Close up shot of a professor using a pipette on a microscope slide

Accelerated Dual-Degree BS in Biology/MS in Molecular and Cell Biology (3+1)

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Introduction

From the latest Alzheimer’s breakthrough to the limitless potential of stem cells, the specialized fields of biology and molecular and cell biology are providing some of the most significant innovations in medical science today.

Program Overview

Before we can cure the most challenging diseases of our time, we need to understand their root causes at the molecular and cellular levels. This accelerated dual-degree BS/MS program is completed in four years and reflects the modern health care and medical technology landscape. You’ll have the specialized skills and knowledge you’ll need to join the fight against HIV, Parkinson’s and cancer, and you’ll be ready to join the next generation of leaders in growing industries such as biotechnology and biopharmaceuticals. 

You’ll build a basic foundation in biology, chemistry, biochemistry and physics during the undergraduate portion of the program, preparing you for the more advanced graduate-level work in your fourth year. You can add to your in-class knowledge with experiential learning opportunities with a number of prominent area biotech and biomedical firms.

Through hands-on undergraduate and graduate laboratory courses, you’ll learn to analyze genes using modern instrumentation such as thermal cyclers, and examine biological and chemical material with a variety of sophisticated microscopes and other lab technology. Our faculty members come from a diverse range of professional backgrounds and offer a blend of traditional lectures and hands-on lab courses. You also will benefit from an array of guest lectures by local scientists from medical schools, pharmaceutical and biomedical firms. 

Photograph

A male student applies a label to an amber-colored jar outside

Getting your hands and feet wet

A research assistant labels a bottle of drain pipe water he collected in Wallingford as part of a summer water quality study on pollution in the Quinnipiac River. The 2015 study was funded by the Quinnipiac River Grant through the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Faculty Profile

Study reveals possible cancer link in river

Courtney McGinnis, assistant professor of biology, recently received a grant from Connecticut Community Foundation to launch a research study to help determine if a link exists between the Naugatuck River and the high number of breast and reproductive cancer cases in the Naugatuck Valley.   

McGinnis, who grew up in Oxford, Connecticut, spent the summer studying the river quality with student research assistants to specifically look for the presence of phthalates, a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible. They took water samples from a total of 11 sites along the river. Their samples showed the presence of phthalates at sites in Ansonia, Seymour, Beacon Falls, Naugatuck and Waterbury.   

McGinnis filed a preliminary report with the Connecticut Family Foundation. She plans to apply for more grants to continue research in the Naugatuck River in the future.

Headshot of Courtney McGinnis

Striving for excellence

Assistant Professor Courtney McGinnis was recently recognized for her service to students during the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Service to Students annual awards ceremony.

Accelerated Dual-degree

Changes in the field of biology are happening fast. Our Accelerated Dual-Degree BS/MS helps you keep pace.

The BS/MS accelerated dual-degree program enables you to earn your undergraduate and graduate degrees sooner and at a significantly lower cost compared to traditional models.

  • You'll save on tuition costs and enter the workforce early by completing your program at least 1 year sooner.
  • You'll leverage that year’s worth of earnings to further reduce the cost of your education.
  • You'll enjoy flat tuition and fees for the 4 years, including summer credits and course overage credits.
  • You'll maintain your academic scholarships through program completion. 

$100,000+


Accelerated dual-degree savings

The combined value of reduced program costs and average starting salary upon entering the workforce one year early is approximately $100,000.

Careers

A bachelor’s degree combined with a master’s degree can be useful in a number of career areas. Graduates can work in health and medicine, drug development, agriculture and related professions; research, university and college teaching. Graduates gain abilities that are valued in a wide spectrum of potential careers.

Examples of careers for molecular and cell biology majors:

Medicine, Health and Pharmaceutical

  • Genetic Engineering
  • Medical Research
  • Biotechnology
  • Clinical Diagnostics
  • Nutrition
  • Toxicology

Business

  • Environmental Consultant
  • Health Care Policy
  • Medical Technology
  • Product Quality
  • Science Journalism
  • Training

Government/Education

  • College/University Teaching
  • Food Safety
  • Medical/Biotechnology Policy
  • Research Coordinator
  • Science Administration
  • Technical Writing

Curriculum and Requirements

Accelerated Dual-Degree BS in Biology/ MS in Molecular and Cell Biology (3+1)

Recommended Curriculum:

The minimum number of credits required for the undergraduate degree is 120, and the minimum number of credits required for the graduate degree is 34. A maximum of 9 graduate credits may be used to fulfill both undergraduate and graduate requirements.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterCredits
BIO 150
& 150L
General Biology for Majors
and General Biology for Majors Laboratory
4
CHE 110
& 110L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Lab
4
MA 140 Pre-Calculus 3
EN 101 Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing 3
FYS 101 First-Year Seminar 3
 Credits17
Spring Semester
BIO 151
& 151L
Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics
and Molecular and Cell Biology and Genetics Lab
4
CHE 111
& 111L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Lab
4
MA 141 Calculus of a Single Variable 3
EN 102 Academic Writing and Research 3
UC Elective 3
 Credits17
Summer Semester
UC Elective 3
UC Elective 3
Open Elective 3
Open Elective 3
 Credits12
Second Year
Fall Semester
BIO 152
& 152L
Ecological and Biological Diversity
and Ecological and Biological Diversity Laboratory
4
BIO 298 Research Methods in Biology 3
CHE 210
& 210L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
4
Foreign Language I 3
UC Elective 3
 Credits17
Spring Semester
BIO Elective 4
BIO Elective 4
CHE 210
& 210L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Lab
4
Foreign Language II 3
UC Elective 3
 Credits18
Summer Semester
PHY 110
& 110L
General Physics I
and General Physics I Lab
4
PHY 111
& 111L
General Physics II
and General Physics II Lab
4
 Credits8
Third Year
Fall Semester
BIO Elective 4
BIO 571 Molecular Genetics 4
UC Capstone 3
UC Elective 3
Open Elective 3
 Credits17
Spring Semester
BIO Elective 3
BIO 515 Advanced Biochemistry 4
BIO 605 DNA Methods Laboratory 4
Open Elective 3
Open Elective 3
 Credits17
Summer Semester
BIO 688 Independent Study 3
 Credits3
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
BIO 568 Molecular and Cell Biology 4
BIO 606 Protein Methods Laboratory 4
Graduate Elective 3
 Credits11
Spring Semester
BIO 675 Comp Exam in Molecular and Cell Biology 2
Graduate Elective 3
Graduate Elective 3
 Credits8
 Total Credits145

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