Master of Science in Biology
To enroll in the Master of Science program, students must receive research guidance from a professor in the department and be approved by the head of the Biology Department and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.
The thesis option is offered for students preparing for further graduate work in biology. For thesis admission, a student must select a research topic and be approved by the biology graduate faculty member who represents this discipline.
The non-thesis option is offered for students who want to improve their positions and skills as secondary school or junior college teachers, laboratory technicians, consultants or government employees.
Typically, students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree choose the thesis option. Thesis students must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate work, including 18-24 credit hours in biology graduate courses and up to six credit hours in supporting electives. Six additional semester credit hours in biology are awarded upon successful completion of the thesis.
Thesis research is available in systematics (including vascular plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates), ecology, microbiology and molecular biology.
Those interested in admission as a thesis student to the biology graduate program should first contact a biology graduate faculty member conducting research in an area of interest to the student.
A non-thesis biology graduate student (a student who either has chosen the non-thesis option or has not yet been accepted into a graduate faculty member’s research program) is required to complete 27-36 semester credit hours of biology graduate courses and up to nine hours in supporting electives.
A non-thesis graduate student is also required to take three hours of literature-based research to fulfill degree requirements. This research is based on a thorough review of the literature on a topic acceptable to both the student and the supervising graduate faculty member. The grade will be based on a 20-30 page typed summary paper.
Any non-thesis student interested in conducting additional research may seek approval from a member of the biology graduate faculty and the head of the Biology Department. The student can then conduct additional laboratory or field-based study after the three-hour research requirement has been successfully completed.