Accelerated Master's Degree

What is it?

U of L undergraduates can apply for an accelerated non-thesis Master of Science degree in Biology.   In this program, students complete 9 hours of graduate work while undergraduates and these hours are applied to the graduate degree.  Students should apply to this program in their junior year.

Flowchart of accelerated MS program

Biologists with Master’s degrees are competitive for a wide variety of jobs in Biology including research in pharmaceutical industry, government jobs at the EPA, DOD, FDA, USGS, and USFWS. People with Master’s degrees are typically paid better than those with a Bachelor’s degree and hold jobs with more responsibilities. Those with Master’s degrees are typically more competitive for doctoral graduate programs as well, should that be a possibility in the future for you.

Who should consider this path?

Students that might be interested in pursuing research post-graduation. This is an excellent degree for those interested in a terminal Master’s degree in Biology. Those with this degree are highly sought after in industry positions and are usually more attractive candidates for Ph.D. programs.
This track can also be used as a back-up plan for pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, and other pre-health professionals. If students are not accepted into their professional school of choice, they can remain in the major and get another degree in only one year while applying again to their professional school of choice.

Who is eligible?

  • Undergraduate Biology majors at UofL 
  • An undergraduate GPA of 3.35 or better
  • Completion of BIOL 240/242/244, 329, 330/331, and 363 with grades of B or better
  • GRE or comparable test scores.  While there is no minimum requirement for GRE scores, competitive students usually have an average score around the fiftieth percentile or better.  Composite MCAT or DAT scores are acceptable alternatives to the GRE for non-thesis MS applicants only.

How do I apply?

  • Submit the Biology Department Graduate Program Application. This is not the official university application but will be the main item the department sees in evaluating your application.
  • Complete the UofL School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies (SIGS) online application. This is the official UofL application and is required for all applicants. Please note there is $65 application fee.
  • Have two letters of reference sent to UofL SIGS. References may be completed electronically via the online UofL SIGS application. 
  • Have official transcripts from previous institutions sent to UofL SIGS. All academic credentials not in English must be accompanied with a notarized verbatim English translation in addition to official transcripts.
  • Have the official results of your GRE, MCAT, or DAT sent to UofL SIGS.

FAQ link (PDF)


What about a Master's Degree in Teaching?

Students who may be interested in the "Early Start Program" for the MAT are those interested in pursuing a career in teaching biology in public schools.  They will be certified to teach in Kentucky upon satisfactory completion of the MAT, and can complete both an undergraduate degree in Biology and the MAT graduate degree in five years.  More information about applying to this program is available in the MAT section of our graduate application page.