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Accelerated Undergraduate/Masters of Science Degree

Accelerated Undergraduate/Master of Science Degree
Department of Biochemistry


1. Accelerated program: Master of Science (M.S.) in Life Sciences, Department of Biochemistry

2. Admission criteria and application materials required:  A student entering the program must be in the last 12 months of their undergraduate studies with an expected overall GPA of 3.0 or higher.  The complete application for admission to the program must be submitted early in the spring semester (by March 31) of the Junior year of the student through the Virginia Tech’s online system ( and it must accompany the following documents: a scanned copy or pdf version of college transcripts (an official copy to be sent to the Graduate School after the issuance of an offer of admission in late April of the Junior year); the names, affiliations and email addresses of three references (the applicant to request the letters that to be submitted directly by the references online); a statement of motivation and career objectives; a résumé that to include experience and qualifications.  As a part of this process the student will complete the Accelerated Undergraduate/ Graduate Degree and Course Designation Form.

The selection will be based on relevant academic achievements and the motivation and purpose of pursuing a M.S. degree in Biochemistry as evident in the student’s transcripts, statement and resume and the recommendation letters.  In the first semester of their accelerated program (typically Fall of the senior year or the first year in graduate program) the selected students will enroll in the courses that will be used for meeting the requirement for the M.S. degree. Although the schedule stated above considers Fall entry to the accelerated program, an entry in the Spring semester would be considered case by case.

3. The number of credits to be double counted towards undergraduate and graduate degrees: 12 (up to 6 credits at the 4000 level; rest from graduate level coursework).  For each of these courses the grade must be at least B, and these courses must not be taken on pass-fail basis.

4. Faculty advisors, and mentoring during program:  The student would approach Biochemistry faculty members for serving as major advisor.  The announcement for the program will encourage the students to select and join the advising laboratory in the Fall or Spring of the Junior Year, before formal admission to the program.

The student will form a graduate advisory committee one semester prior to completion of the senior year or first year in graduate program (typically December) and this committee will continue to advise the student through the graduation with MS degree.

5. Courses to be used for graduate plans of study and specialization in biochemistry application areas: Students will follow the requirements stipulated for the Master of Science in Life Sciences (MSLS) Degree from the Department of Biochemistry (

6. Thesis/non-thesis options: A student in the accelerated program would have the option of pursuing either a Thesis or Non-Thesis option for the M.S. degree and the requirements would be same as that of the regular M.S. degree in Biochemistry.  The student must declare the chosen option in the first year of the program (by the end of the senior year or the first year in graduate program) in consultation with the advisor and receive approval of the advisory committee.