Internal Applicants for Blended Program

The Blended program is an accelerated path for Cal Poly undergraduates who would like to graduate with both BS and MS degrees upon completion. In this program, students are able to double-count up to 8 units of 400 or 500 level Approved Engineering and/or Science electives for both their undergraduate and graduate requirements.

Eligibility: This program is only available to currently enrolled Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo undergraduate students in approved blended pairings programs. Students who are not in an approved paired Cal Poly Engineering program should contact the BMED graduate program coordinator and will need to complete department-approved prerequisites before applying to the Blended MS program.

Students should plan to complete the GWR during or prior to the quarter in which they apply.

Time to Apply: Interested students should apply no more than 2 years and no less than 2 quarters in advance of completing their undergraduate degree program. Application materials are due: 

Blended Thesis Track: End of 4th Full Week of Fall/Winter/Spring Qtrs

Blended Project Track: End of 4th Full Week of Winter Qtr ONLY

Blended Regenerative Medicine: Rolling admissions beginning January 1st through Feb 1st

All External Applications Due: Feb 1st

All industry sponsored projects start during Fall quarter; therefore, students applying for the Project Track should apply either Winter or Spring quarter to be matriculated into the Masters program before industry sponsored projects are launched.

Where to turn in your application: All Blended application packages should be filled out online using the links below. As stated above, all application packages are due the 2nd week of the quarter of application.

Directions and Forms:  Application to the Blended Masters Thesis and Project tracks.

When should I apply?  If you are interested in applying to the Blended MS program, you should apply two quarters or more before you are scheduled to graduate with your BS degree. (If you are applying in the quarter you graduate, please notify the Graduate Coordinator and the Department office immediately.)

For the MS Project Track: Company sponsored projects start each Fall quarter. To optimize the time to degree, students applying to the MS Project Track are accepted in Winter quarter only. If you are planning to complete your undergraduate degree in Winter quarter, you are encouraged to submit your application to the Project Track in the preceding Winter (i.e., 1 year in advance).

What are the typical qualifications?  Typically, applicants with a GPA ≥ 3.0 are eligible to be admitted to the program. Students should be no more than 2 years away from completing their undergraduate degree requirements and plan to complete their GWR prior to or during the quarter in which they apply.

What can I do to enhance my chances of getting into the MS Program?  BMED Faculty members can give their recommendations to the admissions committee; therefore, if you know the kind of research you’d like to do, it is to your advantage to join and help in a faculty research group. Some call this “shadowing”. This applies to both the Thesis and Project tracks.

Do I need to take the GRE?  The GRE is not required for the Blended Program applicants.

For the Working Formal Study Plan “WFSP” what classes do I select?  Your WFSP should include the required courses listed in the Catalog. For the WFSP, 60% or more must be approved 500 level courses, the remainder being 400 level courses. Work with your advisor to determine a suitable course of study relevant to your thesis or project. You can double count 8.0 units between undergraduate and graduate requirements. If you’ve taken 400 or 500 level units that you have not used to fulfill undergraduate requirements, you can use them on your Formal Study Plan.

What are double count units?  You can count up to 8.0 units of 400 or 500 level courses that fulfill undergraduate requirements on your Formal Study Plan; hence, the units are double counted for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Senior design courses cannot be double counted.

What if I took a 400 or 500 level course that I did not use to fulfill undergraduate requirements? Can I use those units on my Formal Study Plan?  Yes, you can include up to 12 units as long as 60% of your total units on your Formal Study Plan are approved 500 level courses. See the Graduate Handbook.

What is the Post Baccalaureate Change of Objective (PBCO) Form?  It is the form, if admitted, that the Administration/Records uses to change your status from undergraduate to graduate. The form is filled out on the GradEd website.

Important: You need to run your undergraduate Degree Progress (DPR) Report upon submitting this form. (You will lose access to your DPR report once you have achieved graduate status.)

For the personal statement, is there guidance?  The personal statement should be a page to a page and half and contain three main paragraphs.

  • Paragraph one: why did you get into Biomedical Engineering?
  • Paragraph two: while taking course work (or working in a research group) what did you most enjoy and/or excel in? If your overall GPA is not high, what is your GPA for your last 90 units?  You can include that information in this paragraph.
  • Paragraph three: what research are you interested in? List the relevant faculty that you’ve talked to about joining their group. Note: if you list a faculty member, please make sure you have discussed research opportunities and possibly secured a project.

What forms do I need to fill out when I apply? Many students think they need to submit multiple forms along with their application materials. The ONLY forms or materials are those that get submitted as part of the application. The Blended Program Application Approal form will be initiated on your behalf by the graduate program coordinator when you are admitted to the program.

When I fill out forms, what are the relevant email addresses? As of Fall 2023, use the following email address on the E-form:

What is the Project Track?  The project track are MS level projects sponsored by both Industry and Faculty. Projects involve teams of 2 MS students. Team members periodically interact directly with the sponsor. Industry projects start each Fall quarter and are selected/assigned in BMED 591.

What’s the typical duration for a Thesis?  Theses generally take ~1.25 to 2 yrs.

What’s the typical duration for a Project?  Typically Project durations are designed for one calendar year, i.e., work through, defend, and graduate in summer (may or may not occur on campus).

How can I check on what courses will be offered in what quarter?  The proposed courses for the Academic Year are posted on the BMED website under Current Students > BMED Courses.

After I’m in the program, how do I go about getting the appropriate signatures?  All forms are initiated online through the Grad Ed website.

What happens if I apply and later have an opportunity outside of Cal Poly that I would like to pursue?  If you have a new opportunity that you’d like to pursue, you should contact the graduate program coordinator as soon as possible. If you have previously filed your Post-Baccalaureate Change of Objective (PBCO), you will need to file another, selecting “Add” BS BMED and “Drop” MS BMED.

Is there financial assistance for Graduate Students?  There are a variety of funding opportunities offered or assisted through Graduate Education. Additionally, you can talk with the Department office or directly with the faculty member responsible for the course to get on the list of available Instructional Student Assistants, ISAs.

Can I walk at graduation as an undergraduate after entering the Blended Program?  Once you’ve transitioned from undergraduate to graduate status, your official commencement will be for your MS degree. If you would like to petition to walk as an undergraduate, you need to fill out the commencement petition form at the Commencement Office.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Graduate Coordinator, Dr. Ben Hawkins during Graduate Office Hours.