Degree Requirements

brid lab
Meris
checking plants in a quadrant
disecting a snake Dissection of a snake

The Master of Science in Biology requires a minimum of thirty-six (36) Semester Credit Hours (SCH), and expects the student to conduct original research.

  • The "thesis" of the Thesis Plan is an extensive analysis and presentation of the student's original research; students who plan to continue in academics or research are encouraged to follow the Thesis Plan.
  • The original research in the Non-Thesis Plan is presented in a professional paper (which is less extensive than a thesis); this plan is especially suitable for students who are professionally employed and seek advancement or more extensive training for their job.

The choice between the Thesis Plan and the Non-Thesis Plan is made by the student in consultation with his or her Graduate Advisory Committee. This committee also must approve all elective courses to be counted for credit towards the graduate degree. The current Graduate Catalog contains a description of the Graduate Biology Program and Its Courses.


The BIOL and FAMA Handbook provides information to help students prepare necessary documents.


The Thesis Plan specifies 13 Semester Credit Hours (SCH) of required courses:

Course # Course Title SCH
BIOL 5102 Graduate Research Seminar 1
BIOL 5392 Thesis Proposal 3
BIOL 5393 Thesis Research 3
BIOL 5394 Thesis Submission 3
MATH 5315 Statistical Methods of Research 3

The Non-Thesis Plan specifies 7 Semester Credit Hours (SCH) of required courses:

Course # Course Title SCH
BIOL 5102 Graduate Research Seminar 1
BIOL 5397 Directed Research 3
MATH 5315 Statistical Methods of Research 3

Elective Courses: The remaining hours are chosen in consultation with the student's Graduate Advisory Committee. In addition to elective courses from the Graduate Biology Program, students should examine courses from the other graduate programs in the College of Science and Technology (The student's Graduate Advisory Committee may also approve up to nine hours of work from other colleges.) The LSCI Graduate Course List contains a complete list of graduate courses in the Department of Life Sciences and links to other programs that offer graduate courses of interest.