The BA/MS in Biological Sciences is a combined degree program that provides an accelerated path to the Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences. Normally six years are needed to achieve both degrees (four years for the BA and two additional years for the MS). The combined program can be completed in five years. The BA degree is conferred after the fourth year, and the MS degree is conferred upon completion of the program.
The combined BA/MS program is a research-intensive degree program. Students enrolled in the program integrate laboratory and classroom learning experiences. Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared for entry into the research workforce or for further PhD level education in the biological sciences or related fields.
Students pursuing the BA/MS degree enroll in undergraduate courses during the first three years of the program, completing essentially the same courses as other undergraduate biology majors (see course listing and timetable below). A total of 68 credit hours of required coursework in the sciences is to be completed in the undergraduate phase of the program.
In the fourth year of study, students are formally admitted into the BA/MS program, and the rigor of classroom work shifts to the 500/600 level. In addition, emphasis is placed on laboratory research, culminating in the completion of a research project under the supervision of a mentor from the faculty in Biological Sciences.
Application Procedures and Standards
Students should apply to the BA/MS program during their fifth semester in residence. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.2 in both science and general education courses and three supportive letters of recommendation from faculty.
The combined Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science degree program summary:
Required lecture courses in biological sciences:
Required laboratory courses in biological sciences (choose three)
Successful completion of either BIO 497 Honors Research or BIO 498 Undergrad Research (2 or 3 credits) may be used in place of one lab course.
Required courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics:
Required graduate courses in the biological sciences for MS degree:
Minimum of 32 graduate credits
Possible timetable for the completion of the combined BA/MS degree program for students entering fall 2016 and after.