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Combined Bachelors of Science/Master's of Science in Biology

This is a description of the combined B.S./M.S. program in Biology.
Combined Bachelors of Science/Master's of Science in Biology


Prospective students are expected to have a strong undergraduate background in the sciences and a desire to perform research. Students will be considered for admission generally during their junior year after they meet the requirements for admission to the Biology major and have finished three of the six required core Biology courses for this program (see below). A total of 45 credits must be fulfilled before an application will be considered. Students will be admitted no later than the end of the semester preceding the semester in which they would have graduated with a B.S. degree. Students must be on track to finish three semesters of undergraduate research courses (Honors or Independent Study) by the semester in which they would have completed the B.S. degree. A 3.0 minimum GPA in Biology courses and a 3.0 overall GPA is required.
Students must identify a faculty member whose lab they will work in.  To apply to the program, students should email the BS/MS Advisor and have their research advisor and one other faculty member write emails of support to the BS/MS Advisor (Prof. Jay Edelman --, as of Nov. 2014)
Applicants should also complete the BS/MS Advising form found under "BS/MS forms and info," found on the Science Forum Bio Majors Advising webpage.


Program of Study
A total of 142 credits are required for the BS/MS in Biology. The requirements include a total of 64 biology course credits of which 30 credits must be at the 400- or graduate-level courses. A minimum of 8 of these 30 credits must be from graduate-level, non-research courses with a C- or V- designation (cannot include Colloquium). A maximum of 8 of these 30 grad credits may consist of 400-level courses. 16 of these 30 grad credits must come from research courses (see below) and 2 of 30 grad credits must come from taking the Biology Dept. Colloquium course twice (see below). Students are expected to maintain at least a 3.0 overall average.

1) Required Biology Core Courses (24 cr)

The following six courses are required:
BIO 10100 Biological Foundations I (4 cr)
BIO 10200 Biological Foundations II (4 cr)
BIO 20600 Introduction to Genetics (4 cr)
BIO 20700 Organismic Biology (4 cr)
BIO 22800 Ecology and Evolution (4 cr)
BIO 22900 Cell and Molecular Biology (4 cr)

2) Required research courses (21 cr):

Bachelors research -- Honors: Biology 30100/30200/30300 (9 total credits) or Independent Study: Biology 31000 (1-3 credits per semester).
Students must take a total of 9 credits of Bachelor-level research. If a student takes the Honors Research sequence, he/she is required to submit an Honors thesis to fulfill college Honors requirements.

Masters research -- Biology B9901 (3), B9902 (3), V9204 (2 x 3 credits) Students must take a total of 12 credits of Masters-level advanced study, and thesis research credits.

3) BIO V9100 -- Masters' Colloquium (2 x 1cr)

4) Biology non-research electives (17 cr). This must include graduate-level courses (see section on Program of Study above for details.)

As 16/17 non-research, elective credits must be 400-level or grad courses, students can most efficiently complete the major by taking 9 credits of 400-level courses and 8 credits of grad-level courses. Students should take at most one 300-level non-research elective course.
Students must also meet the general requirements for a B.S. degree from CCNY as well as the non-Biology course requirements for Biology Majors.


Students will be advised by both the B.S./M.S Advisor (Prof. Jay Edelman --, as of April 2017) and the M.S. Graduate Advisor (Prof. Amy Berkov --, as of July 2020).

Upon admission to the program, students will meet with the B.S./M.S. Advisor and design a course plan. In order to register each semester, students must first meet with the B.S./M.S. Advisor.

Master's thesis

Students are required to write a Master's thesis and defend it before a panel of three faculty members. The research mentor will help the student to find two additional
faculty members for the thesis committee.  The three faculty members must be full-time CCNY faculty. Additional outside committee members may be invited by the mentor when appropriate. A thesis proposal must be approved by this committee one semester before graduation and accompanying documentation must be submitted to the M.S. Graduate Advisor’s office in preparation of graduation. After the Thesis defense examination and revision of the thesis, a final draft of the M.S. thesis must be submitted.
Students taking Master's level research courses are required to submit a progress report at the end of each semester to the departmental M.S. Advisor (except for the semester in which they are submitting their Master's thesis).  This report should be countersigned by the faculty member supervising the project, and becomes part of the student’s permanent departmental file.   A grade will not be submitted until the report is filed.