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5th Year Master's Program Overview

student feeding fish in lab.

Students can participate in a range of research opportunities within the Department and among other associated programs within UAB. For those who desire a full research experience, the 5th Year Master of Science Program allows students to be dual-enrolled as a B.S. and M.S. student after completing 60 credit hours towards their B.S. degree. For many of these, qualified students have the opportunity to earn a B.S. and an M.S. degree in Biology in a total of five years or less.

If you join this program you will be provided a mentored scientific research experience and earn an advanced graduate degree in combination with your undergraduate study. You will work closely with a faculty member in an area of intensive research to prepare you for a Ph.D. program in the biological sciences, a future health professions career, or a career in teaching at the college level.

Program Basics

The 5th Year program is an advanced course of study designed to be completed in five years. You must have a faculty mentor from the College of Arts and Sciences, Medicine, Dentistry, Optometry, Public Health, Health Related Professions, or Engineering to be admitted to the program.

Successful students will complete:

  • an undergraduate program (120 hours) leading to a B.S. in Biology
  • an M.S. program (30 hours) with a thesis (Plan I)
  • a supervised teaching experience
  • a thesis of sufficient quality and scope to lead to at least one publishable paper
  • at least one presentation at a regional, national, or international scientific conference

Dual Master's in Education and Biology

UAB’s Accelerated Dual Master’s in Biology and Education degree program provides the opportunity for students with a background in biology to pursue a career in education. Students in this program gain proficiency in natural sciences, including biochemistry, various fields of biology, environmental science and evolution, while acquiring cutting-edge skills necessary to teach grades 6-12 and in junior colleges. Learn more about the Dual Master's in Education and Biology.


You can contact Dr. Peggy Biga, Graduate Program Director, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information about the program.