BS/MS Program in Biology


The Department of Biology is pleased to announce the inception of a research-based 5-year BS/MS degree. Over the course of their senior year, plus one additional year of graduate study, students in the program will take graduate level courses, conduct independent research, and write a Masters of Science thesis.

The student and a faculty member agree on a suitable research project. Before deciding on a research project, students should consider talking with several faculty members to discuss possible projects. The Director of the Biology BS/MS program can assist the student in finding a participtating faculty mentor in Biology. For at least two semesters, the student must have enough time in their schedule to devote to  research. Two credits are given for each semester of research. This is the equivalent of a 2-credit laboratory (6 hours per week), but if the student is enthusiastic about his/her project, he/she will want to spend more time on it than that.

In addition to the requirements for the Bachelor of Science, a student must complete specific courses/seminars, as listed under Requirements in preparation for their year of graduate study. 


Sophomore/Junior year- Find a research mentor and begin research project.

Junior/Senior year- Notify the program director of intent and apply fall of the senior year.

Senior year:  Complete requirements for B.S. and graduate

Masters year:  Continue lab research, take limited masters coursework, write and defend thesis.


Getting Started (sophomore or junior year)

Contact the program director to express you interest and to begin the search for a research mentor.

Choose a mentor and register with the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Take research courses; BIL 495, and 496 (2 required).

Apply during spring semester/ summer session of your Junior year for admission to the program.

Almost There (first semester, senior year)

Continue research (BIL 497, if needed).

Attend departmental seminar.

Final Steps (second semester, senior year)

Recommended: present research findings at research and creativity forum or other meeting.

Masters Year

Take 15 credits/ Semester

Mandatory courses:

BIL691 Departmental Seminar

BIL610 Lab meeting

BIL675 Professional skills

BIL678 Current topics in Biological Research (Distinguished Visiting Professor series, usually spring semester only)

BIL810 Research (10-12 credits)

 Optional courses:

BIL 630, 1 credit, Population Community Ecology, C. Horvitz,  G. Cosner

BIL 649, 1 credit, Seminar in Behavior, S. Green

BIL 675, 1 credit, Stable Isotope Studies, L. Sternberg

Form a committee of three participating faculty (see below)

Spring Semester: Schedule thesis defense- April 4th is the last defense day for spring graduation

Submit Thesis to graduate school: May 7th is the submission deadline

Note: Please consult with the Director of the BS/MS program in order to make sure you are on track to complete the program.



Dr. James D. Baker, Director of BS/MS Program
Phone: (305) 284-9055
Email: bakerjd at