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3+2 BA-Masters Program in Biological Sciences

What is a BA-Masters degree program? The program is designed for Binghamton University students who want to earn both a BA and Masters degrees in Biology in 5 years. The requirements for completion of the combined BA-Masters degree program are identical to those for completion of the two separate degrees. Students are able to complete the requirements in five years because 12 hours of course work that is taken for the Masters degree (500-600 level) also count for the undergraduate degree. If for some reason a student decides not to continue with the 5-year program, the B.A. can still be awarded provided of course that all requirements for the major have been fulfilled.

* Examples of career tracks for which the B.A.-Masters in biology will be appropriate
* What is the difference between the B.A.-M.A. and the B.A.-M.S.?
* What are the specific requirements for the B.A.-M.A. and the B.A.-M.S. degrees?
* When do students apply to enter the program? What are the criteria for admission? Do I need to take the GRE examination?
* Is there a sample 5-year curriculum guide?

The program is appropriate for students who want to:

· Increase their preparation for medical school. An additional year of research and coursework can strengthen academic training and credentials while allowing exploration of other career options.
· Determine whether they want to pursue a PhD. An additional year of research and coursework will help ascertain whether a research career is desired.
· Prepare for a science-based career in industry. Employers are looking for people who have excellent training in science, and teamwork and communication skills, which an extra year in a research environment can provide. Salaries for people with Masters degrees are about $10,000 higher than for those with Bachelors degrees. Students who are more interested in the business aspects of a career in industry should explore the B.A.-MBA alternative.
· Prepare for a career in teaching. Science teachers are in high demand, but Masters degrees are often expected within a few years of employment (e.g., 5 years in New York). A Masters degree also can lead to administrative positions in schools and educational organizations.

What is the difference between the M.A. and the M.S. degrees?

In terms of pay scale by an employer, there is no difference. Instead, the employer will adjust the salary of someone with a Masters degree according to those elements of a person's experience and background that is deemed to be desirable to the employer. But if you are preparing for a career that requires substantial research experience, then you should opt for an M.S. [research thesis degree]. If you think you may eventually want a Ph.D., then opt for the M.S. [research thesis degree].

What are the specific requirements for the B.A.-M.A. and the B.A.-M.S. degrees?

For the BA, the Department's standard requirements apply.

The Masters' degree requirements are as follows:
· 24 credits of BIOL 500-600, excluding BIOL 599.
· 30 credits for graduation.
· Maintain a 3.0 GPA for graduation.
· For the M.S. degree, completion of a research project (6 credits of Biology 599), presentation and defense of the thesis to the department, and submission of an approved thesis.
· For the MA degree, completion of a substantial review paper and defense of the paper before the supervisory committee.

When do students apply to enter the program? What are the criteria for admission?

When to start the application process:
Students sign a letter of intent in their sophomore year. The department will then facilitate the student's affiliation with a research advisor.
Students fill out the application form in their 6th semester. Click here for guidelines to see what completed courses, grade point average and letters of recommendation will be required by that time.

Who may apply
Completion of 96 credit-hours by projected time of admission to the 3+2 program
Completion of at least the following courses:
BIOL 117 and 118 or equivalent
CHEM 107 and 108 or equivalent
CHEM 231, 332, 335 or equivalent
Statistics (MATH 147, PSYC 243, ECON 366, or BIOL 458)
Four credits in Math/Science/CS/Eng'g electives
BIOL 301 or BIOL 311
BIOL 355 (or equivalent) or BIOL 351
BIOL course numbered 300 and above, with laboratory component -- Students applying for the 3+2 B.A.+M.S. must be completing at least one semester of BIOL 497.
GPA of 3.2 for Biology and 3.2 overall

What to submit
Application form filled out
Personal statement (~500 words) - why student seeks admission into program
Official transcript of records (sealed)
Two letters of recommendation from individuals, preferably faculty, with knowledge
of the student's undergraduate level work
Letter of commitment from Biology faculty member who will be the project/thesis mentor
GRE examination is NOT required for the 3+2 program.

Deadline - everything submitted, including letters of recommendation and commitment
When applying for admission in Fall, deadline is March 15.
When applying for admission in Spring, deadline is October 15.

