Biochemistry and Biotechnology MS Accelerated Master's Degree

The Biochemistry and Biotechnology (BCBT) Program offers an Accelerated MS degree program that allows students to simultaneously earn their BS and their MS in BCBT. Students accepted to the Accelerated MS degree program will be permitted to count up to 9 credits toward both degrees. 

Students are encouraged to work closely with their BCBT undergraduate advisor, the Accelerated MS advisor, and the BCBT Program Director to ensure that courses are timed appropriately to maximize their benefits. It is strongly recommended that students meet with the Accelerated MS advisor as soon as possible, ideally before their junior year.

Students in the Accelerated MS program will complete the MS through the non-thesis coursework path. The thesis MS and Professional Science MS programs cannot be combined with this program.


Students need to have fulfilled the core curriculum requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree prior to applying for the Accelerated MS program.

Biology Core Courses
BIOL 1831Introductory Biology: From Molecules to Organisms (MOTR BIOL 150L)5
BIOL 2012Genetics3
BIOL 2013Genetics Laboratory2
BIOL 2482Microbiology3
BIOL 2483Microbiology Laboratory2
BIOL 3622Cell Biology3
Chemistry Core Course
CHEM 1111Introductory Chemistry I (MOTR CHEM 150L)5
CHEM 1121Introductory Chemistry II5
CHEM 2223Quantitative Analysis in Chemistry4
CHEM 2612Organic Chemistry I3
CHEM 2622Organic Chemistry II3
CHEM 2633Organic Chemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 3302Physical Chemistry for The Life Sciences3
Math and Physics Core Courses
MATH 1030College Algebra (MOTR MATH 130)3
MATH 1035Trigonometry2
MATH 1100Basic Calculus3
or MATH 1800 Analytic Geometry and Calculus I
PHYSICS 1011Basic Physics I3
PHYSICS 1012Basic Physics II3

Admission Requirements

Provisional Admission

Applicants are considered for provisional admission if they meet the following criteria.

  • Earned 60 hours as an undergraduate
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 with a B or better in all core courses listed above
  • Have approval from both their BCBT undergraduate advisor and BCBT Program Director

It is recommended to apply for provisional status as a junior, preferably in the first semester of junior year.

Graduate course options for Provisional students are listed below. Courses completed by undergraduate students who have been provisionally admitted to the Accelerated MS program can count towards both their BS and MS degrees.  Courses in this phase will be charged at the undergraduate tuition rate; however, these courses will count toward the master’s degree.  Courses must be approved before the semester starts. Any 4000-level course taken before admission to the Accelerated MS program will apply to the undergraduate requirements only.

Seniors who have earned more than 105 credit hours cannot be considered for the Accelerated MS degree program. 

Graduate Admission

Applicants are considered for graduate admission with the following criteria.

  • Are in their final semester in undergraduate status
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.0 since being granted provisional status
  • Submitted at least one positive recommendation letter from an UMSL BCBT faculty member
  • Submitted to the BCBT Program Director a statement of purpose explaining why an advanced degree in BCBT is of interest and why the applicant merits consideration
  • Have met with the BCBT Accelerated MS advisor

Based on the above information, the BCBT undergraduate advisor, Accelerated MS advisor and Program Director will determine whether the student can apply for graduate admission. The final decision concerning graduate admission is made by the BCBT Program Director and the Graduate School. Students admitted to the graduate program must take graduate courses until the completion of the MS degree.

Completing the BS and MS Degrees

To finish the BCBT BS degree, a student must also complete the following requirements.

Biochemistry and Biotechnology Core Courses
Choose one of the following: 3
Molecular Biology (upper level Molecular Biology or equivalent course required for MS)
Synthetic Biology
Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
BIOL 4614Biotechnology Laboratory I4
CHEM 4712Biochemistry3
CHEM 4733Biochemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 4722Advanced Biochemistry (Chem 5722 required for MS)3
or CHEM 5722 Advanced Graduate Biochemistry
BIOL 4797Biochemistry and Biotechnology Seminar1
or CHEM 4797 Biochemistry and Biotechnology Seminar
Biochemistry and Biotechnology Elective Courses
Choose two of the following courses:6
Physical Biochemistry
Advanced Physical Biochemistry
Introduction to Bioinformatics
Foundations of Physical Chemistry
Advanced Organic Chemistry I - Physical Organic
Special Topics in Organic Chemistry
Special Topics in Biochemistry
Problem Seminar in Biochemistry
Developmental Biology
Advanced Developmental Biology
Bacterial Pathogenesis
Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis
Molecular Biology
Advanced Molecular Biology
Synthetic Biology
Advanced Synthetic Biology
Biotechnology Laboratory II (BIOL 6615 required for MS)
Advanced Biotechnology Laboratory II
Cellular Basis of Disease
Advanced Cellular Basis of Disease
Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
Advanced Nucleic Acid Structure and Function
Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
Advanced Plant Biology and Biotechnology
Research ((must be supervised by BCBT faculty))
Selected Topics in Biology (when relevant)
Advanced Topics in Biology
Chemical Research (must be supervised by BCBT faculty)
Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory
Advanced Genetics
Total Hours22

Courses for both BS and MS Credit

The following Biology or Chemistry courses can count toward both the BCBT BS and BCBT MS degree, up to a maximum of 9 credit hours.

CHEM 4733Biochemistry Laboratory2
CHEM 5302Foundations of Physical Chemistry3
CHEM 5602Advanced Organic Chemistry I - Physical Organic3
CHEM 5694Special Topics in Organic Chemistry1
CHEM 5722Advanced Graduate Biochemistry3
CHEM 5772Advanced Physical Biochemistry (CHEM 5722 required for MS)3
CHEM 5774Bioinformatics 13
CHEM 5794Special Topics in Biochemistry1
CHEM 6787Problem Seminar in Biochemistry1
BIOL 4842Immunobiology3
BIOL 5012Advanced Genetics3
BIOL 5436Advanced Applied Bioinformatics 13
BIOL 6442Advanced Developmental Biology3
BIOL 6550Advanced Bacterial Pathogenesis3
BIOL 6602Advanced Molecular Biology3
BIOL 6608Advanced Synthetic Biology3
BIOL 6615Advanced Biotechnology Laboratory II4
BIOL 6622Advanced Cellular Basis of Disease3
BIOL 6632Advanced Nucleic Acid Structure and Function3
BIOL 6642Advanced Plant Biology and Biotechnology3
BIOL 6652Advanced Virology3
BIOL 6920Advanced Topics in Biology1

One Bioinformatics course is required for the MS.

Other courses may be allowed upon approval of the Graduate Program Director.

Awarding of Degrees

The undergraduate degree will be awarded when the student meets the requirements for the BS degree, including at least 120 total credit hours, completion of the BCBT core, electives, and laboratory requirements, and completion of the associated requirements. The student must work with the undergraduate advisor and/or the Accelerated MS advisor to apply to graduate. In their final semester in undergraduate status, the student must apply and be admitted to the graduate program to begin the following semester.

The graduate degree will be awarded when the student meets the requirements for the MS degree, including at least 30 credit hours of coursework at the graduate level. The student must work with the Accelerated MS advisor and Program Director to apply to graduate.

If the student fails to enroll for more than one year after receiving the bachelor's degree, the student can still earn the master’s degree, but the graduate-level credits earned as an undergraduate cannot be used for the graduate degree.