Biology, M.S.

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Application Deadline

Application deadline for fall admission: May 1
Application deadline for spring admission: October 15


The Master of Science degree in biology is primarily for students with a strong undergraduate preparation in biology who desire to prepare for advanced study, teach at the college level, and/or pursue a career in research. Students entering this program are encouraged to undertake thesis research as a means of satisfying the degree requirements.

A student desiring admission must have an undergraduate major in biology consisting of a minimum of 50 credits in science, of those a minimum of 30 credits in biology, 6 credits in chemistry, and one semester of college mathematics.

To be admitted into the Office of Graduate Admissions:

If the applicant meets the departmental admission requirements, the applicant and the Graduate
Coordinator or Thesis Supervisor will together develop a Planned Program of Graduate Studies. The planned program of graduate studies may include no more than 9 credits taken as a non-matriculated student prior to its submittal.

Each planned program will contain the following required courses (totaling 5 credits); Research
Methods in Biology (BIO 550; 3 credits), Scientific Communication: General Seminar (BIO 560; 1
credit), and Scientific Communication: Special Topics Seminar (BIO 561; 1 credit). In addition, each planned program will demonstrate the 'exit' option chosen by the student in consultation with the graduate coordinator. Three exit options exist:

1) Thesis

30 credits of coursework including: all required courses (see above: 5 credits) and BIO 590: Thesis Research (6 credits), remaining credits (21) taken from classes below. Thesis completion requires satisfactory oral defense of the thesis.

2) Comprehensive Examination

30 credits of coursework including: all required courses above (5 credits) and the remaining credits (27) taken from classes below. Students must pass a final written comprehensive examination administered by the department.

3) Special Project

36 credits of coursework including: all required courses above (5 credits), BIO 600: Independent
Study and Research or BIO 601 and the remaining credits (31) taken from classes below. All coursework must be completed with a "B" or better average (GPA = 3.0) and must come from developed coursework in three concentrations, Ecology/Biodiversity, Cell and Molecular Biology,
and Human Biology.

Ecology/Biodiversity: BIO 501, BIO 502, BIO 504, BIO 512, BIO 513, BIO 525, BIO 526, BIO 528, BIO 531, BIO 533, BIO 534, BIO 535, BIO 536, BIO 537, BIO 540, and BIO 582.
Cell and Molecular Biology: BIO 518, BIO 541, BIO 551, BIO 552, BIO 556
Human Biology: BIO 519, BIO 529, BIO 532, BIO 542, BIO 543, BIO 545, BIO 547, BIO 555 

Program Sequence

30-36 Credits

As sequencing changes, it is highly recommended that students meet with their program advisor to finalize a list of requirements for graduation.  

BIO 560/561 – General/Special Topics Seminar – 2 credits
Graduate Level Biology courses upon advisement – 19-30 credits

BIO 590 – Thesis (minimum of 30 credits including thesis) 6-9 credits
Comprehensive Exam (minimum of 30 credits and exam)
BIO 600 – Independent Study – 3 credits - Special Project (minimum of 36 credits including independent study)