Graduate Arts and Sciences


Requirements for the M.S. DEGREE IN BIOLOGY

Course requirements

Candidates for the Master of Science Degree in Biology must be full time students and are required to complete 30 credit hours of graduate study in biology. All candidates must complete 24 credit hours of formal classroom study and 6 credit hours of thesis research (Bio 794). Of the 24 credit hours of formal classroom study, 20 credit hours must be in graduate level only courses (600-700 level), which may include up to 4 credit hours of seminar (Bio 552) and 8 credit hours of research (Bio 793). MS students typically take three 600 or 700-level courses in their first year (in addition to Research Techniques and lab) and then take only research for credit in the second year; however there is room for some flexibility as approved by the students committee. Seminar participation is required during each semester of enrollment.

Thesis requirement

Candidates for the Master of Science Degree in Biology will be required to complete a research project in their area of specialization and to publish their findings in thesis form. A Thesis Committee will be formed to follow the progress of the candidate and evaluate the final thesis, and administer a final oral examination based on the thesis research. The Thesis Committee will consist of three faculty members, and be chaired by the candidate's research mentor. The thesis must be acceptable in both scholarship and literary quality. At least six weeks prior to the date of commencement at which the degree is to be conferred, typewritten copies of the thesis shall be distributed to each member of the Thesis Committee. The thesis defense may not be held later than four weeks prior to the date of commencement at which receipt of the degree is expected. To be recommended for the Master of Science degree in Biology, the candidate must receive approval of all three voting members of the committee. Not later than three weeks prior to the commencement at which the degree is to be conferred, two copies of the completed thesis suitable for binding and bearing approval of the Thesis Committee must be deposited in the Department of Biology office. The cost of preparation, reproduction, and binding of the thesis is the responsibility of the candidate.  For more details see the Biology Graduate Handbook. 

Other specific requirements

  • The candidate for the M.S. Degree in Biology must meet the minimum academic standards as specified by the graduate school; currently no more than two courses with grade below B.
  • Successful completion of all requirements must be accomplished within a maximum of 5 years from the time of acceptance to the program.
  • All of the requirements described in this document represent minimum requirements, and it is understood that the Thesis Committee may require additional work to make up for deficiencies in the student's background.

Graduate Assistantships

Full time M.S. students are eligible for competetive graduate assistantships that provide a stipend and a scholarship for tuition and fees. Other financial assistance may be available and students will be informed of these opportunities upon acceptance into the M.S. program.