5th Year Research-Based MS Program

The 5th Year (4+1) Master's path is essentially an honors program, allowing qualified undergraduates to continue their undergraduate research and earn a Master’s in Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology in one year following completion of their Bachelor’s degree.  The 5th Year Master's path has the same requirements as the METX Master's program, with the only difference being the ability to accelerate earning the METX Master's by initiating Master's research and coursework as an undergraduate senior.

Two Stage Procedure:

Stage 1: Undergraduate students apply for acceptance to the contiguous BS/MS program, in consultation with their undergraduate faculty advisor. Due August 15 prior to the start of the last undergrad year.

Prospective students must identify a faculty mentor, and then work with their faculty mentor to prepare an application and plan for their 5-year BS/MS. The faculty mentor can be in any department, but must approve of the student earning a METX MS degree. The METX Grad Program Director and Grad Advisor can help with this step if needed. The application should provide evidence of solid academic performance in general and in the student's undergraduate major. The plan should be completed and submitted to the METX Grad Program Advisor (metxadmn@ucsc.edu) by August 15, prior to the start of the students last undergrad year (e.g. end of the junior year). It should include the following:

1)    A 1 page statement describing i) your motivation and academic preparation for entering the program, ii) your goals for the MS program, including the area of concentration, iii) the name of a faculty member willing to serve as your MS thesis advisor, and iv) future professional goals. Note, the advising faculty member does not have to be in the METX department, but must approve of the student earning a METX MS degree.

2)    Copy of unofficial transcripts establishing the GPA requirements in the undergraduate major and overall. Applicants should possess a GPA in courses of their undergraduate major (Biology, Chemistry, etc.) of 3.2 or above, and an overall GPA of 3.0 or above.

3)    A letter of recommendation from the faculty member who will supervise the MS work. If the student is new to that lab, they should include a second letter from a faculty member attesting to the student’s promise for a MS degree.

4)    A coursework plan that will enable the student to complete both the requirements for the BS in their undergraduate department and MS in METX in 5-years, including demonstrating sufficient coursework capacity to complete at least two METX graduate courses in their final undergraduate year. Students in the 5th year program must take at least one graduate class in Fall Quarter of their undergraduate year. 

The METX Grad Program Advisor will submit the applications of students who meet these minimum requirements to the METX Admissions Committee for consideration for acceptance into the contiguous 5-year BS/MS program. Acceptance will be decided before the start of Fall Quarter.

Stage 2: Students will go through the regular METX MS application process in their senior year.

The criteria for admission to the METX MS program will be the same as for all METX MS program applicants.  Since students in the contiguous BS/MS program will take some METX graduate courses in their senior year (e.g., METX 200, and up to two additional courses from  201, 202, 206, or 210), performance in these courses will also contribute to the assessment of student progress and ability to complete the METX MS degree in one post-baccalaureate year.