Graduate Studies

The Department of Biology offers a Master’s of Science (M.S.) degree. There are two paths to admission to the M.S. program: an accelerated 4+1 program for students already pursuing an undergraduate degree in the department, and a traditional M.S. program that invites applications from both within and outside Bradley. A description of these programs is shown below. Please see the Graduate School Catalog for additional information on specific entrance requirements.

BS and MS 4+1 Program in Biology

The Department of Biology offers an integrated Bachelor's (B.S.) and Master of Science degree in Biology, which allows undergraduates to complete their bachelor's degree, transfer seamlessly to the master's degree, and finish both programs in five years. Nomination to the program will be based on grades, progress through the curriculum, and progress on a specific research project. A research mentor must nominate a student to the program based on the belief that the student can complete a research project and write and defend a thesis by the end of the fifth year. Students are nominated during the spring of their junior year. Nominations will be accepted the fall of the senior year given a reasonable need for accommodation. After nomination, the student must follow the application procedures consistent with application to the Graduate School and Biology Graduate Program, with the following exceptions: student does not need to have completed the bachelor's degree; and the GRE score will be waived. To be considered for the program, students must have the following:

  • Minimum 3.2 GPA overall and in biology
  • Completed 85 hours at time of admission to the program (99 hours if admitted at beginning of senior year)
  • A member of the faculty willing to serve as thesis advisor

Traditional MS Program in Biology

The Department of Biology offers a traditional Master’s of Science degree. Students will complete a program of study that includes 32 hours and an independent research project. Fifteen hours of the total 32 hours must be classroom courses (i.e., non-independent study) and will also include an additional 1 hour of Thesis Proposal Development (BIO 500). Students must enroll in the thesis proposal development course, which requires scheduling the oral comprehensive exam, before the student will be allowed to enroll in the 19th semester hour. Oral comprehensive exams must be successfully completed before the student will be allowed to enroll in the 24th hour. The student must pass a comprehensive oral exam focusing on basic biology content, the science content of the research proposal and the science content necessary for the student to successfully complete the proposed research. The student will be given specific information on the exam format and content before the exam.