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The combined Plant Sciences B.S./M.S. QuickStart program enables highly-qualified students to be admitted to the M.S. program during the junior year of their B.S. program, and to work thereafter toward both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. Accepted students would earn a B.S. degree in Agroecology, Plant Production and Protection, or Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, and the M.S. degree in Plant Sciences.
This program allows for early planning of the M.S. portion of student’s education, along with beginning a thesis research project before completion of the B.S. degree. It offers increased flexibility in the order in which courses are taken, and more efficient use of what would otherwise be a final semester with a light credit hour load.
Up to six credit hours may be counted toward both the B.S. and M.S. degree programs (see Overlapping Credit below).
Admission to the program
Minimum requirements for admission to the accelerated program are:
completion of sophomore year, 60 credit hours;
a minimum overall GPA of 3.0;
a minimum GPA of 3.0 in PLNT, RNEW, and REWM courses;
a minimum of three letters of recommendation (at least two must be from faculty at UW);
a DPS faculty member willing to serve as M.S. advisor; and
a research proposal submitted to, and approved by, the student's M.S. advisor and at least one other Plant Sciences faculty member as a presumptive graduate committee member.
Transfer students must have also completed at least 15 credit hours of coursework at UW to be eligible for admission to this program.
The student must maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate and graduate coursework to remain in good standing in the program. Not meeting this GPA requirement places a student on probation for one semester. If the GPA requirement is not met during the probationary semester, the student will no longer be enrolled in the QuickStart M.S. program.
Until a student in this program reaches a total of 120 credit hours of courses applicable to the B.S. degree in Agroecology, Plant Production and Protection, or Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management, he or she will be governed by the regulations applicable to undergraduate students in their degree-granting department, unless otherwise specified. After a student has accumulated a total of 120 applicable credit hours, he/she will be governed by the regulations applicable to any graduate student in DPS unless specified otherwise.
With the recommendation of the student’s M.S. advisor, undergraduate advisor, and the approval of the Department of Plant Sciences Graduate Program Coordinator, as many as 6 credit hours of undergraduate coursework at the 5000 level (or 4000 level for courses in which no 5000-level course is available) may be counted both toward the undergraduate degree requirements and to the requirements for the M.S. degree.
Additionally, students retain the existing right to reserve up to 6 hours of graduate credit that may be taken during their undergraduate degree program. If you plan to reserve course credit for the graduate degree, you must submit a Request to Reserve Coursework for Graduate Credit form by the “last day to drop semester classes” deadline set by the Registrar within the semester you are enrolled in the course. These reserved credits count only toward the M.S. degree, not toward the B.S. degree. The Registrar will not approve retroactive requests for reserving graduate credit.
Students in the accelerated M.S. program must have an advisor from the Plant Sciences faculty with whom they will consult to complete a program of study, which must include all the courses to be taken from the senior year through the end of the program. This plan must be filed with the DPS Graduate Coordinator/Committee by the end of the first semester in which the student has been admitted into the program.