The graduate program in biology prepares students for professional or teaching careers, or for doctoral studies. The program is structured to offer breadth as well as depth in biological studies, the mastery of essential research techniques, and the ability to communicate effectively the results of creative research and scholarship.

Program Learning Goals in Biology

Students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a deep knowledge of biology and develop advanced competency in specific areas of interest consistent with the primary focus of the program that the student develops with their faculty-based committee.
  2. Demonstrate a deep knowledge of how to use an empirical approach (with appropriate methods, experimental design, and data analysis) to evaluate biological phenomena in new ways.
    a. Application of critical thinking to design, collect, interpret, and present the student’s own original scientific data in a laboratory/field course.
    b. Accurately evaluating biological information (data, concepts, phenomena) from primary literature that is relevant to the student’s original research.
  3. Communicate new biological knowledge (typically obtained during the thesis research) effectively in written, oral, and visual formats.
    a. Communicating original thesis research effectively in written format.
    b. Communicating original thesis research effectively in oral format.
    c. Communicating original thesis research effectively in visual format.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to conceive, design, and conduct original scientific research. (For MS students only)
    a. Conceive and design original research.
    b. Implement and complete original research.

Admission Requirements

  • Details on the application process can be found at this link!

Programs
Master of Science

  • This program is designed for students seeking research experience. Prior to applying, applicants are encouraged to visit the Department of Biology website in order to determine if the applicant’s research interests parallel those of the department faculty.
  • Minimum requirements for the degree are 30 semester hours, consisting of 24 hours of credit, at least half of which must be courses numbered above 499, master’s thesis proposal (BL598, 1 credit hour), and a research thesis (BL599, 5 credit hours). Participation in the Biology Seminar Program on a regular basis is required. An oral or written examination consisting of questions that reflect the student’s educational experience and thesis and that seeks to integrate knowledge across those areas is also required. The examination will be administered by the thesis committee after successful completion of the thesis.
  • February 1st of each year is the deadline to have a complete MS application.

Master of Arts

  • This program is designed primarily for secondary school teachers.
  • Requirements for the degree are 30 hours of class credit, at least half of which must be courses numbered above 499, including either an independent library research (BL578) or laboratory research experience (BL579).  Participation in the Biology Seminar Program on a regular basis is required. Completion requires a take-home written examination consisting of questions that reflect the student’s educational experience and that seek to integrate knowledge across that coursework. The examination will be administered by the student’s examination committee.

Financial Assistance

  • A limited number of graduate assistantships are available. An application to the M.S. program in Biology will automatically include consideration for a graduate assistantship. Graduate assistants are given a tuition waiver for 15 credit hours per year. Responsibilities include 20 hours per week of participation in course laboratory instruction under the supervision of the Graduate Coordinator and the Laboratory Coordinator.
  • A 33% tuition scholarship is available to all certified/licensed teachers who wish to take graduate courses in biology.
  • The University’s Office of Admissions and Financial Aid offers assistance on student loans.