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Biology M.S. Degree Plan

Thesis Option

Typically, if you plan to pursue a doctoral degree, choose the Thesis Option. You must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate work, including:

  • 18-24 credit hours in biology graduate courses, including Biology 6301 and 6302, and two hours of Biology 6181
  • Up to 6 credit hours in supporting graduate (non-biology) electives (Must have advisor approval. If these hours are not used for electives, they must be made up in Biology courses.)
  • A Thesis in Biology (6 additional credit hours in biology are awarded upon successful completion of the thesis.)

Thesis research is available in:

  • Developmental Biology
  • Ecology
  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organismal Biology
  • Physiology
  • Parasitology
  • Systematics
  • Virology

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.

Non-Thesis Option

If you have chosen the Non-Thesis Option or have not yet been accepted into a graduate faculty member’s research program, you will be required to complete 36 credit hours of biology graduate work, including:

  • 24-30 credit hours in biology graduate courses, including Biology 5480 or 6301,  and two hours of Biology 6181
  • Biology 6302
  • Biology 6391 - Independent Research
  • Up to 6 credit hours in supporting graduate (non-biology) electives (Must have advisor approval. If these hours are not used for electives, they must be made up in Biology courses.)

The Independent Research includes a thorough review of the literature on a topic acceptable to both the student and the supervising graduate faculty member.

Any non-thesis student interested in conducting additional research may seek approval from a member of the biology graduate faculty and the chair of the Biology Department. You can then conduct additional laboratory or field-based study after the 3-hour research requirement has been successfully completed.