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 program 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 UC requirements in a timely fashion, preferably by the end of their junior year. Calculus and/or statistics co-requirement should be completed by the end of the sophomore year. All chemistry and physics co-requirements should be completed by the end of the junior year. Most advanced biology electives, including Biological Chemistry (BIOL 5310), should also be completed by the end of the junior year, since 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; Introductory Research I and II (BIOL 2101 and 2102) and/or Undergraduate Research I and II (BIOL 3398 and 3399). 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.
Admission to the program
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.
Minimum admission requirements:
Minimum 3.2 GPA in science courses
Agreement of a faculty member to supervise their research
If admitted, a three-member committee will be formed for each student. Typically, this committee will comprise the faculty advisor and two additional faculty members. The committee will meet at least once each year to monitor the student’s progress. To remain in the program, students will need to maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in science courses and exhibit satisfactory progress in their lab work.
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.