Fast Track Biology, BS to Biology, MS

Program Description

The university allows the opportunity for high-achieving students to count a select number of graduate credits toward their undergraduate degree and thereby obtain a graduate degree at an accelerated pace. Students interested in the Fast Track in Biology must meet the following application criteria:

  • Currently seeking a BS in Biology at A&M-Corpus Christi.
  • Minimum of a 3.0 GPA (with 3.4 GPA in math and science courses) in the last 60 SCH at the time of Fast Track application.
  • Classified as a Senior with successful completion of at least 90 SCH, including
    BIOL 1406Biology I4
    BIOL 1407Biology II4
    BIOL 2371Principles of Evolution3
    BIOL 2416Genetics4
    BIOL 2421Microbiology4
    BIOL 3428Principles of Ecology4
    CHEM 1411General Chemistry I4
    CHEM 1212
    MATH 2413Calculus I4
    Select one of the following:
    University Seminar I
    and University Seminar II
    Professional Skills

Students accepted into the Fast Track program will be given permission to enroll in up to six hours of prescribed graduate courses during their last semester of undergraduate studies. The hours for these graduate courses will “double-count” toward both the (120-hour) undergraduate and (36-hour) graduate programs. The BS and MS degrees will be awarded sequentially (i.e., upon completion of each degree) and not simultaneously. Students will be allowed to continue enrollment in the graduate program upon successful completion of the 120-hour undergraduate degree.

Admissions Requirements

Applicants must provide the following at the time of application:

  • A completed application form. Application fees are waived for Fast Track applicants.
  • Official transcripts of all college and university coursework.
  • A faculty member must be willing to serve as the chair of the applicant’s Graduate Advisory Committee and the applicant must include a summary of discussions with faculty members in their essay. Students must contact potential advisors prior to and during the application process to discuss research opportunities in faculty member labs.
  • An essay (not more than 1000 words) describing educational and career goals and interests as they relate to program faculty.
  • Applicants who do not have a faculty member willing to serve as their committee chair at the time of the transition from BS to MS cannot remain in the program.
  • Official GRE scores by the time the student is reclassified to MS.

No criterion is weighted more heavily than any other criterion. Applications received or completed after the deadline for admission during one semester may be considered for admission in the following semester at the applicant’s request. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by email.

Academic Preparation

A degree candidate who lacks adequate academic preparation may be required by his or her Graduate Advisory Committee to complete undergraduate course work prior to the completion of the MS degree. Such course work (4000-sequence or lower) will be regarded as foundation or prerequisite work and will not count as credit towards the total required for completion of the degree.

Fast Track Curriculum in the Senior Year

During their last semester of undergraduate studies, BS Biology students accepted into the Fast Track will take up to six hours of approved graduate courses. The hours for these graduate courses will “double-count” toward both the (120-hour) undergraduate and (36-hour) graduate programs.

See the Graduate Catalog for a complete description of the degree requirements for the MS in Biology.