BA-IT/MS-IT Dual Degree Program
The BA-IT/MS-IT program is a five-year program that gives academically successful Loyola SCPS BA-IT majors the opportunity to pursue the MS degree in Information Technology while completing their BA degree.
The BA-IT program is described on The SCPS BAIT site. The SCPS also has a checklist for the dual program.
These programs reduce the total number of courses needed and the total time needed for the combined degrees.
Students must specifically apply to the Graduate School, generally in the semester, they will reach 90 total credits, by using The Graduate Application Form. See Application Requirements and Application Information below for more details.
The stand-alone MS-IT program requires 30 credits of graduate courses. This generally takes one and a half years to complete. BA/MS students must also take 30 credits of courses at the 400 level or greater. The main advantages come from the fact that some of the MS courses may be double-counted, applying to the BA also, and there can be a shift in some of the required MS courses based on what students took in the BA portion. In particular students in the BA/MS program are allowed to “double count” 9 credits (generally three 3-credit courses) of their Loyola COMP courses for both their BA and MS degrees. Each must be a 400 level course in place of a 300 level major course, taken after the student's BA/MS admission has been approved. Hence a BA/MS student with 120 credits and 9 400-level COMP credits counted for the BA is required to take only 21 credits (instead of 30 credits) of additional 400-level courses. Students can finish the program in five years. Some further special rules:
- A student with credit for a 300 level COMP course that was taught in a combined class with a 400 level course may not take the 400 level course later for separate credit without permission from the Graduate Program Director. In particular for students with credit for COMP 317: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing, the MS requirement for COMP 417: Social, Legal, and Ethical Issues in Computing is waived, to be replaced by 3 MS elective credits.
- In MS programs with restricted electives lists with two or more courses required from a larger explicit list, one of the courses may be waived if the corresponding 300 level undergraduate course was completed at Loyola. The course must still be replaced by a 3-credit MS program elective.
- All further individual MS program requirements must be met, but with the inclusion of the allowed 400 level courses taken as an undergraduate.
The academic prerequisites for BA-IT students to be considered for admission to the BA/MS program in the Computer Science Department are as follows:
- Application in the semester you expect to have accumulated 90 total credits.
- Successful completion of a total of at least 15 credits of major COMP courses, including COMP 271: Data Structures and including at least 9 credits of 300 level COMP courses.
- A GPA of 3.5 or higher in all the major courses.
- A cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher for all course work at Loyola;
- Satisfactory progress towards completion of Loyola's core.
Further notes on BA completion: Before the undergraduate deadlines do apply to graduate with your B.A. in the semester you will actually finish! Otherwise, you complicate the conversion to graduate status. If the date when you will start graduate status changes from your original application, notify the GPD ahead of time so data in Locus can be fixed.
Current Loyola BA-IT students who have met the above academic prerequisites are encouraged to apply. Students who have an interest in the program are encouraged to consult with the Graduate Program Director (GPD) for Information Technology, Dr. Channah Naiman, in the semester before their application. The application will be evaluated upon completion of the following:
- In the Graduate Application Form; applicants are to select the BA/MS option. Be careful of the misleading entry named “starting semester”: The starting semester for the program should be the first semester when the student will be in pure graduate status (after the expected completion of the BA). This is not generally the semester coming right after the student has filled out the application. This is after all double-counted courses are completed.
- A one-page personal statement of purpose.
- Three letters of recommendation, at least two coming from faculty who teach Computer Science courses at SCPS or in the Department of Computer Science at Loyola University.
Note that the GRE is not required for applicants to the BA/MS program, even if they are applying for an assistantship. There is no application fee for applicants who apply on-line. At the time of consideration for admission, the student’s most recent Loyola transcript will be examined. If the applicant has transfer credits from another college or university, the student may be required to submit those as well.
Requirements for Completion of the BA/MS Program
After admission to the BA/MS program, a student may request to be registered in their senior year for up to three 400 level COMP courses, replacing undergraduate major courses. Students generally take the remainder of their 30 credits of 400-level MS classes during their fifth year. Students in the program are expected to consult regularly with the Graduate Program Director to ensure that they are on track for completion of both the BA and MS degrees. The following are required to complete a BA/MS degree program:
- Successful completion of the BA-IT degree in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies.
- The 30 credits of 400-level graduate courses, including those counted while an undergraduate, completed with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
If you have additional questions about the program, please contact Dr. Channah Naiman, Graduate Program Director for Information Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org.