Accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science

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If you want to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees within a five-year period, we offer accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science programs for all of our undergraduate degrees.

First, choose any major and concentration within the School of Life Sciences. As you complete a pre-determined portion of your undergraduate degree, you will then apply for your Master of Science. You may combine many of our undergraduate majors with the master's in molecular and cellular biology, master’s in biology or with a concentration in biology and society within the master’s in biology.

If accepted, you will begin taking courses toward your master’s degree during the same year you are finishing your bachelor’s.

If you choose the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program, you will need only 138 credit hours for both degrees. If you chose to complete the degrees separately, you will need 150 total credit hours.

Please talk to your advisor for more information.

Application process

Application process

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for admission to fall or spring semesters. As an undergraduate student, you are encouraged to apply for the accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science program after completing 75 hours of your bachelor’s degree.

What do I need to apply?

To apply, you must have or do the following:

  • Have 75 hours completed toward your undergraduate degree
  • GPA of 3.0+ is required at the time of application, and at the time of admission to the master's program
  • A faculty member who will advise you for your master's thesis
  • Your application and acceptance into the accelerated program must occur prior to registration for the final year of your bachelor's degree
  • Apply to the term and year you plan to start sharing credit hours

Note: A GRE is not required.

You will complete an online Graduate Education Admissions Application for the master's in molecular and cellular biology, biology or concentration in biology and society of the master's in biology. Submit the following with the online application:

  • Personal statement of interest
  • Résumé
  • Transcripts for all universities and colleges outside ASU
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one letter of recommendation from the faculty member who will advise you for your master's thesis
  • Academic record form
  • Writing sample (biology and society concentration only)

What’s next?

Once you submit your application and pay the application fee, it will go through an admissions review process. We may require an in-person interview to determine your eligibility for admission.

Once accepted, we will notify the Graduate Enrollment Services Office that you are part of an accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree program.

Also, once you apply for graduation from your bachelor’s degree, we will ask the Graduate Enrollment Services Office to activate your graduate student record. You will be considered an undergraduate until all requirements are met and your bachelor’s degree is posted to your transcript.

International students

If you are an international student, the graduate I-20 or DS-2019 will only be issued after you have graduated with your bachelor's degree and we have notified the Graduate Education office.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science requirements

  • 120 credit hours in your chosen Bachelor of Science program
  • 12 credit hours may be shared between the accelerated bachelor's/master's degrees. In the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program, you will complete 138 credit hours for the two degrees

Master of Science requirements

  • 30 credits of approved graduate course work (see below)
  • Develop an individual plan of study (iPOS) in consultation with your advisor and supervisory committee
  • Complete a research thesis and defend it orally (an undergraduate honors thesis cannot substitute for a master's thesis)
  • No more than six hours of 400 level courses will apply to the master's degree

The master’s coursework required for the bachelor's/master's is the same as the master’s coursework in our standard Master of Science degrees. 

 

Shared credit hours

  • 12 credit hours may be shared between the two degrees
  • Chose these credits after consulting your undergraduate advisor and prospective master's advisor
  • Shared courses are typically chosen according to your research interest

Once accepted into the accelerated program

  • You must draft, together with your advisor, a preliminary Plan of Study for the Master of Science program.
  • Your degree program must include up to 6 credits of shared 400-level courses and up to 6 credits of 500-level courses.
Note: Only credit hours completed after you are accepted into the accelerated program can be shared. Six credit hours or more of shared coursework must be 500-level courses.

Master's milestones for BS/MS students

Master's milestones for BS/MS students

The following are required milestones once you have graduated with your BS and have begun registering as a master’s student.

1. Supervisory committee

Your advisor is appointed during your application to the Bachelor of Science/Master of Science program. A full advisory committee will be appointed by the beginning of the first semester as a master’s student (by the university’s 21st day).

Your advisor will chair your supervisory committee and must be a member of the appropriate graduate faculty endorsed to chair. At least three members (advisor and two+ others) will serve on your committee.

2. Plan of Study

File by the beginning of your 1st semester as an master's student (by the university’s 21st day).

3. Thesis Research proposal

Complete by beginning of 1st semester as an master's student (by the university’s 21st day):

  • The written thesis prospectus must contain: a description of the research question and its significance; a detailed work plan for data collection, analysis and writing; and a complete bibliography.
  • The goal of the prospectus is to help your committee determine whether you have the necessary knowledge, and whether your research is on track to continue with the research and begin writing a thesis. You must have an answerable research question, full knowledge of sources, and plans for conducting the research and writing the thesis that provide the committee milestones to assess.

4. Application for graduation

Beginning of 2nd semester as a master's student.

5. Thesis Defense

Completed by end of 2nd semester:

  • Register for 1 or more hours of appropriate graduate level credit during the semester you defend your thesis
  • You and your supervisory committee should consider deadlines for graduation set by Graduate Education and schedule your defense at a mutually agreed upon time. To effectively coordinate schedules, plan a defense date with your committee several months in advance.
  • Approximately two months before your defense, submit a complete draft of your thesis to your committee for comments.
  • You must submit a request to hold the defense, thesis, and appropriate paperwork to Graduate Education at least 10 working days prior to your scheduled defense date.
  • The first part of your defense is a public presentation of your thesis research. After the public presentation and questions from the audience, you will be examined by your supervisory committee, which will determine whether to award you Master of Science degree.

Accelerated degree programs (4+1) are designed to allow ASU undergraduate students to complete a master's degree only one year after the completion of their bachelor's degree.

How to be admitted into the accelerated degree program

To be accepted into the accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science program, you must meet the admission criteria established by ASU School of Life Sciences and ASU Graduate Education, except for the completion of your undergraduate degree and taking the graduate record examination. Also, you must have a faculty member willing to advise your master's thesis at the time of admission to the accelerated program. Read detailed instructions in the Application Process section on this page.

