their senior year. Students who have been accepted into the Five Year B.A./M.S. or B.S./M.S. are free to change their minds later and apply to enter the Ph.D. program or apply to a Ph.D. program at another university. Note that admission is competitive with all our Ph.D. applicants.


Applicants must have been an undergraduate major in EECS or L&S CS (including Community College Transfers) and have graduated in Fall 2021 or whose anticipated graduation will be in Spring 2022. The minimum GPA to apply is a 3.0, but it is preferred that applicants have a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA.


You must submit a completed application through the online application system by 8:59 PM PST March 15th, 2022. Late applications will not be accepted. Admissions decisions will be announced by early April by e-mail.

Early Decision: If you would like an admission decision  you may submit a completed application by 8:59 PM PST November 15th, 2021 (through the online application link above or below). Decisions are final, and you will not be reconsidered again during the normal deadline for the 5th Year MS application.


Have a Question?

Program Basics

The program is focused on inter-disciplinary training at a graduate level; with at least 8 units of course work outside EECS required. Students will emerge as leaders in their technical and professional fields.

  • Focused on inter-disciplinary study and more experience in aligned technical fields such as Physics, Materials Science, Statistics, Biology, etc., and/or professional disciplines such as Management of Technology, Business, Law and Public Policy.
  • If admitted to the program, students must begin the graduate portion in the semester immediately following the conferral of the Bachelor degree.
  • Only one additional year (two semesters) beyond the Bachelor degree.
  • Only available to Berkeley EECS and L&S CS undergraduates.
  • Participants in program may serve as Graduate Student Instructors with approval from their faculty research adviser and the 5th Year MS Committee.
  • Participants in program are self-funded.

Program Policies

Serve as a GSI, backdate Graduate Standing, transfer of credit, change degree goal, maximum duration of program, projects with industry.

All 5th Year M.S. Program policies

Financial Aid

The EECS 5th Year Masters degree is self-funded. You can see "Graduate Academic" tuition and fees on the Registrar's website.

We are able to nominate a small number of exceptional newly admitted CS Masters students each year for the Siebel Award ($35,000).  The results of this award nomination are not available until July.

5th Year MS students who wish to serve as GSIs are considered by petition to the Master's Advisor. Written approval from your research advisor must include an explanation of how a GSI appointment will not delay your graduation.

5th Year M.S. GSI Policy

Graduate Fellowships

Degree Requirements

The 5th year MS program entails three main components:

  1. technical courses
  2. a research project with a faculty advisor
  3. breadth courses

Degree Requirement specifics

Application Timeline

October 2021Info Session
November 15, 2021Early Decision Application and Supplemental Materials Deadline (decisions in early January)
March 15, 2022Deadline to submit an application online.
Early April 2022Decisions are announced
April 15th, 2022Statement of Intent to Register Deadline
August 2022Orientations, UC Berkeley Campus, Classes Begin

Find a Research Advisor

Because of the requirement to complete the Masters portion of the program in only one year, it is essential for you to have identified a research advisor before you apply to the 5th Year MS program. Several faculty will actively seek students from this program. In general, you can pursue an independent project or join a project team, but you will need to submit an independently written Masters report before you graduate that shows your independent contribution to the research.

Ways you can engage in research as an undergraduate.

Contact Us