Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program: BS/MS in Biology

The Biology Department offers exceptional Tufts undergraduate Biology majors the option of earning a Fifth-Year Master’s Degree: BS/MS in Biology. This program allows students to finish the 120-hour undergraduate degree and the 30-hour master's degree in five years.

Graduates of the Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program receive both a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree from Tufts, and each degree is awarded upon completion of requirements for each portion. Students will graduate with an undergraduate degree with their undergraduate class, and graduate with a master's degree with their master’s cohort, after the graduate requirements are met.

Program Requirements and Policies

  • Graduates of the Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program must complete all requirements for both the BS in Biology and the MS in Biology.
  • Completion of ten courses (numbered 100 or above) with grades of B- or better is required for the master’s degree.
  • Up to two 100-level courses may be cross-counted from courses taken for the bachelors. These can applied toward the masters provided the 'shared' courses were taken in Biology.
  • Completing the BS/MS requires 8 semesters of full-time undergraduate residency, and 2 semesters of full-time graduate residency. Graduate residency can only begin after the undergraduate degree is completed. Please visit the Bulletin for more information.


Undergraduates should apply to the Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program by the end of the spring semester of their junior year. Senior year applications will only be considered if space allows. For application deadlines, please see the GSAS Fifth-Year Master's Degree Program information.

During the early months of their junior year, students are required to contact their academic adviser and arrange a meeting with Prof. George Ellmore to facilitate program planning.

  • Competitive applicants will have an overall minimum GPA of 3.5, applicants not meeting the GPA requirement will still be considered and reviewed by the department.
  • Applicants are not required to pay the graduate application fee.
  • Applicants need only submit 2 letters of recommendation.


Tuition and Aid

Fifth-Year Master's students may seek financial aid assistance for their graduate degree. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences provides a graduate tuition scholarship proportional to the undergraduate tuition award at the time of application.

If admitted to your program, you will reduce the cost of your master's by applying credits already earned as an undergraduate. Students accepted into a Fifth-year Master's Program will be charged graduate tuition per-credit once they receive their bachelor’s degree and only for the courses that are left to complete.