BS-PhD Program

The ECSE department offers a BS-PhD program for ECSE undergraduate students with a passion for research. In this unique program, students are able to conduct research during their undergraduate studies, and begin their PhD immediately after receiving their BS degree. As admitted BS-PhD students transition to graduate status, they will participate in graduate program seminars and activities.

Current students pursuing a BS degree at RPI and interested in this fast-track program can apply by completing the ECSE BS-PhD application package which is available online or can be obtained from the ECSE graduate services office. The application includes an application form (here), resume, a statement of objectives, two recommendation letters (one would preferrably be from the prospective PhD advisor), a PhD plan of study, BS-PhD planner, and a copy of the student’s academic transcript. Students interested in this program are encouraged to first meet with the ECSE Graduate Program Administrator or the Graduate Program Director to confirm the suitability of this program and to discuss their plans, and meeting with the designated ECSE advisor to develop the plan of study.

The admission to the BS-PhD program does not change the requirements of either the BS degree of the PhD degrees. Rather, it enables the student to formally engage in graduate research activities earlier. When a student is admitted to the BS-PhD, the admission to the PhD is conditioned on maintaining a minimum of 3.5 cumulative GPA, maintaining satisfactory progress in their undergraduate degree, completion of their BS degree, and maintaining satisfactory progress in their research. During their undergraduate years, students will continue to be advised by their BS advisor for degree clearance purposes, but must also meet with PhD advisor, for advising, to ensure they’re registering for the correct PhD courses, meeting their research requirements, and participating in programming. When students graduate with their BS, Registrar will automatically update the record to show the student as a graduate student pursuing a PhD degree. Until they graduate with the BS, students are considered undergraduates. Once students graduate with the BS they are advised fully by their PhD advisor.

An outline of an example curriculum is here. Students are encouraged to apply by the beginning of their junior year.


Application deadlines are November 1 and April 15.