A dual BS & MS program offers an undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree and a graduate Master of Science degree. There are a number of different degree programs of this type, which means you have several different career paths open to you. In this article, we explore some of these dual BS & MS degree programs and then take a look at various related job opportunities.
Types of BS & MS Dual Degree Programs
BS/MS in Computer Science
In the dual Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Computer Science, you typically begin taking graduate-level coursework during the senior year of your BS degree, and credits you earn will count for both degrees. During the course of your dual program, you may take classes in such subjects as computer graphics, artificial intelligence, linear programming, and software engineering. Also, you may be required to complete a thesis, although some programs might offer a non-thesis MS degree.
BS/MS in Ocean Engineering
A dual Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Ocean Engineering degree program allows you to earn both degrees in an accelerated timeframe, usually in only 5 years. In this kind of program, you often begin taking graduate-level coursework during the final year of your undergraduate program with credits counting towards both degrees. Once you finish your BS degree, you then take coursework in such subjects as oceanography, coastal engineering, and corrosion. Most likely, you will also need to complete a thesis for you MS; however, some programs may offer a non-thesis option.
BS/MS in Agricultural Engineering
You could earn a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Agricultural Engineering in only five years. These programs typically allow you to begin graduate-level coursework or research during your undergraduate semesters. Usually, you will need to choose a specialty in the realm of agriculture engineering, which could be in process operations, natural resources management, biological engineering, or machine systems engineering, to name some possibilities. For your MS degree, you commonly need to complete a thesis based on your own research.
BS/MS in Nursing
For an accelerated Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing, you might be able to apply a number of BS credits to the MS degree; during your BS program, you could also take MS courses and have those credits count towards both degrees. After completing coursework for your BS, you may qualify as a licensed nurse. For your master's, you can then choose a specialty in areas such as adult-gerontology primary care, midwifery, mental health, or nursing education, among others.
BS & MS Dual Degree Career Options and Statistics
|Job Title||Related Dual Degree||Median Salary (2018)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Software Developer||BS/MS in Computer Science||$105,590||24%|
|Engineering Professor||BS/MS in Ocean Engineering||$101,720||15%|
|Agricultural Engineer||BS/MS in Agricultural Engineering||$77,110||8%|
|Midwife||BS/MS in Nursing||$103,770||21%|
|Nurse Practitioner||BS/MS in Nursing||$107,030||36%|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
BS & MS Dual Degrees: Career Overview
With your dual degree in computer science, you could pursue a career as a software developer, who is someone who designs software. This job might also entail working with others to come up with new ideas about software that will meet a specific need and then implanting that software. You could also work on updating existing software so that it works better. For some jobs of this type, employer's will prefer a master's degree.
With a master's degree in ocean engineering, you might teach in this field at a community college or small university. As an engineering professor, you will work directly with students, teaching them about the different concepts of ocean engineering, grading papers, and planning lessons. You may be required to conduct your own research in the field, write scholarly articles, and present at conferences.
An agricultural engineer primarily focuses on solving and improving various agricultural problems and systems. In this career, you might design agricultural systems in terms of machinery and facilities, or you might study different environmental factors that affect both crops and animals. You might also work in the realm of food processing on how to improve that system or increase productivity. If you have an interest in the development and research side of agricultural engineering, a master's degree is often preferred by potential employers.
A midwife is someone who focuses on women's health in terms of childbirth and women's overall well-being. In this job, you care for women and babies at all stages of the pregnancy and even beyond. To pursue this career, you must hold at least a master's degree in this nursing specialty, as you will learn the labor, birth, prenatal, postpartum, and clinical skills and knowledge you need in this highly-specialized field.
As a nurse practitioner, you work directly with patients to provide healthcare in terms of treatments and medications. Most likely, you will evaluate a patient and then decide on the best care plan for that individual. In order to transition from a registered nurse to a nurse practitioner, you must earn a master's degree in this specialty field of nursing.
Dual BS & MS degree programs allow you to earn two degrees, often at a faster pace, and you could begin working on your graduate degree while still pursuing the undergraduate portion. Job opportunities depend on which type of dual program you complete, with available options in advanced practice nursing, engineering, education, or software development.