Bachelors / Accelerated Masters Program (Combined B.S. /M.S. in Biology)

In the Accelerated Master's program (Combined B.S. / M.S.) students currently in the B.S. Biology program at Mason apply to be provisionally admitted to the M.S. Biology program at Mason in their junior year of study. Students are able to take up to six (6) credits of graduate coursework numbered between 500 and 599 in their senior year to use for the two degree programs. The graduate credits must meet the requirements for both the Bachelor's and Master's degrees, and are "shared" or applied to both degrees in Biology. These six (6) credits give the student advanced standing in the M.S. Biology program if admitted. A graduate course can be applied to the Master's program only if a grade of "B" or better is earned. Course credits are not split up to attain the 6 shared credits.


Eligible undergraduate students following the program of study for the B.S. in Biology who are in their junior year will have successfully passed the following courses with grade of "B" or higher:

BIOL 213, 303, 304, 305/306, 307, 311 and  CHEM  315 / 318, with an overall and major GPA of 3.0 or higher
Will have completed 75 undergraduate credits including BIOL 494 or 498 with an overall GPA of 3.2 or higher


Students fill out an Accelerated M.S. Program application form available online,

A total of three (3) recommendation letters from faculty are submitted with the application. One of the letters of recommendation MUST BE from the prospective graduate faculty mentor indicating their interest in advising the student for their M.S. degree program.

The application fee is waived, and students do not need to submit official transcripts. Other application documents required include current resume and a 750-1000 word goals statement. GRE scores are not required.

The online application must be submitted before the normal Master's program deadline. Students accepted into the Accelerated M.S. program will be required to meet all of the policy conditions outlined in their acceptance letter.


If accepted into the Accelerated program, students may take graduate courses numbered 500-599 once they have completed 90 undergraduate credits. The Bachelor's degree is conferred after successful completion of at least 120 credits and when all B.S. degree requirements are met.

Upon completion of the Bachelor's degree, students will have earned 6 graduate credits that can be applied towards the Master's degree once the policy conditions are met. The M.S. admission term begins the next long semester after graduation with the BS degree (spring or fall). With 6 credits of advance standing, 24 credits remain to complete the Master's degree program, including completion of a project or thesis.

Program Contacts:                                                          Admissions Office:

Dr. Ancha Baranova                                               
M.S. Biology Program Director                                            (703) 993-9700
School of Systems Biology(SSB)                                                                              

Dr. Deborah Polayes
Associate Professor, Biology
1206 Exploratory Hall, Fairfax campus