Computer Science

Bay State Fellowship Program in Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Smith Computer Science majors who meet the GPA and course prerequisites detailed below are eligible for admission to a tuition-free MS program at the University of Massachusetts.

The Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is among the Top 20 computer science departments in the country. Their Bay State Fellowship program offers a tuition-free masters degree, accompanied by a small assistantship, to any undergraduate computer science major at Smith College who completes the program with an overall GPA of at least 3.6 and satisfies the Mathematics requirement detailed below. In recognition of their academic achievements, participants will be designated as "Bay State Fellows." Fellows may participate in the masters program at UMass Amherst for up to two years (four semesters), although it is possible to complete the program in less time.

The Computer Science masters degree at UMass Amherst is a 30 credit program that requires 24 course credits (generally 8 courses) and a 6-credit masters project. Up to six credits of previous work -- for example, graduate courses taken while an undergraduate and not used to satisfy undergraduate computer science requirements -- may be applied to the 30 credit MS requirement. Some MS work - for example, the 6 credit project - may be done over the summer.

Requirements and Qualifications

To be eligible for the program, a student must have completed the computer science degree here at Smith and earned an overall GPA of 3.6 or higher. In order to ensure the student is prepared for the graduate theory courses, the student must have taken two advanced Mathematics courses among this list:

Or the student may present evidence of equivalent mathematical maturity to the Associate Chair for Academic Programs at UMass Amherst.

Bay State Fellows must begin the masters program at UMass Amherst in the fall term. Students who wish to participate must notify the Computer Science Associate Chair for Academic Programs and complete the brief application process by February 1st of the year they plan to begin their program of studies.


The fellowship appointment includes an approximately half-time assistantship, which comes—minimally—with a small stipend along with a waiver of most fees [stipend and fee waiver subject to availability of funds]. In return, participating students are required to make a corresponding commitment to the educational or research mission of the department, either by serving as a half-time teaching assistant, or by serving in some other half-time research or project assistant job. The nature of a student's assistantship will be determined at the discretion of the department.

A student who qualifies for the Bay State Fellowship program must begin the masters program within one year of graduation.