The MS degree is research-driven that requires 30 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree. The thesis should address contemporary questions in Biology and lead to presentations at conferences and publication in a peer-reviewed journal(s). The department supports MS students with a teaching or research assistantship, tuition waiver, and health benefits as long as students make acceptable progress toward the degree. Our MS students go on to be employed in research and technical work in companies, agencies, and universities, or continue on for a PhD or other professional degree.

When applying to the program, it is essential that a faculty advisor (i.e. someone who will oversee your thesis research) be identified in your application. It is highly recommended that applicants begin contacting potential advisors in the months prior to the application deadline to determine if they are willing to serve as a dissertation advisor. Applications are submitted online and require a BS degree in Biology or related discipline, a GPA > 3.0, a GRE > 50th percentile in both the Quantitative and Verbal sections, three strong and letters of recommendation, a CV / résumé, and an Essay / Personal Statement. Previous research experience is preferred but not essential. Applications are due January 15 and enrollment starts in fall semesters. Before applying, we strongly encourage you to read this.

Three major milestones exist during the MS thesis degree:
  • Completion of coursework. A minimum of 24 formal coursework credit hours are required, as well as 6 credits of thesis research.
  • Completion of thesis proposal review. This consists of a public presentation of a research proposal followed by a meeting with the advisory committee.
  • Completion of thesis defense. This is a public presentation of the dissertation research, followed by an examination by the advisory committee about the thesis.

Our MS students go on to be employed in research and technical work in companies, agencies, and universities, or continue on for a PhD or other professional degree.

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Please note that MS thesis degree program is active and vibrant; however the MS NON-thesis degree program is no longer accepting applications.