Mar 29, 2023  
Undergraduate Catalog 2022 - 2023 
Undergraduate Catalog 2022 - 2023

Biology, Accelerated 4+1 BS/MS

Dr. Bibo Li; Graduate Program Director

Admission to Program

Students are eligible to apply for the accelerated program after they have completed sixty credit hours (at least 30 credit hours at CSU), which is typically at the end of the sophomore year.  They must have a GPA of at least 3.00, both overall and in the sciences.  They must apply before the end of the junior year.  The application procedure involves submitting at least two letters of recommendation (preferably from departmental faculty) and an essay statement of career goals to the department office. If application material is judged to be satisfactory, the department will issue a decision letter recommending admission to the 4+1 B.S./M.S. program; formal admission to graduate status will be conditional upon satisfactory completion of all B.S. requirements.  Students in this program, like other non-thesis M.S. students, will not typically be eligible for Graduate Assistantships/Teaching Assistantships.

Program Requirements

Once admitted to the joint B.S./M.S. program, a student may complete up to 11 credits of 500 level graduate course work while still an undergraduate; these credits will count toward undergraduate requirements, and–as long as the grades are B or better–against graduate program requirements. 

Maintaining a GPA of 3.0 or better is required to continue in the program, as is completion of the double-counted courses with B or better grades.  Students remain undergraduates until they meet the requirements for the B.S.–including all General Education, university, college, and major field requirements–at which point they will receive the B.S. degree and assume graduate status.  Students in the accelerated 4+1 M.S. program are generally not eligible for graduate assistantships.

The M.S. degree is awarded after students have completed 32 credits of graduate course work and all requirements of the conventional non-thesis M.S. program, including attaining a minimum GPA of 3.2 in the graduate course work.

Students admitted to the accelerated 4+1 program occasionally wish to switch into the conventional thesis M.S. program. Consideration for acceptance into the thesis M.S. program requires submission of a standard graduate application form.  

Students who have been admitted to the 5-year program but fail to meet program requirements before completing the B.S. will revert to conventional student status and must meet all B.S. requirements.  Because the B.S. in Biology requires electives, the double-counted classes taken at the graduate level can be applied toward their B.S. degree.  Such students may re-apply to the conventional M.S. program by following the standard BIO M.S. application process. If admitted, these students will be subject to conventional M.S. program policies and requirements.  Subject to graduate college requirements and approval of the BGES graduate committee, graduate courses completed with B or better grades while in the 5-year program may be counted toward M.S. requirements.

Students who have been admitted to the 5-year program and complete the B.S. but for any reason do not complete the M.S. within a year of the B.S. revert to conventional graduate status and must meet all non-thesis M.S. requirements.  Subject to graduate college requirements and approval of the BGES graduate committee, graduate courses completed with B or better grades while in the 5-year program may be counted toward the M.S. requirements.

Required Undergraduate Courses

All requirements for the conventional B.S. in Biology apply, with two exceptions.

  1. As described above, undergraduates accepted into the Accelerated 4+1 program may take up to 11 graduate credits (500 level) before completing their B.S. These credits will count toward the 120 credit minimum for the B.S. as well as the 32 credits required for the M.S. 
  2. For students in the Accelerated 4+1 program, the Math/Quantitative Literacy requirement must include at least one course in College Statistics.

Required Graduate Courses

  • BIO 500 - Graduate Orientation
  • BIO 504 - Biological Chemistry
  • BIO 684 - Research Seminar
  • BIO 688 - Graduate Seminar (M.S.) (3x)
  • BIO 690 - Non-Thesis M.S. Exit Project
  • Electives to bring the total number of graduate credits (including the required courses) to 32.