Overview

The 5-year BS/MS degree in the Department of Biology is designed for students who are engaged in research and considering a career in biological sciences. 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 first step in this process is for the student and a faculty member to agree on a suitable research project. Students should consider talking with several faculty members to discuss possible projects before settling on a research topic. The Director of the Biology BS/MS program can assist the student in finding a participating faculty mentor in Biology. For at least two semesters of their undergraduate studies, the student must have enough time in their schedule to devote to research <BIL 495, BIL 496, BIL 497>.  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.  Applications to the program are evaluated at the end of the Junior year, so the student should begin research in his/her Sophomore year.

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

Timeline:

Freshman/Sophomore/Junior year: Find a research mentor, register with the Office of Undergraduate Research and begin your research project.  Enroll in Projects in Biology <BIL 495, BIL 496, BIL 497>.  Notify the Program Director of your intent.

Junior year: Apply to the program in the fall semester.  Continue your research project.

Senior year: Complete the requirements for the B.S. and take one 3 credit Masters-level course each semester.  Attend the Biology Departmental Seminar.  Present your research findings at the Research, Creativity and Innovation Forum in the spring semester.

Masters year: Take 12-15 credits of Masters coursework each semester.  Finish your lab research, write and defend your thesis.

Curriculum Requirements

B.S. in Biology Curriculum Requirements
Biology Core Courses22
Two semesters of introductory biology plus labs are required, usually taken in the first year:
General Biology
General Biology Laboratory
Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory I
Evolution and Biodiversity
Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory
Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory II
Select one of the following three Options for upper level required biology core courses:
Option One: This option is recommended for students interested in medical school, other health sciences, cell, molecular and developmental biology.
Genetics
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Comparative Physiology
Ecology
Evolutionary Biology
Option Two: This option is recommended for students interested in ecology, evolution, biodiversity and conservation.
Genetics
Evolutionary Biology
Ecology
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Comparative Physiology
Option Three:
Genetics
Cellular and Molecular Biology
Ecology
Comparative Physiology
Additional BIL electives12
At least one BIL elective must be a CAPSTONE course. (Locate capstone courses in Class Search under "Additional Search Criteria", subheading "Class Attributes".)
At least four credit hours of the following must be taken for the B.S./M.S. in Biology program. A maximum of six credit hours may be applied as electives towards the B.S. in Biology.
Projects in Biology
Projects in Biology
Projects in Biology
Two biology laboratory or field courses beyond <BIL 151 or BIL 153> and <BIL 161 or BIL 163> are required as part of the additional BIL electives. An approved laboratory/field course at the 300 level or higher in departments other than Biology (e.g., BMB, MIC, MSC, NEU) can be counted as one of the two required lab courses. Projects in Biology <BIL 495, BIL 496 or BIL 497> may be counted as one of the two required lab courses. Check with the Department of Biology to confirm that a specific course is allowed to fulfill this requirement.
At least six credit hours of graduate courses in Biology (BIL 600-level) must be taken in the Senior year.
Up to eight credit hours toward the major may be selected from courses with a biological topic and numbered 300 or higher in MBE, MES, MSC, or OCE.
A maximum of two credit hours of the following may be applied towards the major
Readings in Biology
Readings in Biology
A maximum of three total credit hours from the following courses may be applied towards the major. Any course in this list may be taken only once to count towards the major. However, these courses may be taken additional times for general elective credit only.
Undergraduate Learning Internship in Biology
Workshop Leaders in Biology I 1
Workshop Leaders in Biology II
Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Training in Biology
PRISM Teaching Fellow
Chemistry
Three semesters (16 credits) of chemistry are required for the biology major. 16
Principles of Chemistry
and Chemistry Laboratory I
Introduction to Structure and Dynamics
and Chemical Dynamics Laboratory
Organic Reactions and Synthesis
and Organic Reactions and Synthesis Laboratory
Statistics or Computer Language/Programming
Select one statistics or one computer language/programming course from the following: 23
Advanced Biostatistics
Environmental Statistics
Applied Probability and Statistics
Environmental Statistics
Introduction to Probability and Statistics
Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics
Introduction to Biobehavioral Statistics for Non-Majors
Computer Programming I
Physics
Select one of the following Options:10-11
Option One:
College Physics I
and College Physics Laboratory I
College Physics II
and College Physics Laboratory II
Option Two:
University Physics I for the Sciences
and College Physics Laboratory I
University Physics II for the Sciences
and College Physics Laboratory II
Option Three:
University Physics I for PRISM
and College Physics Laboratory I
University Physics II for PRISM
and College Physics Laboratory II
Option Four:
University Physics I
University Physics II
and University Physics II Lab
University Physics III
and University Physics III Lab
Minor in a Natural Science1-16
A minor in chemistry, ecosystem science and policy, physics, geological sciences, marine sciences, biochemistry and molecular biology, computer science, mathematics, or microbiology and immunology
Total credit hours for the minor will vary by department.
The CHM requirement for the BS in biology fulfills either 12 or 15 (depending on which option is selected) of the 16 credits necessary for the minor in Chemistry. To complete the minor in Chemistry, only 1-4 additional credits in CHM are required beyond those necessary for the BS in Biology.
Additional Required Courses
ENG 105English Composition I3
ENG 106English Composition II3
or ENG 107 English Composition II: Science and Technology
MTH 161Calculus I4
MTH 162Calculus II4
Language Courses3-9
Arts and Humanities Cognate9
People and Society Cognate9
Electives25-0
Masters Year Curriculum Requirements
In the fifth year, 12-15 graduate-level courses in Biology should be taken each semester.
Required graduate courses for the B.S./M.S. in Biology program. Some of these may be taken during the Senior year of the B.S.
BIL 610Lab Group Meeting1
BIL 612Graduate Core I3
BIL 613Graduate Core II3
BIL 616Professional Skills I1
BIL 678Current Topics in Biological Research - DVP1
BIL 810Master's Thesis1-6
BIL 820Research in Residence - Master's Thesis1
Graduate-level (>600) electives in Biology16-24
Total Credit Hours151-161