Contact

Sample Plan of Study for Bachelor of Science/Master of Science in biology

Note: Classes shared between bachelor's and master's are marked in yellow

BS in biological sciences (Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior)/MS in biology

Bachelor of Science in biological sciences

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards Bachelor of Science in biological sciences (Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior)

Semester 7 (14 bachelor's hours including 6 toward master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (4)
  • BIO 455  Introduction to Comparative Genomics (3)
  • BIO 435  Research Techniques in Animal Behavior (3)
  • BIO 522  Populations: Evolutionary Ecology (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1)(e.g. BIO 591)

Semester 8 (16 bachelor's hours including 6 toward master's)

  • Required undergraduate courses (9)
  • BIO 465  Neurophysiology (3)
  • BIO 524  Ecosystems (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (e.g. BIO 591)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO 591 or ANB 602)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO591 or ANB602)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)

BS in biological sciences (genetics, cell and developmental biology)/MS in biology

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards Bachelor of Science in biological sciences (genetics, cell and developmental biology)

Semester 7 (14 bachelor's hours including 9 toward the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (4)
  • BIO 446 Principles of Human Genetics (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (e.g. BIO or MCB 591)
  • MCB 555 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Sciences (6)

Semester 8 (16 bachelor's hours including 3 towards the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (12)
  • MBB 440 Functional Genomics (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) ( e.g., BIO 591 or MCB 591)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (e.g. BIO 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (e.g. BIO 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)

BS in biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology)/MS in biology

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards bachelor's in biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology)

Semester 7 (14 bachelor's hours including 9 toward the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (4)
  • BIO 426 Limnology (3)
  • BIO 412 Conservation in Practice (3)
  • ELS 501 Environmental Life Sciences: Grand Challenge: Global Climate Change (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (e.g. BIO 591)

Semester 8 (16 bachelor's hours including 3 towards the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (12)
  • BIO 524 Ecosystems (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (e.g. BIO 591)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (e.g., BIO 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (e.g., BIO 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)

BS in biological sciences (biology and society)/MS in biology

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards BS in biological sciences (biology and society)

Semester 7 (14 BS hours including 6 toward the MS)

  • Undergraduate courses (4)
  • BIO 591 Seminar: Embryo Project Editing Seminar (3)
  • HCR 598 Special Topics: FDA regulations (3)
  • BIO 412 Conservation in Practice (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (e.g. BIO 591)

Semester 8 (16 bachelor's hours including 6 toward the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (9)
  • HPS 591 Seminar: Embryo Project  (3)
  • BIO 416 Biomedical Research Ethics OR HPS 410 Professional Values in Science (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (e.g. BIO 591)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (e.g., BIO 615 Biology and Society Lab)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

BIO 599 Thesis (3)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (e.g., BIO 615 Biology and Society Lab)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)

BS in microbiology/MS in biology

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards Bachelor of Science in microbiology

Semester 7 (14 bachelor's hours including 9 toward the master's)

  • MIC 425 Advanced Immunology (3)
  • MIC 421 Experimental Immunology (Lab) (2)
  • MIC 445 Techniques in Molecular Biology/Genetics (3)
  • MIC 446 Techniques in Molecular Biology/Genetics Lab (2)
  • MIC 598 Seminar Topic: Geomicrobiology (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (BIO 591 or MIC 591, etc.)

Semester 8 (16 bachelor's hours including 3 towards the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (8 hours)
  • MIC 591 Seminar Topic: Milestones in Microbiology (3)
  • MIC 470 Bacterial Diversity and Systematics (4)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (BIO or MIC 591, etc.)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO or MIC 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO or MIC 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)

 

BS in microbiology (biomedical sciences)/MS in biology

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards BS in Microbiology (Biomedical Sciences)

Semester 7 (13 bachelor's hours including 9 toward the master's)

  • MIC 425 Advanced Immunology (3)
  • MIC 421 Experimental Immunology Laboratory (2)
  • MIC 441 Bacterial Genetics (3)
  • MIC 442 Bacterial Genetics Laboratory (1)
  • MIC 598 Bacterial Pathogenesis (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1)(BIO 591 or MIC 591, etc.)

Semester 8 (17 bachelor's hours including 3 toward the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (7)
  • MIC 591 Seminar Topic: Milestones in Microbiology (3)
  • MIC 494 Novel Models for Infectious Disease Research (3)
  • MIC 498 Pro-Seminar Topic: Viral Pathogenesis/Host Def (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (BIO or MIC 591, etc.)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO or MIC 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO or MIC 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)

BS in molecular biosciences and biotechnology/MS in biology

Undergraduate

Semesters 1-6 (90 bachelor's hours)

  • Courses towards BS in molecular biosciences and biotechnology

Semester 7 (14 bachelor's hours including 9 toward master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (4)
  • MIC 445 Techniques in Molecular Biology/Genetics (3)
  • MCB 555 Advanced Molecular and Cellular Sciences  (6)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1)(BIO 591 or MCB 591, etc.)

Semester 8 (16 BS hours including 3 towards the master's)

  • Undergraduate courses (12)
  • MBB 440 Functional Genomics (3)
  • Participatory seminars appropriate to area of study (1) (BIO or MCB 591)

Graduate

Option 1

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO or MCB 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (8)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (3)

Option 2

Semester 9 (9 master's hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (3)
  • 1 credit hour of participatory seminar appropriate to area of study (BIO or MCB 591)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (5)

Semester 10 (9 master's hours)

  • IO 599 Thesis (3)
  • BIO 592 Research or BIO 590 Reading and Conference (6)