Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's of Science
If you want to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degrees within a five-year period, we offer accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science (BS/MS) programs for all of our undergraduate degrees.
To get started, first ensure you are enrolled in a bachelor's degree that is eligible for the accelerated SOLS master's degree of your choosing. Up to date accelerated BS/MS degree options can be browsed on The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Accelerated Master's Degrees page. After completing at least 75 credit hours in your bachelor's and before starting your final two undergraduate semesters, or final 30 credit hours, you will need to complete a Phase 1 application for preliminary approval to share credits. If approved, in the final two semesters of your bachelor's, you will be required to complete a Phase 2 application, which is ASU's formal graduate admissions application. This process is detailed further in the application process section on this page.
If accepted, you will begin taking courses toward your master’s degree during your final two semesters in your bachelor's degree.
If you choose the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program, you will need only 138 credit hours for both degrees. If you chose to complete the degrees separately, you will need 150 total credit hours.
If you have any questions about the process or would like to schedule an advising appointment, please reach out to the SOLS Graduate Office at email@example.com.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for admission to fall, spring, or summer semesters. As an undergraduate student, you are encouraged to apply for the accelerated Bachelor of Science/Master of Science program after completing 75 credit hours counting toward your bachelor’s degree. At the latest, please apply at the deadlines described below, before your final two undergraduate semesters.
|BS graduation term
|Phase 1 application deadline
December 1, 2023 (If not taking summer courses)
April 1, 2024 (If taking summer courses)
|July 1, 2024
|December 1, 2024
December 1, 2024 (if not taking summer courses)
April 1, 2025 (if taking summer courses)
- Must be in an eligible undergraduate degree and select an eligible master's degree as listed here: Accelerated Masters Degrees
- Must have at least 75 credit hours completed toward your undergraduate degree
- Must have a GPA of at least 3.0
- Must have at least 2 full semesters or 30 credits left before graduating with undergraduate degree
- Must have identified a faculty advisor willing to host research (MS Biology - Coursework & Capstone applicants exempt from this requirement)
- Please note that a faculty advisor must meet programmatic requirements to be a thesis advisor. To ensure your faculty advisor meets requirements, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org before completing the Phase 1 Application to obtain confirmation.
If you meet the above criteria and wish to apply, please meet with your undergraduate advisor to confirm your progress and discuss room for sharing credits. Then, proceed with the appropriate Accelerated BS/MS Application linked below.
*Please note that you must be in an eligible online undergraduate degree to do the online accelerated BS/MS, and the only MS option available online in the School of Life Sciences is the MS in Biology - Coursework & Capstone.
If you are approved in Phase 1 of the Accelerated BS/MS application process, you will receive confirmation from the SOLS Graduate Office with details about your next steps. You will be required to complete an ASU Graduate Admissions Application for the master's degree you were approved to complete in an accelerated capacity during Phase 1. You must apply for the start of your plus one year, selecting the admit term that follows your expected bachelor's graduation. This must be submitted by the end of your first shared semester to allow sufficient time for review.
The following components are required in the online application:
- Personal statement of interest
- Transcripts for all universities and colleges outside ASU
- 1-3 letters of recommendation (program dependent), including one letter of recommendation from the faculty member who will advise you for your master's thesis (if applicable)
- Academic record form
- Writing sample (biology and society concentration only)
- Note: A GRE is not required
Once you submit your application and pay the application fee, it will go through a review process. We will wait for your three letters of recommendation to be submitted by each recommender. After those are received, a decision will be made on your application in 4-6 weeks, at which point you will receive communication about that decision.
Please note that you will continue to be considered an undergraduate student until you graduate with your undergraduate degree and move into the plus one year as a graduate student.
Bachelor of Science requirements
- 120 credit hours in your chosen Bachelor of Science program
- 12 credit hours may be shared between the accelerated bachelor's/master's degrees (6 of which can be 400 level credits). In the accelerated bachelor’s/master’s program, you will complete 138 credit hours for the two degrees
Master of Science requirements
- 30 credits of approved graduate course work (see below)
- Develop an individual plan of study (iPOS) in consultation with your advisor and supervisory committee
- Complete a research thesis and defend it orally (an undergraduate honors thesis cannot substitute for a master's thesis) or complete an applied project or capstone course
- No more than six hours of 400 level courses will apply to the master's degree
The master’s coursework required for the bachelor's/master's is the same as the master’s coursework in our standard Master of Science degrees.
