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Five College Bay State Programs

For the strongest computer science undergraduates at the Five Colleges, the College of Information and Computer Sciences (CICS) offers students three special opportunities to enter its Master's of Science in Computer Science degree program.

  1. The Bay State Master's Program provides a hassle-free admissions process for students who meet the program requirements. In addition, the program provides a tuition scholarship worth approximately 10% of the MS tuition. Students satisfying the requirements will be automatically admitted upon application to the program. In addition, the Graduate School will waive the application fee for applicants who are currently enrolled as undergraduates at one of the Five College campuses.
  2. The Bay State Scholars Program builds upon the Bay State Master's Program and provides a tuition scholarship worth approximately 50% of the MS tuition for students who meet the requirements outlined below.
  3. The Bay State Fellowship Program builds upon the Bay State Master's Program by providing a 10 hour per week working assistantship, a full tuition credit, and a 95% waiver for health fees. A short CICS application is required for entry to this program. The College expects to award at least eight Bay State Fellowships annually. 

More details about each of the programs (Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, Smith College) is provided below.

Amherst College

Students who are interested in the Bay State program at the beginning of the final semester of their senior year will be evaluated for all levels on a case-by-case basis. If admitted a formal application to the University Graduate School will be required.

Hampshire College

Students who are interested in the Bay State program at the beginning of the final semester of their senior year will be evaluated for all levels on a case-by-case basis. If admitted a formal application to the University Graduate School will be required.

Mount Holyoke College

Students who meet the requirements below at the beginning of the final semester of their senior year will be automatically admitted to the Master of Science in Computer Science program with the corresponding scholarship after the completion of the formal application to the University Graduate School.

Bay State MS
  • a GPA of 3.4 or higher and
  • a B+ or better in COMSC 312 (COMSC 311 is recommended but not required for all levels)
Bay State Scholar
  • a GPA of 3.6 or higher and
  • a B+ or better in COMSC 312
  • have completed (or will complete in the final semester) with a grade of "B" or better, an advanced mathematics class such as MATH 327- Advanced Logic or MATH 342- Probability (classes taken at UMass Amherst that fulfill the UMass Bay State upper-level Math requirement would also count)
Bay State Fellow
  • a GPA of 3.7 or higher and
  • a B+ or better in COMSC 312
  • have completed (or will complete in the final semester) with a grade of "B" or better, an advanced mathematics class such as MATH 327- Advanced Logic or or MATH 342- Probability (classes taken at UMass Amherst that fulfill the UMass Bay State upper-level Math requirement would also count)
  • have completed (or will complete in the final semester) a one-semester independent study project (for example, an honors project) or a grade of "A" in a special topics course (COMSC 341NL or COMSC 341SP)

To be considered for the fellowship, students must provide a one-page application, due January 31 for Fall admission/October 1 for Spring admission, that outlines professional interests and goals as well as a recommendation from a UMass CICS adjunct professor (Prof. Lee St. John, Prof. Ballesteros, Prof. Pon-Barry or Prof. Sheldon) who can comment on the student's teaching or research promise (on a case-by-case basis we may consider a recommendation from other faculty).  In addition to academic achievement other factors, such as programming skill, financial need, and faculty recommendation, will also be taken into consideration. 

Smith College

Students who meet the requirements below at the beginning of the final semester of their senior year will be automatically admitted to the Master of Science in Computer Science program with the corresponding scholarship after the completion of the formal application to the University Graduate School.

Bay State MS
  • a GPA of 3.4 or higher and
  • a B+ or better in CSC 252
Bay State Scholar
  • a GPA of 3.6 or higher and
  • a B+ or better in CSC 252
  • have completed (or will complete in the final semester) with a grade of "B" or better, an advanced mathematics class such as MTH 254- CombinatoricsMTH 255- Graph Theory; or MTH 333- Topics in Abstract Algebra; MTH 353- Advanced Topics in Discrete Applied Mathematics; MTH 364- Advanced Topics in Continuous Applied Mathematics 
Bay State Fellow
  • a GPA of 3.7 or higher and
  • a B+ or better in CSC 252
  • have completed (or will complete in the final semester) with a grade of "B" or better, an advanced mathematics class such as MTH 254- CombinatoricsMTH 255- Graph Theory; or MTH 333- Topics in Abstract Algebra; MTH 353- Advanced Topics in Discrete Applied Mathematics; MTH 364- Advanced Topics in Continuous Applied Mathematics 
  • have completed (or will complete in the final semester) a one-semester four-credit independent study project (for example, an honors project) or a grade of "A" in a grad-level course (numbered 500+) at UMass Amherst

To be considered for the fellowship, students must provide a one-page application, due January 31 for Fall admission/October 1 for Spring admission.  The application should outline professional interests and goals, as well as provide a recommendation from a UMass CICS faculty member, Smith/CICS adjunct professor Streinu, or, on a case-by-case basis, by another Smith faculty member who can comment on the student's teaching or research promise.  In addition to academic achievement, other factors, such as programming skill, financial need, and faculty recommendation, will also be taken into consideration. 

Bay State status may be rescinded for those students who do not maintain the GPA minimum through their final semester or who do not complete requirements that were to be completed that semester.

Students who qualify for the Bay State programs must begin the Master's program within one year of graduation.