The Biology major provides students with a breadth of understanding across the full range of biological disciplines as well as an opportunity to explore one of several specialized areas in greater depth. Required coursework for the major and different specializations establishes a core of fundamental knowledge in biology and related sciences. Students build on this foundation through a variety of lecture, laboratory, field, and seminar courses that offer them the opportunity to focus on specific disciplines. The development of laboratory and field skills is encouraged through elective participation in the cutting-edge research of the department’s faculty and engagement in the extensive biological resources in the Boston area.

Combining the BA with the MS provides students with additional skills and expertise to enhance their opportunities for employment in the growing life sciences job market or for further education, including both graduate programs and professional schools.

Eligible Biology majors may apply for this combined program starting their 4th semester and no later than their 6th semester of academic enrollment at BU. The combined BA/MS is intended to be completed in 5 years, but this is not a requirement and students can complete the program in less than 5 years. Students receive both a Bachelor’s of Arts and a Master’s of Science degree in Biology upon graduation.


BA/MS Student Learning Outcomes
  • Demonstrate knowledge of fundamental principles spanning the breadth of biology.
  • Demonstrate expertise in the scientific method, including experimental design, critical assessment of the scientific literature.
  • Attain the qualifications and advanced technical and/or analytical skills required for post-graduate education in biology or health-related fields, or employment in an academic, government or private sector position related to the life sciences.