Combined degree program in Cell and Molecular Biology

Accelerated B.S. /M.S. Program


Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to an accelerated bachelor's/master's program and obtain both a BS and an MS in cell and molecular biology within an accelerated time frame. Students admitted to this program may take graduate courses after completing 90 undergraduate credits, and up to 12 credits of graduate work may be used in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the undergraduate degree (in alignment with University policy, a maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate work will count toward both the graduate and undergraduate degrees). If students earn at least a grade of "B" in each of these classes, they are granted advanced standing in the master's program and must then complete an additional 23 credits to receive the master's degree. All other master's degree requirements must be met, including an internship and the graduate capstone. After completing 120 credits and all requirements for the bachelor's degree, students are awarded a bachelor's degree. A minimum of 23 graduate credits must be completed after the 120 credits for the bachelor's degree are completed (the MS program requires 35 hours). Please be aware that you will be paying graduate tuition after 120 credits (this is especially important if you are transferring credits from another institution). 

Students with an overall GPA of at least 3.25 may apply to the combined bachelor's/master's program after:

· Completion of the lower division core requirements: CMB 155/156, BIO 375, 376; CHM 115, 116, 241, 242; MTH 125; CMB 250);

  • 75 hours of academic credit have been completed or are in progress;
  • Completion or registration for CMB 499 or CMB 490.

Application Procedure

Students will normally apply directly to the department of Cell and Molecular Biology for the combined BS/MS program during their third academic year.

Application requirements include:

  • GPA of 3.25 or greater
  • Completion of the nine core courses listed above with a grade of at least "B" in 5 of the 9 courses and no less than a "C+" in any of the 9 courses.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Academic transcripts (unofficial transcripts are OK)
  • Letter of intent
  • CV

All students who submit complete applications will be interviewed by 2-3 faculty members.

Admission decisions will be made by a departmental admissions committee based on the student's previous academic success in CMB, as indicated by GPA and grades in the core CMB curriculum, as well as potential success in the graduate program, as indicated by the letters of recommendation, the student's letter of intent and the interview.

Decisions will normally be communicated to students within four weeks of submitting a complete application to the combined degree program in CMB.

Requirements During Undergraduate Studies (first 8 semesters)

All university requirements, including general education courses, must be completed before the final (graduate) year of the combined BS/MS program. In the final undergraduate year, students will take 12 - 15 credits of graduate-level courses. If any courses are dual-listed, students in the accelerated BS/MS program must complete all assignments expected of graduate students and they will be evaluated in the same way as graduate students.

  • Students will earn 12 graduate credits during their undergraduate program.
  • Students will be considered undergraduates for tuition, academic requirements and financial aid purposes until all requirements for the undergraduate degree are completed. Following this they will be considered graduate students, will pay graduate tuition, and will be eligible for graduate financial aid.
  • At least 3 credits of independent research (CMB 499) or internship (CMB 490), as well as the undergraduate capstone course, will be required during the undergraduate part of the program.

Requirements During Graduate Studies

  • After successful completion of their undergraduate program, students will be eligible to take the second year of the MS in CMB curriculum. At this point students will be treated as graduate students for purposes of tuition and fees, financial aid, etc.
  • Students must complete an internship (or research). This could be completed during the summer immediately following the undergrad program or during the graduate year.

Graduation Without Completion of the Program

If a student decides at some point to pursue only the undergraduate portion of the combined degree, the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology will still recognize the graduate courses taken in lieu of undergraduate courses. Credit from the undergraduate degree cannot be used toward a graduate degree at a later date.

Page last modified January 30, 2023