The primary goal of the combined B.S.-M.S. degree is to encourage and better prepare undergraduates for careers in biological research. The accelerated pathway permits students to complete the requirements for the B.S. degree in biological sciences and the requirements for the M.S. degree in molecular and cell biology in a total of five years.
Students need to complete most corequisites and University Curriculum requirements in a timely fashion, preferably by the end of their junior year. The calculus and/or statistics corequirement should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. All chemistry and physics corequirements should be completed by the end of the junior year. Most advanced biology electives, including the biological chemistry course BIOL 5310 , also should be completed by the end of the junior year because the senior year will be largely filled with 6000-level biology classes.
In addition, students are expected to be engaged in full-time research in the lab of a faculty member during summers following their sophomore, junior and senior years, and to continue their research throughout the academic year. During the academic year, students may receive course credit for their research (BIOL 2101 - Introductory Undergraduate Research , BIOL 2102 - Introductory Research II and/or BIOL 3398 - Undergraduate Research I , BIOL 3399 - Undergraduate Research II .
Requirements for the M.S. portion of the B.S.-M.S. degree will be the same as for the standard M.S. degree in molecular and cellular biology. During the fifth year, students will continue taking graduate courses and complete the research portion of the M.S. degree. By the end of the fifth year, students will write a monograph describing their research and give an oral presentation to the department.
Admission. In coordination with a faculty member, students should apply to the Biology Graduate Committee for admission into the B.S.-M.S. program in the spring of their sophomore year. Later admission to the program may be considered, but students must be on track to complete course requirements, as described above. A research mentor must be identified, and a minimum 3.200 GPA in science courses is required. To remain in the program, students will need to maintain a minimum 3.000 GPA in science courses and exhibit satisfactory progress in their lab work.