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Accelerated Degree in Biological Sciences (BS + MS)

Earn Your Advanced Degree Sooner


The accelerated degree program in Biological Sciences is for academically qualified students who are looking to advance their learning in the discipline by earning both a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree and a Master of Science (MS) degree in five years. The program offers both thesis and non-thesis options. 

The program is rigorous and challenging; it builds on a strong undergraduate foundation to allow students to engage in a more extensive study of the discipline at a graduate level. Students who apply to the program will often have advanced study plans and arrive with advanced placement credit as they enroll in the program. Requirements for the graduate portion of the program are the same as for the Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences. 


Exceptional students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5 and who are enrolled in the four-year co-op option are eligible for the accelerated program. Students formally apply to the program after they have completed 90 credits but before they have completed 120 credits. Students are strongly encouraged to begin planning for the program as early as their freshman year. Students who have more than 120 credits are not eligible. 


Students enrolled in the accelerated degree program must complete 180 undergraduate quarter credits for the bachelor’s degree and at least 45 graduate quarter credits for the master’s degree. Courses may not be double-counted for both the BS and MS degree. All undergraduate and graduate course requirements must be satisfied in full, including producing a thesis (if the thesis-option master's program is elected) no later than the Spring Quarter of the final year. Students in the program must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 in their undergraduate and graduate coursework to remain in the program. 

Application Process: Next Steps

Prior to applying to the program, students should meet with the respective adviser(s) in the department. The application must be accompanied by a plan of study prepared in consultation with the undergraduate and graduate advisors in the department. A brief statement of purpose indicating the applicant’s academic and professional interest in pursuing the accelerated degree is required. Applicants are then formally reviewed by the Biology Graduate Committee.


Please email the graduate advisor for Biology, Kate Pelusi, at and include your current plan of study, along with your statement of purpose communicating your interest in pursuing the accelerated degree. 

Prospective Students

Please email or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!