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Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science Combined Degree Program

The BA/MS program 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.

Program Description

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.

 

Program Structure

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 credit hours in biological sciences (undergraduate)………  30

Required credit hours in biological sciences (graduate)……………….   32

Required credit hours in chemistry, physics and mathematics….….  38

Total credit hours required for the combined

Bachelor of Arts/Master of Science degree……………………..…..……..  100

 

Required lecture courses in biological sciences:

BIO 200 Evolutionary Biology                           BIO 205 Biological Chemistry

BIO 201 Cell Biology                                           BIO 319 Genetics

BIO 203 General Physiology

 

Required laboratory courses in biological sciences:  Choose THREE.

BIO 213 General Physiology Lab                       BIO 370 Developmental Biology Lab

BIO 215 Biological Chemistry Lab                     BIO 400 Bioinformatics

BIO 329 Genetics Lab                                          BIO 420 Cytogenetics Lab

BIO 332 Adv. Molecular Biology Lab

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:

CHE 101 General Chemistry

CHE 102 General Chemistry

CHE 201 Organic Chemistry

CHE 202 Organic Chemistry

MTH 121 or 141 Calculus I

MTH 122 or 142 Calculus II

PHY 101/151 General Physics I and PHY 102/152 General Physics II

OR

PHY 107 General Physics I and PHY 108/158 General Physics II

 

Required graduate courses in the biological sciences for MS degree:

BIO 600 Problems in Biology

BIO 610 Graduate Student Seminar

BIO 614 Departmental Seminar

BIO 680 Graduate Research

BIO elective courses (18 credits of 500 and 600-level courses)

Minimum of 32 graduate credits

 

Possible timetable for the completion of the combined BA/MS degree program (for students entering fall 2016 and after).

 

Suggested timetable for the completion of the combined BA/MS degree program (for students entering prior to fall 2016):

First year Fall semester Credits Spring semester Credits
BIO 200 5 BIO 201 4
MTH 121 or 241 4 MTH 122 or 142 4
CHE 101 5 CHE 102 5
Gen Ed & Electivesa 3 Gen Ed & Electivesa 3
Second year Fall semester Credits Spring semester Credits
  CHE 201 5 CHE 202 5
BIO 203 3 BIO 205 3
BIO 213b 2 BIO 215b 2
Gen Ed & Electivesa 8 Gen Ed & Electivesa 8
Third year Fall semester Credits Spring semester Credits
PHY 107 4 PHY 108 5
BIO 319 3
BIO 329b 2
Gen Ed & Electivesa 6 Gen Ed & Electivesa 13
Fourth year Fall semester Credits Spring semester Credits
BIO electives BIO electives
BIO 600 (rotation) 1 BIO 600 (rotation) 1
BIO 610 1 BIO 610 1
BIO 614 1 BIO 614 1
Fifth year Fall semester Credits Spring semester Credits
BIO electives BIO electives
BIO 610 1 BIO 610 1
BIO 614 1 BIO 614 1
BIO 680 (research) 2 BIO 680 (research) 2

a: Total general education credits required for fulfillment of undergraduate degree requirements may be more or less than shown.

b: Students must complete only three laboratory courses in biological sciences.  These can be taken in any semester.  Available laboratory courses are listed above.