Biology AMP

All students must meet the Requirements for the Accelerated Master's Degree Programs


An accelerated master's degree in biology can be earned in a shortened time by applying and being accepted in the junior year of undergraduate work. Biology, Zoology, Neuroscience or Environmental Science B.S. majors should discuss this possibility with the department’s graduate program director as soon as they think they might be interested in the program. The  M.S. is expected to be earned in 1 additional year following completion of the B.S. for students entering the M.S. through the AMP.

Learning goals for M.S.  students are:

  • Be able to execute scientific experiments, analyze and communicate experimental results orally and in writing.

  • Have a working knowledge of the fundamental literature, concepts and ideas of field of study.

  • Have a broad factual and conceptual knowledge of biology.

Following formal admission to the Accelerated Master's Entry Program, up to 9 credits of subsequent Biology course work approved for graduate credit taken in the junior and senior year can be counted toward the degree requirement. Courses must be selected from among:

BIOL 204Adv Genetics Laboratory4
BIOL 205Adv Genetics & Proteomics Lab4
BIOL 209Field Zoology of Arthropods0 or 4
BIOL 217Mammalogy0 or 4
BIOL 219Compar/Func Vertebrate Anatomy4
BIOL 223Developmental Biology3
BIOL 254Population Genetics0-4
BIOL 255Comparative Physiology0 or 4
BIOL 261Neurobiology3
BIOL 264Community Ecology3
BIOL 266Neurodevelopment3
BIOL 271Evolution3
BIOL 277Sociobiology3
BIOL 372Cutting Edge Topics2
BIOL 381Special Topics (with permission)0-4

Specific Requirements

Requirements for Admission to Graduate Studies for the Degree of Master of Science for Accelerated Master's Students

To be eligible for the Accelerated Master’s Entry Program, a student must be a declared biological science, zoology, neuroscience or environmental science B.S. major, and have identified a Biology faculty sponsor. Other requirements include a GPA typically higher than 3.10 overall and 3.30 in biology courses. Following admission students are required to take at least three credits of undergraduate research with a Biology faculty member who is the intended research advisor, usually in their senior year. After graduation with the B.S. degree, the  M.S. degree becomes their primary curriculum. There is no GRE requirement for applicants entering the M.S. through the  AMP.

Minimum Degree Requirements

A total of 30 credits, 15 of which must be graded course credits are required (9 of which can also be applied to the undergraduate degree) in biology and related fields; thesis research (up to 15 credits); and successful defense of thesis. Required courses are Scientific Survival Skills and Computational Biology.

Comprehensive Examination

The examination will cover broad knowledge of the student's discipline. The details and format of the examination and its form (written or oral or both) are decided upon by the Studies Committee and will be discussed with the student well in advance of the exam. This must take place by the end of the first semester following completion of the B.S. for students admitted under the accelerated entry program.

Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Science

All Biology M.S. students who are admitted to the Graduate College are admitted to candidacy for the degree.