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BS/PhD (SuperNOVA)

About the Program

The only program of its kind in the country, SuperNOVA is designed to enroll the nation's best and brightest students, enabling them to fulfill their potential.

This program combines high-level research with the core engineering and departmental curricula required for a bachelor's degree. As early as the first year of study, SuperNOVA students begin working with faculty advisors, who guide them through research plans that are intended to culminate in the student's thesis. Students and advisors work collaboratively to develop a personalized, research-intensive accelerated degree program, which results in an integrated BS and PhD in as little as six years as opposed to the traditional track of eight or more years of sequential study.

Drexel's BS/PhD students are afforded early entrance into the world of cutting-edge research as they partner with world renowned researchers and publish and present their findings in international venues. Students are permitted to begin taking graduate courses as they progress through the curriculum, providing them with the opportunity to become PhD candidates prior to completion of their baccalaureate degree. The well-known Drexel co-op is an integral component of the SuperNOVA students' research activities, as students spend their co-ops at relevant corporate or government laboratories conducting related research.

Admission Requirements

Application to the program takes place during the senior year of high school. Beyond the specified BS program requirements, there are no additional admissions criteria SuperNOVA applicants must meet. To ensure continued success in the program and based upon prior student experiences, it is recommended that all candidates have math and verbal SAT scores of 1350 or above. Incoming freshmen who have received a score of 4 or 5 on any AP examination may elect, with the approval of their academic advisor, to: be placed in an advanced course in that AP subject; substitute another course or credit-bearing activity in its place, or waive the course and apply the course credit to meet graduation requirements according to the departmental guidelines established in the AP credit policy. This allows students to take higher-level classes and get a head start on Ph.D. studies. The University policy on Advanced Placement can be found at: .


Each SuperNOVA student's schedule is unique and determined by the corresponding major and number of AP credits earned. Students enrolled in this degree program are expected to complete the bachelor's degree requirements by the end of the spring term of the fourth year of study. Support for students in this program is a crucial component of the degree and, advising services within the academic and research areas are offered throughout the duration of study.

Students enrolled in the program must maintain a 3.35 cumulative GPA. To become an eligible PhD candidate, students must pass an oral examination based on their research at the end of each research period.

If you have further questions about the BS/PhD program, please contact:
Kristin Imhoff
Program Manager, Retention & Assessment
Phone: 215-895-2663
Fax: 215-895-5863