University of Minnesota undergraduate students in a science or science-adjacent major can get a jump on graduate school in the biological sciences. You can earn additional course credits for potential future use in the Master of Biological Sciences (MBS) degree. The MBS degree allows you to specialize in an area of biology most relevant to your future career goals. Earning up to 6 credits for transfer into the MBS degree will save you time and money as you pursue the next step in your education.

Why would I want to take additional credits before graduation?

  • Save money! You could save up to $5,000 of graduate-level tuition depending on your undergrad program.
  • Complete your master’s faster. Six credits is equal to one full-time semester at the graduate level. You’d start the MBS program with one term already completed!

Who is eligible?

Undergraduate University of Minnesota students who:

  • are earning their first bachelor’s degree in a science or science-adjacent major.
  • have successfully passed at least one biology course and organic chemistry.
  • have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA.

What Courses Can I Take?

Because the MBS program coursework is curated for your post-graduation career goals, you should register for courses that align with those goals. 

  • Grades for potential transfer courses must be B or better.
  • These courses cannot count toward your undergraduate degree.
  • They must have been taken no more than five years before admission to the MBS program, and transfer paperwork must be submitted during your first term as an MBS student.

Note: If a course is cross-listed, take the graduate 5XXX level rather than the undergraduate 3XXX/4XXX level. 

The following courses are preapproved for future transfer if you are admitted to the MBS program.

  • ANSC 5702/PHSL 5702 – Cell Physiology
  • BIOC 5444/PHSL 5444 – Muscle
  • BIOL 4004 – Cell Biology
  • GCD 4151 – Molecular Biology of Cancer
  • GCD 4171 – Stem Cells in Biology and Medicine
  • GCD 5036 – Molecular Cell Biology
  • MICB 4131/VPM 5131 – Immunology
  • NSCI 4501 – Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • NSCI 5101 – Neurobiology I
  • BIOL 5272 – Applied Biostatistics
  • EEB 4611 – Biogeochemical Processes 
  • EEB 5407 – Ecology
  • EEB 5409 – Evolution
  • EEB 5534 – Biodiversity Science
  • EEB 5851 – Health and Biodiversity
  • FW 4102 – Principles of Conservation Biology
  • FW 4301 – Conservation Genetics
  • MICE 5035 – Personal Microbiome Analysis
  • PMB 4121 – Microbial Ecology and Applied Microbiology
  • ANSC 5625/NUTR 5625 – Nutritional Biochemistry
  • BIOC 5309 – Biocatalysis and Biodegradation
  • BIOC 5351 – Protein Engineering
  • BIOC 5361 – Microbial Genomics
  • BIOL 4003 – Genetics
  • GCD 4034 – Molecular Genetics and Genomics
  • GCD 4143 – Human Genetics and Genomics
  • GCD 5005 – Computer Programming for Biology
  • PMB 5131 – Prokaryotic Genetics
  • EEB 5068 – Plant Physiological Ecology
  • PHSL 5115 – Clinical Physiology I
  • PHSL 5116 – Clinical Physiology II
  • PMB 5111 – Microbial Physiology and Diversity
  • PMB 5212 – Fungi: A Kingdom of Their Own
  • PMB 5412 – Plant Physiology and Development

What Should I Do Next?

  1. Discuss this option with your undergraduate advisor to ensure you don’t need the course for your bachelor’s degree. If they approve, register for the courses you would like to consider for future transfer to the MBS program.
  2. Request that your undergraduate advisor make note that this coursework is not needed for the bachelor’s degree in APLUS advising notes.
  3. Request that course instructors sign the Transfer Credits from Undergraduate to Graduate Career form. Save this form!
  4. After you complete your bachelor’s, request that your undergraduate advisor sign the Transfer Credit form as well.
  5. Apply to the MBS program.
  6. If accepted, submit the signed Transfer Credit form to your MBS advisor.

Please note that taking these additional courses does not guarantee admission to the MBS program and that your application for admission to the MBS program will be reviewed holistically. If you have questions about this process or the MBS program, please contact advisor Dr. Sarah Jaumann at

Our Stories

Hear from students who followed their dreams and created rewarding careers with their Master of Biological Sciences degree.