BS+MS (4+1) Program in Biological Sciences

BS+Non-Thesis MS Program

This is a five-year ("four plus one") program in which the MS is completed with one additional year beyond the student's senior year. An advanced degree can provide employment opportunities that the BS degree alone does not provide. The program is also intended to offer students the opportunity to strengthen their credentials for application to professional schools, including medical schools.

This BS + Non-Thesis MS program allows students to begin taking classes for graduate credit as undergraduate students. After earning the BS degree, students in the program are formally admitted to the Graduate School and continue their graduate course work. Students who are able to complete two or three graduate courses before the end of their senior year should be more likely to successfully complete the MS degree in one additional year. Students who enroll in graduate-level course work as undergraduate students are allowed to apply a maximum of 12 semester graduate-level credits toward the MS degree. Note that courses taken for graduate credit cannot count toward a student's BS degree.

When taking graduate courses in their senior (or junior) year, students will be charged undergraduate tuition for a full-time course load. After earning the BS degree, the student will need to formally apply online to the Graduate School for admisssion to the MS program. Once admitted to the MS program, students will be charged graduate tuition for their course work. Students in the BS + MS program receive a University Graduate Scholarship (UGS) equal to 25% of graduate tuition for two semesters of full-time graduate study. More information about the program can be found at Course of Study.

Application Process

Students may apply to the BS + Non-Thesis MS program during their junior or senior year of their undergraduate degree. However, students are encouraged to apply to the program before the end of their junior year to help ensure that they have the full subsequent year to begin taking appropriate courses for graduate credit, lessening the course load they will need to carry in their fifth year.

Students applying to the program late in their senior year (after their first semester) will be considered competitive for admission to the BS + Non-Thesis MS program if they already have taken at least two courses for graduate credit for letter grade.

Once a completed application has been received by the Graduate Program Manager, the student will be notified quickly, generally within 30 days, whether they have been accepted into the program. The program accepts a limited number of students each year, and applicants will be considered for admission on a competitive basis.
If accepted into the program, the student meets with their advisor as soon as possible to select an advisory committee and plan a course of study. After completing the requirements for the BS degree, the student must complete a formal graduate application online and pay the graduate application fee to transition to graduate status.

Acceptance into the BS + Non-Thesis MS program indicates a commitment by the Department of Biological Sciences to:

  1. Accept the student's graduate courses completed while an undergraduate student toward the MS degree
  2. Support the student's application for admission to the MS program through the graduate school

Minimum Academic Requirements for Acceptance to the BS + Non-Thesis MS Program

  • Sixty (60) undergraduate credits
  • Two (2) upper-division biology courses (3000-level and above)
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 and Biology GPA of 3.0

A Complete Application Consists of

  • Completed application form
  • Unofficial transcript
  • Written statements of career goals and reasons for applying to the BS + Non-Thesis MS program
  • A letter from a faculty member within the Department of Biological Sciences indicating that they have agreed to serve as the student's advisor
  • Two letters of recommendation, one of which must be from a university faculty member (letters are to be submitted directly by recommenders)

Submit your application via mail to  Dr. Maria Torres, 4+1 Admissions Director, Dept. Biological Sciences, PO Box 210006, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006 or by placing the aplication in the mail box of Dr. Torres in 614 Rieveschl.  Applications may also be submitted to Dr. Torres by email to as a single WORD or PDF document.