Shared credit hours
- 12 credit hours may be shared between the two degrees
- Choose these credits after consulting your undergraduate advisor and prospective master's advisor
- Shared courses are typically chosen according to your research interest
Once accepted into the accelerated program
- You must draft, together with your advisor, a preliminary plan of study (PPOS) for the Master of Science program. This file will be shared with you upon Phase 1 approval.
- Your degree program must include up to 6 credits of shared 400-level courses and up to 6 credits of 500-level courses.
Note: Only credit hours completed after you are accepted into phase one of the accelerated program can be shared. Six credit hours or more of shared coursework must be 500-level courses.
Thesis Master's Milestones for BS/MS Students
The following are required milestones once you have graduated with your BS and have begun registering as a master’s student.
1. Supervisory committee
Your advisor is appointed during your application to the Bachelor of Science/Master of Science program. You should work with your faculty advisor to form your full advisory committee by the end of your first semester as a master’s student.
Your advisor will chair your supervisory committee and must be a member of the appropriate graduate faculty endorsed to chair. At least three members (advisor and two+ others) will serve on your committee.
If you are in the MS Biology (Coursework & Capstone) or the MS Computational Life Sciences (Applied Project or Capstone), you will only need to submit a committee chair, which in most cases will be the Program Director of your master's program.
2. Interactive Plan of Study (iPOS)
File by the end of your first semester as a master's student.
3. Thesis research proposal (if applicable)
Aim to complete by the end of your first semester as an master's student. However, you should ultimately be working out a timeline for your research and desired thesis defense with your faculty advisor and committee.
- The written thesis prospectus must contain: a description of the research question and its significance; a detailed work plan for data collection, analysis and writing; and a complete bibliography.
- The goal of the prospectus is to help your committee determine whether you have the necessary knowledge, and whether your research is on track to continue with the research and begin writing a thesis. You must have an answerable research question, full knowledge of sources, and plans for conducting the research and writing the thesis that provide the committee milestones to assess.
4. Application for graduation
Submitted at the beginning of your second semester as a master's student, or the semester in which you plan to defend or complete your capstone and graduate.
5. Thesis Defense (if applicable)
Completed by end of second semester as a master's student. If your research progress alters your planned time to defend, simply keep your iPOS up to date with your planned anticipated semester to graduate.
- Register for 1 or more hours of appropriate graduate level credit during the semester you defend your thesis
- You and your supervisory committee should review ASU's graduation deadlines and schedule your defense at a mutually agreed upon time. To effectively coordinate schedules, plan a defense date with your committee several months in advance. If you need to reserve a room for your defense, you may request a SOLS room reservation here.
- Approximately two months before your defense, submit a complete draft of your thesis to your committee for comments. Consult with your committee in case they have different expectations.
- You must submit a request to hold the defense via your iPOS at least 10 working days prior to your scheduled defense date.
- The first part of your defense is a public presentation of your thesis research. After the public presentation and questions from the audience, you will be examined by your supervisory committee, which will determine whether to award your Master of Science degree.
Accelerated BS/MS Program Information Sessions
The SOLS Graduate Office hosts information sessions each semester for students interested in our accelerated BS/MS programs. To inquire about the next information session date, please reach out to email@example.com. You can also access the presentation slides from a previous information session by clicking the button below.
For individualized support as you explore accelerated BS/MS program options, you may schedule an advising appointment with a Program Coordinator in the SOLS Graduate Office. Please click the button to schedule an appointment.
SOLS Graduate Student Success Site
The SOLS Graduate Office has created an internal site designed to help students access the information they may need to be successful in their programs. The site has a wide array of helpful information, including course offering lists on each of the master's degree pages which may support coursework planning for accelerated BS/MS students choosing shared coursework.