Frequently Asked Questions
- For whom is the Joint B.S.-M.S. in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology?
- How does the program work? What is a “Joint B.S.-M.S.” program?
- How long will it take me to finish the program?
- What specific degrees will I earn?
- What if I already have a Bachelor’s degree?
- What if I want a Master’s degree with a strong research focus? Can I do that in the EEB department at UConn?
- What courses are required?
- What do the internship and research requirements involve?
- Who will my advisor be?
- How do I apply?
- When are applications due?
- Who should I ask to write letters of recommendation for me?
The Joint B.S.-M.S. is a Non-Thesis (Plan B) degree for students preparing for careers in biodiversity management, conservation, and environmental education who want graduate-level training in the subject without the extensive research of a thesis-plan masters; such students might be seeking positions with non-governmental organizations, state and federal agencies, museums, nature centers, or private consulting firms. The program comprises advanced coursework in a broad base of topics relating to biodiversity and its protection, and on workplace experience.
For students with a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) from the University of Connecticut, the program is an accelerated (fifth-year) M.S. degree. Twelve credits of coursework required for the EEB B.S. may also be counted towards the M.S. degree. Students who have completed a B.S. in another program must complete all courses required by the undergraduate EEB major, or equivalent courses, to earn this M.S. degree.
If you enter the program in your junior year, it should take one additional year on top of the B.S. (i.e. 5 years total). Several of the required M.S. courses are taught only in alternate years. Consequently, it is important to plan ahead so that you take some of these courses during your fourth year in the program. If you enter the program with a complete (or near-complete) B.S. it will likely take 3-4 semesters to complete the M.S. requirements, depending on the timing of course offerings relative to your entry into the program. Students are advised to plan out their coursework in advance to determine the best sequence of courses. Information on the timing of courses can be found in an M.S. courses worksheet, or by consulting the course instructor.
If you are yet to complete your undergraduate degree, you will earn a B.S. in EEB and an M.S. in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology. If you enter the program with a B.S. in another program, you will earn an M.S. degree in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology.
Students who already have a Bachelor’s degree are encouraged to apply. To earn this M.S. degree, you must complete all courses required for the EEB B.S. at the University of Connecticut, or equivalent courses; the undergraduate courses are listed in this audit sheet to help you identify any additional undergraduate coursework, and if you are not sure about course equivalents feel free to contact the Program Coordinator. You need not have completed required undergraduate coursework at the time you apply. Any remaining undergraduate courses required to complete the equivalent of an EEB Bachelor’s will be identified in the letter of acceptance to the program, subject to final determination by your advisory committee.
What if I want a Master’s degree with a strong research focus? Can I do that in the EEB department at UConn?
If your goal is to become a research biologist, then you should apply for a traditional (Plan A) Master’s, for which you will write a thesis. In this case you should contact individual EEB professors who work in the area of your interest. Application information is available on the EEB department’s website for prospective graduate students.
For a full list of program requirements, return to the main B.S.-M.S. page and follow the links for degree requirements and core courses.
The Joint B.S.-M.S. Degree requires an internship and 4 credits of research experience. The internship is intended to provide experience working for an organization outside of the university. The research requirement involves participating in a research project, but does not require that you develop your own project or write a thesis.
Advisors are determined by mutual consent of the student and the faculty member. No one will be admitted into the program unless a faculty member is willing to be their advisor. We suggest browsing the department’s website to identify and contact prospective advisors.
For information on applying to the B.S./M.S. program, see the application process webpage.
Applications must be received by January 10. Informal inquiries about the program are welcome at any time, and should be directed to the Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Letters of recommendation (n = 3) can come from anyone, though they should be people who can speak to your ability to do well in the program. We strongly suggest, however, that you get at least 2 from professors who can address your academic abilities. If you have relevant work experience in the field of biodiversity and conservation biology then a previous employer might also be an appropriate person to write a letter.