I will be starting my MS in CS in spring 2017. At the time of admission, I was not sure of PhD and hence applied only for MS program. However, I would want to transfer to PhD program. Is it possible to transfer/convert the MS program to PhD? I am start my studies after a gap more than 6 yrs and don't want to wait another semester. Since I am an engineering undergraduate, I am eligible to apply PhD without MS program.

  • Just write to the dean of graduate studies. I imagine that they may say sure, and just put a different tag on your file, or they may ask you to bring it up again after x semesters. I think it depends on the department. Nov 21 '16 at 13:41
  • Years ago when I went to grad school, while one applied for the PhD program you were not considered a full PhD student until you had passed your qualifiers (and received your Masters at that time). But that is all very university and department specific. Just call and ask...
    – Jon Custer
    Nov 21 '16 at 15:20
  • If your goal is to switch within the school you're already attending, then you really need to talk to your department's graduate advisors.
    – Jeff
    Nov 21 '16 at 15:20
  • I have completed almost all the formalities for the admission in MS, like i20 and visa. I want to switch to PhD at the same university. I just want to know will they even entertain such a request or I have to apply only once I obtain MS? Nov 21 '16 at 15:51

It depends on the university. At mine you have to submit a "Letter of Intent" to the graduate office stating that you wish to continue on to another graduate degree in the university without having to file a formal application. I would talk to the department about how this process works, and your school's graduate office for more information - they may require another formal application, they may not.

  • Thanks everyone for the information. I will contact the department once I enroll to the MS course formally. Nov 21 '16 at 18:21

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