Get a Master's Degree in One Year
This program is specifically for USC Undergraduates who have completed 90 hours of course credit and have at least a 3.4 cumulative GPA. It's best suited for students already actively involved doing undergraduate research in a Biology professor's laboratory, who would like to extend their research experience an additional year past their bachelor's degree and earn a Master of Science degree (M.S.). If interested, you should discuss this option with your research professor.
Identify 12 upper level credits (500+).
These credits will count towards both your bachelor's and master's degree. To do this, you submit two forms to the USC Graduate School:
Fill out a normal application for the Biology Graduate program.
On your application, specify the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Graduate Study in Biological Sciences as your program and identify your proposed professor/mentor. Your professor/mentor must also submit a letter supporting your application. It is advisable that you and your professor/mentor discuss your plans with the Biology Graduate Director.
Work toward your degrees.
You'll participate in the Biological Sciences Graduate program along with other graduate students and conduct a research project and write and defend a Master's Thesis. You must register for classes and complete a total of 30 credits, including those you identified to the Graduate School. These course credits can include Research (Biol 758, 798) and Thesis Preparation (Biol 799). Specifics of the Biology M.S. program are detailed in the "Biology Graduate Handbook".
There is no guaranteed support for students in this program. Nevertheless, you will be eligible for teaching assistant and research assistant support on a term-by-term basis if such support is available. You should discuss these possibilities with your prospective professor/mentor and with the Graduate Director.
In the absence of financial support, the Accelerated Bachelor's/Graduate Studies program should be viewed as an opportunity for you to gain quality research experience at the graduate level and earn a M.S. degree. A successful graduate research experience greatly enhances your prospects for admission into a competitive graduate program or strengthens your prospects for admission to medical school. The program also serves as a valuable transition year, allowing you to refocus your interests and goals to your post graduate life.