Some schools do not distinguish between the undergraduate and graduate components for their 5th Year Masters programs. UC Berkeley does, so it is very important to keep in mind that once you are enrolled in the 5th Year Program, you are, for all intents and purposes, treated as graduate student by the campus and the department. Some of the ramifications of this are:
- Your undergraduate financial aid package will not carry into your graduate career. You will need to refile as a graduate student.
- Your first semester’s enrollment (for Phase I) will be the same as all of the other incoming graduate students (in July). We do not hold seats for this degree.
- Your main governing body moves from the College of Engineering to the Graduate Division. As such, you are subject to Graduate Division policies and procedures regarding adequate progress towards your degree and other matters, which are different than those of the COE.
- You cannot complete undergraduate degree requirements, undergraduate minor requirements, or undergraduate certificate requirements as a graduate student. All undergraduate requirements and other undergraduate co-curricular activities must be completed before you start your graduate program.
- As an undergraduate, you were able to treat both sides of a crosslisted course (ex. ME C85/CE C30) as equivalent. The Graduate Division treats individual course sides differently. An example would be that if you took EL ENG C220B instead of MEC ENG C231A, it would not count towards your MechE-Sponsored 12 unit requirement.
- Graduate students do not have graded research. Therefore, ME H194 and ME 196 cannot count towards graduate degree requirements, and neither can ME 298 or 299.
Other notable differences are:
- As with all graduate students, to make adequate progress towards your degree you must maintain at least a 3.0. For a course to be used towards degree requirements, the lowest grade that can be earned is C- (for undergraduates it’s a D-). To receive a “Pass” or “Satisfactory” grade, you must earn a B- or better (for undergraduates it’s a C-).
- Graduate students are held to higher grading standards in the classroom.
- Graduate courses are not required to observe RRR week.
- Students in this program are generally not allowed to take semesters off to do internships. Admission deferrals due to internships are discouraged and are subject to approval by the Vice Chair of Graduate Studies.