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: a course work
M.S. for which research is optional, and a research M.S. for which
research is required as the basis for the thesis. Students should
indicate which option they prefer in the application for admission.
Applications for the M.S. thesis option are accepted only for the
fall semester; applications for the M.S. coursework program are
accepted for fall or spring semester. Course work M.S. students are
normally not eligible for tuition scholarships or research
assistantships from the university.
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, including one required course (either Biology 243,
Topics in Molecular and Cell Biology or Biology 244, Topics in
Evolutionary Ecology). For the research M.S., two of the credits
must be for research courses (Biology 295 and 296); the other six
are regular courses, which must be completed with grades of B- or
better. For the course work M.S., seven of the eight credits must be
regular courses completed with grades of B- or better. No more than
two credits may be transferred from another institution.
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.