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

This program is available only to Berkeley EECS and CS 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 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 CS (including Community College Transfers) and have graduated in Fall 2024 or whose anticipated graduation will be in Spring 2025. The minimum GPA to apply is a 3.0, but it is preferred that applicants have a 3.5 or higher cumulative GPA.


The Fall 2024 Admission application is now closed. The next available application cycle will be for Fall 2025. The application will reopen in September 2024.

Have a Question?

See Our FAQ

Program Basics

The program is focused on graduate-level interdisciplinary training, with at least 8 units of coursework outside EECS required. Students will emerge as leaders in their technical and professional fields.

  • Focused on interdisciplinary 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’s degree.
  • Only one additional year (two semesters) beyond the Bachelor’s degree.
  • Only available to Berkeley EECS and CS undergraduates.
  • Program participants may serve as Graduate Student Instructors with approval from their faculty research adviser and the 5th Year MS Committee.
  • Program participants 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 August.

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

Date Proceeding
October Info Session
December Application deadline by 8:59 pm PST
February Admissions decisions announced
April 15 Statement of Intent to Register Deadline
August Orientations, 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 in the EECS department before you apply to the 5th Year MS program. Several faculty will actively seek students from this program. However, only EECS Academic Senate faculty who are above the line may serve as the research advisor. 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

215 Cory Hall