Inquiries
Direct inquiries to Dr. William Stein or Dr. Steven Tammariello (tammarie@binghamton.edu)

 


Sample 5-year curriculum guide leading to the B.A.-M.S. degree:

The student must obtain approval of a proposed program of study from the Department's Graduate Committee, which includes courses per semester and an outline of the research project. The faculty sponsor will assist the student with that. The student must maintain a 3.2 GPA in Biology during the remainder of the Bachelor's work.

Year 1, Fall Semester - 16 cr + 1 cr Phys Ed, all undergraduate

Biology 117 - Introductory Organismal and Population Biology
Chemistry 107 - Introductory Chemistry I
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N or A and also at the same time a Foreign Language course, if required for student. If Foreign Language not required for student, try to get an H, N or A course also designated C
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and if quota not yet fulfilled, also a C course
Physical Education Y course

Year 1, Spring Semester - 16 cr + 1 cr Phys Ed, all undergraduate

Biology 118 - Introductory Cell and Molecular Biology
Chemistry 108 - Introductory Chemistry II
Mathematics 147 - Elementary Statistics
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and also at the same time a Foreign Language course, if required for student. If Foreign Language not required for student, try to get an H, N or A course also designated C
Physical Education S course

Year 2, Fall Semester - 16 cr, all undergraduate

Biology 301 (Molecular Genetics) or Biology 311 (Cell Biology)
Chemistry 231 - Organic Chemistry I
Math/Science/CS/Eng'g - elective to fulfill BA Biology major
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and also at the same time a G or P course

Year 2, Spring Semester - 18 cr, all undergraduate

Biology 351 (Mechanisms in Evolution) or Biology 355 (or Biology 373) (Ecology)
Chemistry 332 - Organic Chemistry II
Chemistry 335 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2 cr)
Math/Science/CS/Eng'g - elective to fulfill BA Biology major
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and also at the same time a G or P course

Year 3, Fall Semester - 16 cr, all undergraduate

Biology 300 or 400 level course - elective with laboratory
Biology 300 or 400 level course - elective
Biology 497 - Independent Field or Laboratory Research
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and if quota not yet fulfilled, also a C course

Year 3, Spring Semester - 16 cr, all undergraduate

Biology 300 or 400 level course - elective with laboratory
Biology 497 - Independent Field or Laboratory Research
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and if quota not yet fulfilled, also a C course
Humanities / Soc Sci Harpur College distribution course, also serving as Gen-Ed H, N, or A and if quota not yet fulfilled, also a C course

*****By this time, student will still need 28 undergraduate credits for graduation. Of these, 12 can be graduate courses (500 or 600 level) which can be double-counted, leaving just any 16 cr for graduation. In the fourth year, students take 12 credits of BIOL 500-600 courses, excluding BIOL 599. If the objective is an M.S. degree, they should begin their research project and can receive credit by registering for BIOL 597. In the summer after the fourth year, they take BIOL 597/599 (4 credits), which means they work on their research project during the summer. Because the M.S. Biology is a research degree, the M.S. portion of the B.A.-M.S. program requires a full year of research (the fourth summer for research and perhaps the fifth summer to complete the writing and defense).

Year 4, Fall Semester

Biology 597 - Independent Studies in Biology (4 credits)
Biol 5xx or 6xx (4 credits)
Other (Be sure to complete all Gen-Ed and Harpur College course requirements)
Other

Year 4, Spring Semester

Biology 597 - Independent Studies in Biology (4 credits)
Other (Be sure to complete all Gen-Ed and Harpur College course requirements)
Other
Other
*****Undergraduate degree requirements fulfilled and B.A. degree awarded.
Summer - full time work on research project

Year 5, Fall Semester (12 credits)

Biol 599 - Thesis Research for MS
Biol 5xx
Biol 680 - Topics in Biology

Year 5, Spring Semester (12 credits)

Biol 599 - Thesis Research for MS
Biol 5xx
Biol 680 - Topics in Biology
*****M.S. Biology degree course requirements fulfilled, with completion of 36 or more graduate credits; and completion and defense of research project.

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Last Updated: 6/1/12