Biology, Master of Science

Offered by Department of Biology

Program Information and Admission Requirements

Master of Science in Biology

  • Option A: Thesis Option
  • Option B: Non-Thesis Option (Distance Program)

Admission Requirements

All students must meet the general entrance requirements of the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.

A letter of intent outlining professional goals must be uploaded during the application process. The letter should be a concise essay concerning career goals and identification of the means by which the student proposes to achieve these goals. Accomplishments toward these goals should be included, but personal information should not be included in this letter.

Students interested in a thesis option must first contact the Graduate Program Committee Chair and receive support from a faculty member for acceptance into the program.

Admission to a Master's degree program in Biology is based on consideration of the following:

  • Both Option A and Option B
    • GRE: Prospective non-thesis students with an undergraduate GPA less than 2.75 on a 4.00 scale and thesis students wishing to be considered for a teaching or research assistantship must take the GRE. A minimum acceptable score for combined Verbal and Quantitative sections on the GRE is 290 (or 800 if taken prior to August 2011).
    • Undergraduate Coursework Requirements: The candidate for admission must have a B.S. or B.A. degree and have completed a minimum of 24 semester credit hours in biology. A minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale is required for unconditional admission.
    • Policy on Conditional Admittance: If a student is conditionally admitted, the student must complete 6 credit hours with grades of B or better in all courses to gain full admittance. Failure to do so will result in dismissal from the program.

Graduation Requirements

Option A: Thesis Option Requirements

  • Course Requirements: Complete 36 credit hours of committee approved level coursework.
  • Grade Point Average: A minimum 3.0 GPA is required to graduate. Grades of C and above are acceptable but grades of C- and below are unacceptable.
  • Research Requirement:
    Complete thesis on committee approved original research.
    Complete an oral defense of the thesis before the degree will be granted. (A preliminary copy of the thesis is to be submitted to the Graduate Dean one month prior to the expected date of graduation.)

Option B: Non-Thesis Option Requirements - (Distance Program)

  • Course Requirements: Complete 36 credit hours of committee approved level coursework. Students are highly encouraged to take BIOL 820, Introduction to Graduate Study, during their first 9 credit hours of graduate work in Biology.
  • Grade Point Average: A minimum 3.0 GPA is required to graduate. Grades of C and above are acceptable but grades of C- and below are unacceptable.
  • Final Examination: A satisfactory score must be received on the comprehensive examination, taken during the final session of enrollment, before the degree will be granted.

Transfer Credit Hours

Students are allowed to transfer up to 9 credit hours into their degree path. These credit hours must fall into the following parameters:

  1. All courses must be Graduate level Biology credit hours from an accredited institution.
  2. Courses must be completed with a grade of B or better and must not have been graded as pass/fail.
  3. All courses on your degree path must be completed within the given 10 year time frame.
  4. Courses cannot have been used in obtaining another degree.

This program is offered on campus and online.

Option A: Thesis Option

Requirements
BIOL 802Organic Evolution3
BIOL 820Introduction to Graduate Study3
BIOL 831Biological Research 13
BIOL 880Seminar 23
BIOL 896Thesis 36
Electives
Select 18 credit hours of graduate level Biology courses 418
Total Credit Hours36

Option B: Non-Thesis Option

In lieu of a defense of thesis, students completing Option B will be required to pass a written comprehensive examination covering the major areas of the biological sciences during their last term of enrollment.

Requirements
BIOL 802Organic Evolution3
BIOL 820Introduction to Graduate Study 53
BIOL 827Biological Statistics3
BIOL 881Current Issues in Biology 63
Electives
Select 24 credit hours of graduate level Biology courses 424
Total Credit Hours36
1

BIOL 831 is 1-3 credit hours and must be taken for a total of 3 credit hours.

2

Seminar is one credit hour and must be taken for a total of 3 credit hours.

3

Thesis is 1-6 credit hours and must be taken for a total of 6 credit hours.

4

As approved by the student's graduate advisor, all graduate level Biology courses (BIOL) will fulfill the elective requirements for the degree. This includes courses with a P designation (have an undergraduate counterpart).

5

Students are highly encouraged to take Introduction to Graduate Study during their first 9 credit hours of graduate work.

6

Current Issues is one credit hour and must be taken three separate semesters for a total of 3 credit hours.