Why Bloomsburg University’s Accelerated Program leading to both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree in Biology in only 5 years is very good for students.
The Master of Science Degree is rapidly becoming the professional working degree in Biology. Professional biologists work in positions such as Microbiologist, Zoologist, Wildlife Biologist, Biological Technician, to highlight but a few of the diverse job opportunities. Although the US Department of Labor (2012) list a Bachelor's Degree as the minimum qualification for entry-level positions in these fields, they quickly amend this to state that many positions expect a Master's Degree, and that a Master's Degree is universally expected to advance in these professions. The professions named above are expected to experience better than average growth, adding ca. 23,600 new jobs to a 2012 base of ca. 210,400 jobs, for an 11% projected growth during the decade following 2012. The US Department of Labor (2012) reports median pay for jobs in these areas ranges from $39,750 to $66,260 per year. However, to enter and advance in these jobs generally requires training beyond the baccalaureate. To be competitive, professional biologists often need more laboratory and field experience, and a greater diversity of areas of competence, than can easily be encompassed in a traditional 4-year undergraduate program. Answering the growing need for advanced graduate-level preparation for students pursuing careers as technicians, laboratory managers, research assistants, and etc., Bloomsburg Universoty’s Accelerated Combined Bachelor's and Master's curriculum in Biology implements a focused career development tract emphasizing the development of a broad diversity of advanced laboratory, field, and career skills. A seamless progression of coursework, culminating in both a Bachelor's and a Master's Degree affords students the opportunity to pursue graduate work early in their academic career, and allows them to enter the job market with the credentials most likely to allow them to secure a position and advance in their career. Pursuing these credentials in a traditional, stand-alone Bachelor's and Master of Science degree programs would require a minimum of 6 years of study. In contrast, the Accelerated Program in the Department of Biological and Allied Health Sciences can be completed in only 5 years.