MS in Biological Sciences

Completed application forms and two official transcripts of all previous academic work must be submitted to the Graduate School by March 1 for fall semester admission, and by October 1 for spring semester admission. Admission as a full-standing student requires:

  1. The completion of 24 credit hours in biological sciences and 15 credit hours in chemistry;
  2. An overall grade point average of at least 2.750 (4.000 scale) for the most recent 60 credit hours completed;
  3. A grade point average of at least 3.000 (4.000 scale) for all undergraduate biological sciences courses;
  4. A one-page statement of purpose that addresses the student’s areas of interest in biology;
  5. Three letters of reference from science faculty; and
  6. Acceptable score on the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-Academic for non-native speakers of English.

Students who do not meet requirements 1–3 but who wish to begin graduate coursework may qualify for conditional acceptance into a nondegree category.

Program Requirements

Students accepted into the MS program in biology may pursue either the thesis option or non­thesis option for their MS degree. All MS graduate students in biology must earn at least 16 credit hours from the department of biological sciences. A maximum of 6 credit hours can be transferred from other institutions and a total of 9 credit hours can be from departments outside of biological sciences. All MS graduate students must enroll in BIOL 797 and give professional presentations in this course in two semesters. Even when graduate students are not enrolled in BIOL 797, attendance at departmental seminars is expected. All graduate students must complete the department of biological sciences’ requirement for training in professional and scholarly integrity by the end of the student’s first semester in the program.

Thesis Option

Students selecting the thesis option must complete 30 credit hours of graduate coursework.

Select 30 credit hours of graduate coursework which must include:30
Departmental Seminar
At least 18 hours of courses numbered 700 or greater
Up to 10 hours of BIOL 890
BIOL 891 in the semester in which the student defends their thesis
Total Credit Hours30

 Students must complete an oral defense of their thesis prospectus and a presentation and oral defense of the results of their original research.

Nonthesis Option

Students selecting the nonthesis option must complete 33 credit hours of graduate coursework.

Select 33 credit hours of graduate coursework which must include:33
Departmental Seminar
At least 20 credit hours of courses numbered 700 or greater
4-6 credit hours from the following:
Research
Cooperative Education in Biology
Internship in Biology
Total Credit Hours33

Nonthesis MS graduate students must successfully defend a capstone project that may consist of a library research project, participation in research in a faculty member’s lab, a cooperative education experience or an internship experience.