Master of Science
The primary goal of the M.S. program is to develop the student's
ability to think creatively and critically about a range of
biological subject matter and to become familiar with current
research in biology. This is done principally through graduate
courses, seminars, and research experience with a faculty member.
Our program offers two options for the M.S. degree. Students should
indicate which option they prefer in the application for admission.
The Open Choice M.S. (OC-MS)
This program is designed for students
wishing to upgrade their expertise in the biology professions,
explore or expand their interest in research, or broaden their base
for making future career choices in the Biological Sciences. The
degree requires ten (10)
courses at the 100 level or higher, and
can be done either full-time or part-time. Applications for the OC-MS program
are accepted for fall or spring semester, and OC-MS
students are eligible for tuition scholarships from the university.
See the Frequently Asked Questions section for more information on
admission to the OC-MS program.
The Thesis M.S. (Th-MS)
This program is designed for students who
wish to gain an in-depth research experience. Thesis MS students
fulfill about half of their 8 credits (10 credits, starting in fall 2017)
in coursework and half by
doing research, which is required as the basis for the thesis. To
complete the research M.S., the candidate is required to prepare and
defend a thesis based on original research done under supervision of
a departmental faculty member. Research M.S. students are eligible
for tuition scholarships and stipend support through a teaching
assistantship. Applications for the Thesis M.S. option are highly
selective and accepted only for the fall semester.
Entering M.S. students are assigned an advisory committee of three
faculty members who work with the student to plan a suitable
program. All M.S. candidates must complete eight graduate level
course credits (10 credits, starting in fall 2017), including one required course
(either Biology 243, Topics in Molecular and Cell Biology or Biology
244, Topics in Evolutionary Ecology). Courses must be completed with
grades of B- or better to count towards the degree and no more than
two credits may be transferred from another institution.