Advice for Prospective Graduate Students
Admission into the graduate program within the Department of Biology is competitive. You can do several things to improve your chances of acceptance. First, before applying, contact a member of the faculty with whom you share scientific interests. Although many faculty maintain active research programs, not all accept graduate students each year, so even the very best application will be unsuccessful if mistimed. Second, if the faculty member is accepting students, send him/her information about your academic background and career interests. At the minimum, this information should include your undergraduate GPA, GRE scores, relevant work experience, and career goals. If you live nearby, consider a campus visit. Only after you have made contact with a member of the faculty do we recommend sending your formal graduate application to the university. Applications received from prospective students who have not made contact with a member of the faculty are rarely successful.
Master of Science (M.S.)
The M.S. degree, Plan A (thesis), requires a total of 30 credits, including a 6 credit thesis. Plan B (non-thesis) requires a total of 32 credits while Plan C (portfolio) requires a total of 36 credits. Students will develop a graduate program of study with their faculty adviser the first semester enrolled in the program.
For the M.S. focus of biology education, the applicant must have completed an undergraduate teacher education program from an accredited teacher preparation institution and a minimum of 32 undergraduate credits in biology. In some cases it may be necessary for the student to complete additional prerequisite undergraduate work. At least one-half of the Master of Science degree program must be earned in courses in which enrollment is limited to graduate students. Plan A and B students must successfully complete a final written examination.
For information regarding this program, please contact Dr. Patricia Simpson (308-3012).
Master of Arts (M.A.)
The applicant should have earned a minimum of 32 credits in biology and 8 credits in chemistry before admission to this program. A faculty adviser is required prior to admissions. In some cases it may be necessary for the student to complete additional prerequisite undergraduate work. The two tracks for the Master of Arts are the Ecology and Natural Resources (ENR) option and the Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) option. Students will develop a graduate program of study with their faculty adviser the first semester enrolled in the program.
Ecology and Natural Resources Biology (ENR)
The Ecology and Natural Resources program is designed for students with a background and interest in ecology, limnology, and population biology. Students should contact the Department of Biology and arrangements will be made to talk with a prospective faculty adviser. Each application is reviewed and admission to the program is based on: previous coursework, experience, GPA, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation.
Students may select a program that includes the writing of a Master thesis (Plan A – 30 semester credits) or one that requires a final departmental written exam and the preparation of a research manuscript (Plan B – 36 semester credits).
Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB)
The CMB option is designed for students interested in careers as a biotechnologist, developmental biologist, physiologist, plant molecular biologist, microbiologist, immunologist or geneticist. The degree may be useful for those interested in teaching at the community college level.
There are two degree plans in this option. Plan A, the thesis option, requires 32 semester credits and is designed for full-time students. Students are expected to conduct original research and complete and defend a thesis. Plan B, a non-thesis option, requires 36 semester credits in which students complete a broad selection of courses and a final departmental written examination. Plan B is designed for either full-time or part-time students.