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.

Tuition and Aid

Fifth-Year Master’s Degree Program students are responsible for four years of undergraduate tuition and two semesters of graduate tuition. The graduate degree scholarship committee will take the undergraduate degree scholarship package into consideration when making decisions. Tuition for the graduate program covers the graduate curriculum, starting with up to two Tufts graduate summer courses (if required for the degree) taken after the student's senior year. For approved 'cross-counted' 100-level courses, graduate tuition will be reduced by the cost of the cross-counted credit hours, up to six credit-hours (two courses).


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.

Tufts undergraduate students must submit an application through the Office of Graduate Admissions.

  • 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 are not required to submit GRE scores.
  • Applicants need only submit 2 letters of recommendation.