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Concurrent B.S. and M.S. Degree Program

Program Structure

An application for Concurrent Enrollment should be made near the end of the junior undergraduate (third) year.  Students would begin research for the M.S. thesis during the summer semester after their junior year, although planning for this track should begin earlier.

Plan to be in residence at the ISU campus for three summers following admission to the concurrent enrollment B.S./M.S. program. Full-time thesis research normally begins during the summer semester after the junior year. The time during the fourth and fifth academic years is divided between undergraduate coursework, graduate coursework, and thesis research. Typically, the summer following the fifth year is devoted to writing the Master's thesis, and both degrees can be awarded at the end of that summer.

Students are eligible for financial support in the form of a graduate research or teaching assistantship after a student has been admitted to the concurrent B.S./M.S. degree program.

To begin the application process, a student must identify a research group for the M.S. thesis project and obtain an agreement of support of the faculty member who leads that group.  Both the student and their faculty adviser can use the attached BBMB POS Forms Concurrent Program (PDF) worksheet for the student's B.S. and M.S. degree course plan.  See the Graduate College Handbook for more information about concurrent degree program requirements.

Application to the program is made through the department office. The application includes the concurrent enrollment form, three letters of recommendation - one of which is from the proposed research director that confirms financial support and describes the M.S. thesis research area, and an up-to-date unofficial transcript. Students entering this program should have taken BBMB 504, 505, 506 and 507 and earned an average grade of B-, 2-3 credits in BBMB 499 Undergraduate Research, or have been employed in a biochemistry research laboratory, or participated in a formal research internship program. Strong academic performance during the earlier years of undergraduate study also is required.

Undergraduate Program

All of the course requirements for either the Biochemistry or Agricultural Biochemistry majors must be met. The concurrent B.S. and M.S. degree program requires that the biochemistry sequence option be the graduate level courses BBMB 504, 505, 506 and 507.  Students in concurrent degree programs may, subject to Program of Study committee approval, double count up to 6 ISU credits for both a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree.  See the Graduate College Handbook for more information about concurrent degree programs.

Graduate Program

A minimum of 30 graduate credits are required to earn an M.S. degree.  The minimum grade required by the department for all core courses is a B minus (B-).  If a grade below B minus (B-) is earned, the core course must be retaken.  See the BBMB Graduate Handbook for more information about BBMB graduate programs.

BBMB 504, 505, 506, 507 (2 credits each) Comprehensive Biochemistry.  These courses must be completed prior to applying to the concurrent B.S. and M.S. degree program.

Each BBMB 504 through 507 course can be taken independently of the other, but are all four courses (total 8 credits) are required for the BS/MS, MS, PhD and graduate certificate programs in biochemistry.

Each course is a comprehensive treatment of biochemistry with emphasis on fundamental chemical and physical principles. BBMB 504 focuses on amino acids and proteins, BBMB 505 on bioenergetics and metabolism, BBMB 506 on membrane biochemistry and BBMB 507 on biochemistry of nucleic acids.

BBMB 561 and 561L (2 credits each) Molecular Biophysics Lecture and Laboratory.

Physical methods for the study of molecular structure and organization of biological materials. X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, hydrodynamics and fluorescence spectroscopy. Registration for the graduate credit commits the student to graduate-level examinations, which differ from undergraduate-level examinations in the number and/or difficulty of questions.

BBMB 682. Departmental Seminar (Registration credit, or R-credit, only).  Formal research presentations by staff, students, and invited speakers. Registration and attendance at the seminars is required each fall and spring semester.

BBMB 699. Research (variable credit).  Independent research towards the M.S. dissertation.