Fifth-Year Master's Program

The Fifth-Year Master's Program is designed exclusively for undergraduate Microbiology majors. This program is appropriate for academically strong students who are interested in enhancing their academic and research background before entering the professional world.

UMass Microbiology majors who are interested in this program are strongly advised to meet with their academic advisor to discuss this option before the end of their junior year. This is necessary since, in most cases, an undergraduate research project will be expanded to provide the basics for the Master's Degree project.

Application process

Students must apply for the Fifth-Year Master's Program through the Graduate School. The standard Graduate School application must be completed by December 1, and must include two letters of recommendation. One of the letters must be from the research advisor with whom the student intends to work. The department does not require GREs for admission to this program.


UMass undergraduates in Microbiology with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and a grade point average of 3.0 in all subjects required for the major in Microbiology are eligible for consideration.

Program Requirements

The Graduate School Bulletin provides general information about requirements for master's degree candidates. Accepted students begin their graduate work during the summer following completion of their undergraduate degree. Students are expected to participate in Graduate Seminar, Microbio 791A.

Credit Requirement: 30 credits, distributed as follows:

This non-thesis option requires a minimum of 21 credits in microbiology, with a minimum of 12 credits in the 600-800 course series. Students may transfer 1-6 credits of Microbiology coursework numbered 500 or higher which they completed as an undergraduate, provided that those credits are not used to meet any undergraduate requirements for the University or major.

Project and Final Exam:

A final oral exam is required and is conducted by the student's committee consisting of the research advisor and two other members of the Graduate Faculty.


Students are expected to complete the Masters degree in approximately 15 months, including two summers and an academic year.

For more information, contact Dr. Yasu Morita