Early Entry (4 + 1) Program

Program Description

The Computer Science Department offers a special program for high quality students who desire to pursue graduate study. By taking certain Computer Science graduate courses in their senior year in lieu of the corresponding undergraduate courses the student can obtain the B.A. or B.S. degree in Computer Science and then, with an additional year of graduate study, obtain the M.S. degree in Computer Science. Successful completion of this program cuts a year off of the standard time required to obtain an M.S. degree in Computer Science from UNC Charlotte.

According to the Summer 2020 Salary Report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the average starting salary for undergraduate Computer Science graduates is $76K, and the average starting salary for Master’s degree Computer Science graduates is $95K. By spending an extra year in school, you may increase your starting salary by 25%!

ADMISSION requirements

  • Completion of at least 75 undergraduate credit hours (although it is expected that close to 90 credit hours will have been earned by the time the first graduate course is taken)
  • Minimum 3.2 overall undergraduate GPA
  • Minimum 3.3 GPA in the Department of Computer Science
  • Submit application online at https://gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/apply and provide supporting documents
  • Recommendation by the Graduate Program Director and approved by the Graduate School. Generally, the GPD is going to require the following before recommending a candidate to the Early Entry Program
    • Math Requirement:
      • Calculus (3 hours)
      • Linear Algebra or Statistics
      • Discrete Mathematics (MATH 1165 or ITSC 2175)
    • Computer Science Requirement:
      • Introductory Computer Science Courses (ITSC 1212 and ITSC 1213)
      • Data Structures (ITSC 2214)
      • Candidate has taken at least one 3000 level course or above in ITSC, ITCS, or ITIS

continued enrollment requirements

  • Completion of Early Entry Program Form, and approved by the Undergraduate Coordinator, Graduate Program Director, and Graduate School, prior to registering for graduate coursework each semester
    (see FAQ item ‘How does “double counting” work in the Early Entry Program‘).
  • Maintain a minimum 2.75 overall undergraduate GPA and 3.0 Junior/Senior GPA
  • Undergraduate students are allowed to take only 15 hours of graduate credit before they have completed their baccalaureate degree

Accelerated Program/Double-Counted Courses

This Early Entry Program is also accelerated; up to 12 credit hours earned at the graduate level may be substituted for required undergraduate hours. In other words, up to 12 credit hours of graduate coursework may be “double counted” toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. Approved course substitutions for Early Entry are listed below:

Undergraduate CourseGraduate Substitution
ITCS 4102 Survey of Programming LanguagesITCS 5102 Survey of Programming Languages
ITCS 4111 Introduction of Natural Language ProcessingITCS 5111 Introduction of Natural Language Processing
ITCS 4121 Information VisualizationITCS 5121 Information Visualization
ITCS 4122 Visual AnalyticsITCS 5122 Visual Analytics
ITCS 4123 Visualization and Visual CommunicationsITCS 5123 Visualization and Visual Communications
ITCS 4131 Communication Network DesignITCS 6166 Computer, Communications, and Networks
ITCS 4141 Computer Organization and ArchitectureITCS 5141 Computer Organization and Architecture
ITCS 4152 Computer VisionITCS 5152 Computer Vision
ITCS 4156 Intro to Machine LearningITCS 5156 Applied Machine Learning or ITCS 6156 Machine Learning
ITCS 4180 Mobile Application DevelopmentITCS 5180 Mobile Application Development
ITCS 4230 Intro to Game Design and DevelopmentITCS 5230 Intro to Game Design and Development
ITCS 4231 Advanced Game Design and DevelopmentITCS 5231 Advanced Game Design and Development
ITCS 4235 Game Engine ConstructionITCS 5235 Game Engine Construction
ITCS 4236 Artificial Intelligence for Computer GameITCS 4236 Artificial Intelligence for Computer Game
ITSC 4155 Software Development ProjectsITCS 6112 Software, Systems, Design, and Implementation 
ITIS 4011 Interaction Design StudioITIS 6011 Interaction Design Studio
ITIS 4166 Network Based Application DevelopmentITIS 5166 Network Based Application Development
ITIS 4180 Mobile Application DevelopmentITIS 5180 Mobile Application Development
ITIS 4221 Secure Programming and Penetration TestingITIS 5221 Secure Programming and Penetration Testing
ITIS 4246 Competitive Cyber DefenseITIS 5246 Competitive Cyber Defense
ITIS 4250 Computer ForensicsITIS 5250 Computer Forensics
ITCS 4235 Game Engine ConstructionITCS 5235 Game Engine Construction
ITCS 4236 Artificial Intelligence for Computer GameITCS 4236 Artificial Intelligence for Computer Game
ITIS 4260 Introduction to Security AnalysisITIS 5260 Introduction to Security Analysis
ITIS 4420 Usable Security and PrivacyITIS 6420 Usable Security and Privacy
ITIS 4510 Web MiningITIS 5510 Web Mining
List of approved course substitutions

In order to register for graduate courses each semester, Early Entry students must submit an online Early Entry Form as described in FAQ item ‘How does “double counting” work in the Early Entry Program‘.

More information

For additional general details on Early Entry to Graduate Programs, see the Graduate Admissions website at gradadmissions.charlotte.edu/admissions/early-entry.

For additional specific details on the Computer Science Early Entry Program, see the Graduate Catalog, section Computer Science, M.S., Early Entry.