Jul 23, 2024  

Biology, (Accelerated B.S./M.S.)

This program allows outstanding undergraduates to begin the coursework for the Master of Science in Biology during their senior year. Students are encouraged to begin planning to enter the Accelerated B.S./M.S. program early in their undergraduate career, in consultation with their advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences. 

Working with the undergraduate and graduate academic coordinators, undergraduates selected into this program begin a carefully tailored course of study which will allow them to complete their B.S. degree while they also begin the coursework toward their M.S. 

To apply, students must have a minimum 3.25 grade point average, and must submit two reference letters and a copy of their transcript to the Biology department. Each applicant will complete an interview with the graduate academic coordinator in biology. 

Students must also apply to the Graduate School for the accelerated B.S./M.S. program, which allows them to take graduate courses in biology. To continue in the program past the B.S., students must apply for full admission into the Graduate School and into the Biological Sciences department’s M.S. program. 

Only in ABM programs, up to 12 hours of graduate course work may be applied to both the undergraduate and graduate programs. However, any graduate coursework will not apply to undergraduate GPA. 

University General Education Program (41 hours)

See Graduation from the University  for the University General Education Program requirements.

Note: Biology majors are also required to take either MATH 1830  or MATH 1910  and these courses will fulfill general education requirements.

Eight credit hours of natural science courses (two lectures with labs) are required for general education and can be fulfilled by the following courses that are required for the Biology major. 

The Major (67-68 hours)

Biology Requirements (18 hours):

Additional Science and Math Requirements (27-28 hours):

18 Additional Upper Division Hours in BIOL Courses Approved by the Department Including One Organismal Diversity Course From Among:

Required Support Courses:

Select courses from each of the following three areas for a total of 12 hours:

Skills Courses (two courses):


Electives must be chosen to bring the total number of hours to 120.


Students must earn a grade of at least C- in CHEM 1110  and CHEM 1111    before taking any biology courses. 

Students must earn a grade of at least “C-” in all BIOL courses applied toward the major, the minor, and in all required chemistry, physics, and mathematical courses. BIOL, CHEM, MATH, and PHYS courses applicable toward the major or minor may not be taken more than three times.

Students must earn a grade of at least “C-” in BIOL 1110  / BIOL 1111  and BIOL 1120  / BIOL 1121  , before enrolling in any upper division BIOL course.

Any BIOL course applicable toward the major or minor may be repeated once to earn a minimum grade of “C-.” To repeat a course a second time, a student must apply for and receive special permission from the department Undergraduate Studies Committee. Application information is available in the Biology Advising and Resource Center.

A student may not attempt the same BIOL course more than three times, regardless of where it is taken. Courses cross-listed with BIOL (e.g., CHEM 4511 CHEM 4512 , and CHEM 4501 ) also are subject to this course repetition policy.

No more than five total credit hours of research and practicum (BIOL 4000 , BIOL 4001 , BIOL 4570 ) can be applied toward major requirements.

Typical 5-Year Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program in Biology

Freshman Year

Sophomore Year

Junior Year

Senior Year

  • First Semester

  • Credit Hours: (3)
  • Science Ethics (3)
  • Grad Courses 7000 (2), 7092, … (6)
  • Semester Totals 12 hrs.


    Second Semester

  • Electives (6)
  • Grad Courses 7004 (1), 7102 (2), 7092,… (6)
  • Semester Totals 12 hrs.

Grad Year

First Semester

  • BIOL 7200 Seminar (1)
  • BIOL 7996 Thesis (3)
  • Grad Electives (6)
  • BIOL 7092 Research (2)

Semester Totals 12 hrs.

Second Semester

  • BIOL 7600 Defense (1)
  • BIOL 7996 Thesis (3)
  • Grad Electives (6)
  • BIOL 7092 Research (2)

Semester Totals 12 hrs.

Total hours for completion of B.S./M.S. (147-152)

*Must satisfy University General Education Program Requirement.

**Courses offered only online or both online and on-ground