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

How do I apply?

  • Complete the UofL Graduate School 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 the UofL Graduate School. References may be completed electronically via the online the UofL Graduate School application. 
  • Have official transcripts from previous institutions sent to the UofL Graduate School. All academic credentials not in English must be accompanied with a notarized verbatim English translation in addition to official transcripts.

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.