Suggested Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredit Hours
BIL 150 General Biology 4
BIL 151 or 153 General Biology Laboratory
or Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory I
1
CHM 121 Principles of Chemistry 4
CHM 113 Chemistry Laboratory I 1
ENG 105 English Composition I 3
MTH 161 Calculus I 4
 Credit Hours17
Spring
BIL 160 Evolution and Biodiversity 4
BIL 161 or 163 Evolution and Biodiversity Laboratory
or Introductory Biology/Chemistry Laboratory II
1
CHM 221 Introduction to Structure and Dynamics 4
CHM 205 Chemical Dynamics Laboratory 1
ENG 106 or 107 English Composition II
or English Composition II: Science and Technology
3
MTH 162 Calculus II 4
 Credit Hours17
Year Two
Fall
BIL 250 or 255 Genetics
or Cellular and Molecular Biology
3
CHM 222 Organic Reactions and Synthesis 4
CHM 206 Organic Reactions and Synthesis Laboratory 2
Language 101 3
Statistics or Computer Science Course 3
Arts and Humanities Cognate Course 3
 Credit Hours18
Spring
BIL 250 or 255 Genetics
or Cellular and Molecular Biology
3
BIL 330 or 320 Ecology
or Evolutionary Biology
3
BIL 374, 375,
Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
1
 
BIL 495 Projects in Biology 2
Language 102 3
 
Elective 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Three
Fall
BIL 250, 255,
Genetics
or Cellular and Molecular Biology
or Comparative Physiology
3
BIL 330 or 320 Ecology
or Evolutionary Biology
3
PHY 101, 201,
College Physics I
or University Physics I for the Sciences
or University Physics I for PRISM
4
PHY 106 College Physics Laboratory I 1
People and Society Cognate course 3
Language 2XX 3
 Credit Hours17
Spring
Biology Lab/Field course 1-3
BIL 496 Projects in Biology 2
PHY 102, 202,
College Physics II
or University Physics II for the Sciences
or University Physics II for PRISM
4
PHY 108 College Physics Laboratory II 1
Arts and Humanities Cognate (WRI) 3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours14-16
Year Four
Fall
BIL 612 Graduate Core I 3
BIL Elective 2
Arts and Humanities Cognate 3
Elective (WRI) 3
BIL 375, 374,
Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
or Seminar in Biology
1
People and Society Cognate course (WRI) 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring
BIL 613 Graduate Core II 3
 
Elective (WRI) 3
People and Society Cognate 3
Elective 1-3
Elective 3
 Credit Hours13-15
Year Five
Fall
BIL 610 Lab Group Meeting 1
BIL 616 Professional Skills I 1
BIL 810 Master's Thesis 6
Graduate Electives 5-8
 Credit Hours13-16
Spring
BIL 611 Lab Group Meeting 1
BIL 678 Current Topics in Biological Research - DVP 1
BIL 820 Research in Residence - Master's Thesis 1
Graduate Electives 9-12
 Credit Hours12-15
 Total Credit Hours151-161