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)
graduate-level 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.
The OC MS program is the primary MS program in the department, accepting ~10-12 students per year.
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 M.S. students
fulfill about half of their ten (10) credits in
graduate-level 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 (0-2 students per year), accepted only for the fall semester,
and only for a particular laboratory. Th-MS candidates are highly encouraged
to identify a potential lab in their application. See the
Frequently Asked Questions
section for more information on admission to the Th-MS program.
Entering M.S. students are assigned an advisor who works with the student to
plan a suitable program. All M.S. candidates must complete ten graduate level course credits,
including one required course (either Biology 243, Topics in Molecular and Cell Biology or
Biology 244, Topics in Evolutionary Ecology, or Biology 246, Topics in Physiology).
Courses must be completed with grades of B- (B minus) or better to count towards the degree and
no more than two credits may be transferred from another institution.