Accelerated BA/BS-MSc Program

Program Description

The Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s degree program offers highly qualified UCCS chemistry and biochemistry majors (and biology majors; see below) the opportunity to pursue the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science (BA or BS) in Chemistry or Biochemistry and the Master of Sciences (MSc) in Chemistry or Biochemistry concurrently. The main benefit of the program is that it allows students to register for up to nine credit hours to be used for both the BA/BS and MSc programs. The program is designed to be a five year or five year+ (less than six) program for currently enrolled UCCS chemistry or biochemistry majors.

The requirements for the Accelerated Program are equivalent to the aggregate of the BA/BS and MSc degrees, except that up to nine credits hours can be applied toward both the BA/BS and MSc requirements. Students admitted to the Accelerated Program will maintain their undergraduate standing, until the mid-program review, which will determine the student’s eligibility to continue in the Accelerated Degree Program. The mid-program review will be conducted the semester in which the student will complete the BA/BS requirements (120 credit hours). A student will be considered eligible to continue the program upon meeting the following minimum standards and criteria: completion of the requirements for a BA or BS in chemistry or biochemistry and maintenance of a minimum overall GPA of 3.20.

Upon determination of eligibility to continue, the student will be recommended for formal admission to the Graduate School. Such a recommendation must be made by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Director. Upon approval of the recommendation, the office of the Dean of the Graduate School will complete the necessary procedures to admit the candidate as a graduate student for the completion of their program. Any students not recommended for continuation in the Accelerated Degree Program will be eligible to complete their bachelor’s degree.

Dual Credits

The BA/MSc and BS/MSc programs allow students to count up to nine semester credits towards both the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Chemistry or Biochemistry and Master of Sciences programs. In order for credit to be double-counted, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Dual credit courses are approved by the Graduate Director of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  2. Dual credit courses must be completed with a B+ or better
  3. Dual credit courses must be taken for graduate credit (5000 level)
  4. Dual credit courses must be offered by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UCCS

BA/MSc and BS/MSc Application Process

Current UCCS chemistry and biochemistry majors are eligible to apply to the Accelerated Degree Program after having:

  1. Completed the UCCS general education requirements or submitted a plan for completion
  2. Completed at least 75 semester credit hours
  3. Transfer students must have completed at least 24 credit hours of chemistry courses at UCCS and be a declared chemistry or biochemistry major before applying to the Accelerated Program.
  4. Completed the following 24 semester credit hours in chemistry (note that grades of C or higher are required to count towards the chemistry or biochemistry major):
    • CHEM 1401/1402 and either CHEM 1411/1412 or CHEM 1511/1513 – General Chemistry and Lab
    • CHEM 3101/3102 and CHEM 3111/3112 or CHEM 3201/3203 and CHEM 3211/3213 – Organic Chemistry and Lab
    • CHEM 4001/4002 – Analytical Chemistry and Lab
  5. Have a minimum 3.20 overall GPA

Current UCCS biology majors must complete the core requirements for a BA in Biochemistry in addition to the requirements for a BS in Biology. In order to be admitted to the program, the Director of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate program must be notified during the student's junior (preferably) or first semester of the senior year. This will allow the student to take 5000-level classes that may be counted towards the undergraduate and graduate programs, pending approval of Director.

Students may apply for the Accelerated Program in their junior or senior year after completion of the above requirements (but students will most likely apply during the second semester of their junior year). The submission deadline is Nov 1st for admission to the spring semester and April 15th for admission to the fall semester. The student must submit the following items to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Director:

  1. A personal Statement of Intent
  2. Two letters of recommendation from UCCS Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry faculty members
  3. The Accelerated BA/MSc or BS/MSc application form
  4. An unofficial transcript

Note: Students must have applied for and completed the process of being accepted as an accelerated student prior to the semester they plan to take their first 5000-level course.

Admission Criteria

Admission to the BA/MSc or BS/MSc program is competitive. Applicants will be evaluated on the following:

  1. Grade point average (cumulative and major GPA)
  2. Grade trend (improving, consistent, or declining)
  3. Likelihood of success and persistence based on the Statement of Intent
  4. Recommendation letters

Students who are not initially admitted to the Accelerated BA/MSc or BS/MSc Program can reapply after completing an additional twelve semester credit hours. Students can apply and be considered for admission to the program a maximum of two times. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Director will be responsible for admissions procedures and decisions.

Program Requirements

  1. Once admitted into the Accelerated Program as an undergraduate student, accelerated students are required to complete up to three 5000-level graduate courses as undergraduates with a minimum grade of 3.20 (B+) in each course, while maintaining a minimum overall GPA of 3.20.
  2. After completion of the nine graduate credits, which count toward both their BA/BS and MSc, in addition to 111 or more undergraduate credits, the students will be considered graduate students provided they are admitted to the graduate program. They must then meet all master’s degree requirements, except for the up-to-three courses (nine credits) they completed as undergraduates.
  3. Issues of satisfactory academic progress, petition/appeal, transfer credit, and grievance will be the responsibility of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Director, with participation by the Chemistry and Biochemistry Chair and Graduate Dean, as appropriate. The Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Director will be responsible for dismissing or placing on probation, those students who do not maintain the minimum requirements stated above.
  4. Students who drop out or are dismissed from the Accelerated Program will be eligible to complete their bachelor’s degree, subject to the normal rules of that program. They will be eligible to apply to the master’s program and transfer credits, subject to normal limitations, that were not used toward the BA or BS degree. They will not be allowed to double count 5000-level courses.
  5. Within two weeks of being accepted in the Accelerated program, the student will complete a Plan of Study indicating how the student intends to complete the MSc part of the program, based on projected MSc courses offered in the next years, along with the BA/BS degree program.

Tuition and Fees

The accelerated program tuition and fee structure and financial aid follows the campus rules currently in place. The accelerated program is subject to future change in campus fee structure and future change in campus financial aid rules and will abide by all revisions.

Awarding of Degrees

Upon completion of both the BA or BS and the MSc degrees, students will then graduate and be awarded both degrees simultaneously. Therefore, most students in the program will receive both degrees at the conclusion of their fifth year or thereafter.

Contact Information

Dr. Allen Schoffstall
Graduate Program Director
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: 719 - 255 - 3163
Email: aschoffs@uccs.edu