Concurrent B.S. & M.S. Degree Program
The combined B.S./M.S. program in Biology provides exceptional undergraduates with the opportunity to obtain both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in 5 years, a shorter time than typically required to earn a B.S. plus M.S. if both degrees are pursued separately. The curriculum includes both course work and research experience. Degree requirements for the M.S. are similar to those for the more typical M.S. degree described above, with the exception that up to 9 credit hours can be used toward both the B.S. and the M.S. degrees. Admission requirements do not include submission of a score for the GRE, but do require that the applicant has substantial undergraduate research experience and support from a faculty member in the Division of Biology.
The goal of the program is to produce biologists with in-depth understanding of a sub-area of biology and extensive research experience. Completion of the program will provide students with an advantage both in pursuing work in the private sector and in pursuing a further advanced degree.
To enter this program, a student must be nominated by a Biology graduate faculty member (who will be the student's major professor) at any time from the second semester of the sophomore year through the second semester of the junior year (when he/she has accumulated 45-90 credit hours toward the B.S. degree and has completed BIOL 201 or BIOL455 and BIOL 450 or BIOL529, his/her math requirement, and at least two semesters of chemistry). A student may be nominated during the senior year with special permission from the chair of the Biology Graduate Affairs Committee. After nomination, the application process is the same as for the traditional M.S. degree, with the following exceptions:
- completion of a bachelor's degree is not required prior to acceptance into the program.
- the GRE score requirement will be waived.
- the application must include a recommendation from a member of the Division of Biology faculty, who will serve as the student's major professor and who agrees to support the student as a graduate research assistant during the 5th year.
- Minimum standards for regular admission and for retention in the program require a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 and a G.P.A. of 3.5 in required math and science courses.
Should the student meet these requirements and the requirements of the Graduate Affairs Committee, admission will be provisional, pending the award of the B.S. degree. The B.S. degree may be awarded at any time following the completion of the undergraduate degree requirements. Alternatively, the B.S. and M.S. degrees may be awarded concurrently. The student will work closely with the major professor to form a supervisory committee and file a program of study by the end of the second semester of the junior year. The undergraduate advisor will continue to advise the student in academic progress toward the B.S. degree, and the major professor will supervise the student's academic progress and research project for the M.S. degree. Research toward the M.S. thesis will begin as soon as possible, but typically will begin during the junior year.