Skip to body


College of the Sciences
Give to Biology

Contact Us

Department of Biological Sciences
Science Building, Room 338
400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7537
(509) 963-2731

Follow Us


Biological Sciences Combined BS/MS Pathway

The Biological Sciences Combined BS/MS Pathway is an accelerated Master of Science degree track in which students conduct research and take graduate courses in the last year of their undergraduate biology degree, followed by one year of graduate courses and research to complete their thesis.

BS/MS Pathway Application


Pathway Benefits

  • Begin working towards your MS during the final year of your bachelor's degree.
  • Save time and money:
    • Pay undergraduate tuition and use financial aid while taking graduate courses during your senior year.
    • Obtain a MS with one additional year beyond your bachelor's degree.
  • Strengthen your application for professional schools (medical, dental, veterinary, pharmacy, and/or Ph.D. programs).
  • Develop in-depth knowledge and research skills to advance in your field.
  • Expand your job opportunities and increase your earning potential.
  • Enhance your professional network.
  • Present scientific research.

CWU Biological Sciences Faculty with Graduate Student in Graduation Regalia


BS/MS Pathway Timeline

Junior Year:

Senior Year:

  • Enroll in BIOL 501 (2 cr., Fall Qtr).
  • Enroll in BIOL 502 (2 cr., Winter Qtr).
  • Enroll in up to 11 other credits of 400/500-level biology courses.
  • Take up to 15 credits as an undergraduate that can be applied to your master's degree.  Discuss with the Graduate Program Coordinator, how many (if any) of these credits may also count toward your undergraduate degree.
  • Apply to the master's program before the Feb.1 deadline.
  • Apply for a graduate assistantship to provide funding and stipend for master’s year (Feb. 1). Eligibility for CWU Graduate Assistantship requires a GPA of at least 3.0 during the last 90 credits of your BS degree.
  • Apply for a Graduate Student Summer Fellowship (due in April) to help fund your graduate research.

​​Summer After Graduating With Your BS

  • Spend summer working on your graduate research project.

Graduate Year

  • Complete remaining graduate coursework and complete MS research/thesis (45 credits total).


Program Requirements and Expectations

You should consider this program if you are interested in pursuing an MS degree and you have research experience or are beginning a research project as an undergraduate. You must have the GPA (3.0 or higher) and the drive to take on an accelerated MS program.

You will need to take graduate level courses and begin your thesis research while you are an undergraduate. During your final undergraduate year, you will need to have a mentor willing to serve as the chair of your thesis committee.  You will need to begin your thesis research and you must take both BIOL501 (fall) and BIOL502 (winter). Additionally, you will need to apply and get admitted to the Biology MS program.

If you think this program is for you, apply today!

BS/MS Pathway Application


Woman looking into microscope

See Biology Graduate Program for more information on the master's program.


Contact the Biology Graduate Coordinator

Dr. Gabe Stryker
Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Biology
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA 98926-7537

(509) 963-2721




Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.