Biological Sciences

Other Information

Graduate Catalog: Biology

  • Admission requirements
  • Program details
  • Course descriptions

Application Deadlines

Department: Biology

Program Coordinator:
Dr. Brian Olson blolson@stcloudstate.edu

I really love all the support you get here at SCSU including the incredible support and direction from my professors who are always willing to loan out their knowledge.
-   Joseph Carlyon

Program Overview

The graduate program in biology offers two tracks:

  • Master of Science (Plan A, thesis option) with options in Ecology and Natural Resources or Cell and Molecular Biology. 30 credits.
  • Master of Arts (Plan B, non-thesis option) with options in Ecology and Natural Resources or Cell and Molecular Biology. 36 credits.

Programs within the Department of Biological Sciences are designed to provide a stepping stone into teaching and research positions, medical product sales, professional careers as medical doctors, and natural resource scientists and managers. The objectives of the program are to provide the student with in-depth knowledge in a chosen area of biology, while also gaining a breadth of knowledge in related disciplines. Practical experiences and communication are also emphasized. 

Admission Information

  • Admission into the graduate program is competitive.
  • All prospective students should contact a faculty member within the department to discuss research interests and graduate student opportunities prior to submitting an application. This step is strongly suggested to increase the probability of admission into the program and to ensure that faculty expertise matches that of prospective students. 

Faculty Specializations

Faculty tend to be associated principally with one emphasis (Ecology and Natural Resources or Cell and Molecular Biology), but it may sometimes be appropriate for a faculty member to advise a student in either emphasis.  Graduate students will develop an individualized program of study with their faculty advisor the first semester enrolled in the program, where permission can be granted to include carefully selected courses within and outside of the principal emphasis.

Length of Program — Measured by Semesters

  • The program has been designed to accommodate both part-time and full-time students.
  • Full-time Student: four semesters taking nine to twelve credits per semester.
  • Part-time Student: five to six semesters taking six credits per semester.
  • Completion of the graduate programs in Ecology and Natural Resources or in Cell and Molecular Biology requires attendance in daytime courses; some required courses may be offered in the evening or summer term. 

Graduate Assistantship Overview

  • Seven graduate teaching assistantships are generally sponsored each year, and are available both fall and spring semesters.   A few assistantships are also available during the summer.
  • Grant funding for faculty sometimes makes graduate research assistantships available.  Contact potential advisors to inquire about availability.