4+1 Degree in Biological Sciences

Combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees

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Biological Sciences 4+1 Degree Program Overview

Purdue University Northwest’s combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program in biological sciences allows qualified students to earn both a BS and MS in a five-year window. Jumpstart your career goals and prepare for future success with this accelerated program!

Department of Biological Sciences

Whether you plan on entering a professional school, Ph.D. program or today’s job market, our dedicated and accomplished faculty are committed to your preparation for future success in research and education.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Degree Program Curriculum

You’ll take a balance fo general education courses, College of Engineering and Sciences core courses and biology courses. The program curriculum is identical to the BS and MS degrees in biology, but students in this program can apply nine credits of 50000-level biology elective courses to fulfill both degree requirements.

After admission to the 4+1 dual degree program, you are required to meet the MS Program Coordinator and establish a tentative plan of study.

Develop foundational knowledge of key concepts in biology and learn essential lab skills.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Course of Study


  • BIOL 10008 – Foundation Of Biology
  • BIOL 11000 – Fundamentals Of Biology I
  • BIOL 10200 – Introductory Biology

Continue your study plan toward the BS degree in Biology and meet the qualifications for the 4+1 program.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Course of Study


  • BIOL 12800 – The Biology Behind Modern Medicine
  • BIOL 13100 – Biology II: Development, Structure, And Function Of Organisms
  • BIOL 14300 – Current Topics In Modern Biology

Expand your knowledge through upper-level biology courses. Apply for the 4 +1 program after completion of 80 credits toward the BS in Biology degree.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Course of Study


  • BIOL 32200 – Microbiology
  • BIOL 33000 – Biostatistics
  • BIOL 34000 – Human Physiology

Complete the senior capstone course and select nine credits of 50000-level biology courses to fulfill both degree requirements.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Course of Study


  • BIOL 58200 – Ecotoxicology
  • BIOL 58700 – Biogeography
  • BIOL 59100 – Field Ecology

During your fifth year, complete your M.S. studies by forming a graduate advisory committee and developing a plan of study. Non-thesis students complete 30 credits of coursework and take an exit exam.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Course of Study


  • BIOL 59500 – Special Assignments
  • BIOL 59700 – Sex and Evolution
  • BIOL 60100 – Graduate Seminar

Biological Sciences 4+1 Highlights

The combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in the biological sciences 4+1 program offers:

  • The opportunity to complete both degrees in five years
  • A wide variety of upper-level undergraduate and graduate course offerings
  • Small class sizes
  • Faculty-supervised research opportunities
  • Teaching assistant positions
PNW Lion Statue with a brick wall in the background Two students pose in commencement regalia in front of the Nils Building

Biological Sciences 4+1 Outcomes

As a graduate of this program, you’ll develop in-depth knowledge in biological sciences as well as critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills that will enhance your career opportunities in the field.

Biological Sciences 4+1 Employers

Graduates of this program are employed in organizations like:

  • Hospitals
  • University research laboratories
  • Food testing laboratories
  • National Park Service

Biological Sciences 4+1 Beyond the Classroom

We know that learning happens everywhere, so we encourage you to supplement your studies through research, internships, and volunteering in the community.

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Biological Sciences 4+1 Career Paths

This degree prepares you for professional and Ph.D. programs and a number of careers in the field, including:

  • Biology instructor
  • Research scientist
  • Field ecologist
  • Natural science manager

Biological Sciences 4+1 Scholarships

There are multiple scholarships available to students in this program, including:

  • Biology Scholarship
  • Donald Clark Memorial Scholarship
  • Robert G. Husted, M.D. Scholarship
  • Undergraduate and graduate teaching assistantships

See Engineering and Sciences Scholarships

I chose PNW because of my positive experience during my undergraduate years. It offered me many opportunities that helped me to get accepted into medical school. Excellent teaching and practice interviews with faculty had a significant impact on my application and academic progress.

Erick Tiemens

Compared to other institutions, the faculty at PNW showed me that they care about their students' success. That was the reason I decided that it would be the best place to complete my undergraduate program in biology and to continue on to get my master’s degree.

Joseph Floramo

Meet the Faculty

J. Curtis Creighton, Ph.D.

J. Curtis Creighton, Ph.D.

Interim Chair, Biological Sciences

Research in my lab addresses questions related to the evolution of behavior. Specifically, I combine both laboratory and field experiments to test hypotheses related to how the social environment influences life history evolution.

Scott T. Bates, Ph.D.

Scott T. Bates, Ph.D.

Nils K. Nelson Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Scott Bates is currently an assistant professor on PNW’s Westville campus, whose foci include bioinformatics, microbial ecology, microbiology and mycology. His research seeks to harness the power of modern molecular methods to broadly investigate how assemblages of microbes function in their environment.

Radmila Sarac Stanic

Radmila Sarac Stanic, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences

Radmila Stanic is an associate professor of biological sciences. Her research and teaching focus on cellular physiology, animal physiology and molecular biology.

Three students stand together wearing white lab coats and blue, plastic gloves. The student in the middle is holding a petri dish in the air.

Earn a Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Biological Sciences at PNW

Purdue University Northwest’s biological sciences 4+1 degree program prepares you for the job market, doctoral work or professional school in just five years.

Our graduate studies staff is ready to help you take the next step! Contact us at (219) 989-2257 or grad@pnw.edu to see how PNW can meet your needs.