FSU Biology - PageTitle

Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Combined Bachelor's/Master's Pathway

The combined Bachelor's/Master's Pathway in Biological Science allows academically high-achieving students the opportunity to complete the Bachelor's and Master's degrees in a shorter time span by allowing 12 credit hours of coursework to be double counted for both degrees. This is a pathway that will be of utility to students who are seeking a deeper understanding of biological processes, or to enhance their competitiveness for employment or admission to professional schools, or in preparation for advanced graduate work. This pathway meets the needs of those students who might otherwise take a selection of ad hoc post-baccalaureate courses without progressing towards an MS degree.

Intellectually, the combined pathway ensures that undergraduates take the upper division courses which are fundamental to more advanced study, in a framework which prepares them for the rigors of graduate work. Pedagogically, the 5000 level courses taken as seniors provide training in analytical techniques in different areas of Biology, expose students to approaches taken in the primary research literature, and give them practice in discipline-specific writing.


Professional/Employment Benefits

A combined BS/MS in Biological Science provides an excellent foundation for continuing professional study in the health or life sciences. It is also an appropriate degree for employment as laboratory technicians in eg. biotechnology, pathology or forensic laboratories, as field agents in environmental sciences, or as secondary education teachers.


Students must have completed at least 60 credit hours prior to applying to the combined pathway with a minimum of 3.0 GPA. To be eligible for 5000 level coursework, students must have completed 90 credit hours (60 credit hours for Honors Program students) with transfer students having completed a minimum of 24 hours at FSU with a minimum FSU GPA of 3.0. Students enrolled in graduate coursework as undergraduates may take no more than 15 credit hours per semester and must have approvals of the dean, the department chair and the instructor offering the course prior to registration. For admission as a graduate student in Biological Science, students must have a minimum of a 3.0 overall GPA in upper division coursework. Applicants with GRE scores below 153 verbal and 146 quantitative need to have a minimum overall GPA of 3.2 in upper division courses and excellent letters of recommendation.


Students may apply for the pathway after completion of their sophomore year and the prerequisite courses necessary for upper division status (CHM 1045 and lab, CHM 1046 and lab, BSC 2010 and lab, BSC 2011 and lab). Students should meet with an undergraduate advisor and/or the graduate advisor in the Biology Advising Center to determine eligibility and appropriate courses. Students accepted into the pathway should take the GRE in their junior year and apply to the graduate school at the end of the junior year.


Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA overall for all course work and for courses taken at the 4000 level or above. For 5000 level courses taken as part of undergraduate studies, students must earn a minimum of 3.0 GPA for courses to be double counted for graduate credit.


The course-based Master's degree in Biological Science requires completion of 32 credit hours with 21 of those credit hours letter graded. Students are encouraged to participate in directed individual research (BSC 5900) which may be an extension of research initiated during undergraduate studies. This pathway allows 12 graded credit hours taken at the 5000 level to be double-counted toward the bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biological Science.

Accepted undergraduate students may take the following 5000-level courses which, after acceptance by the graduate school and completion of the bachelor's degree, will count towards the requirements for the Master's degree:

  • PCB 5672 Evolution
  • PCB 5615 Ecological Genetics
  • PCB 5675 Advanced Evolutionary Biology
  • PCB 5938 Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
  • PCB 5525 Molecular Biology
  • PCB 5137 Advanced Cell Biology
  • PCB 5595 Advanced Molecular Biology
  • PCB 5936 Selected Topics in Genetics and Cell Biology
  • PCB 5845 Cell and Molecular Neuroscience
  • MCB 5408 Prokaryotic Biology
  • MCB 5505 Virology
  • MCB 5936 Selected Topics in Microbiology
  • PCB 5937 Selected Topics in Physiology


Undergraduate and graduate work may be funded by the usual financial aid and scholarships. No additional departmental financial support is available for students enrolled in the course-based MS degree.


Once students have completed the requirements for the undergraduate degree (at the end of the fourth year), they will be awarded the Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Science. When the requirements for the Master's degree are met, they will receive the Master of Science degree in Biological Science.

Last revised 2019-3-29.