Degree Requirements | Biology (M.S.)

Master of Science students are required to complete a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours beyond the baccalaureate degree. The course requirement provides students with basic understanding and skills in the Biological Sciences, while allowing individuals to tailor the specific coursework to meet their needs.

It is possible to apply up to 10 hours of graduate-level credit taken in a previous master's program towards the 30 hours required for the M.S. degree, subject to approval by the student's advisory committee, the graduate coordinator, and the Graduate School.

Thesis Option Requirements

Courses Required
BIOS 7000 (Thesis Research) 6 hours

6000-level course work
Maximum 3 credit hours of BIOS 6090
May not include BIOS 6091

6 hours
BIOS 6091 (Graduate Seminar) 4 hours
Minimum of 12 of 24 hours beyond
BIOS 7000 (Thesis Research) must be
in Dept. of Biological Sciences
12 hours

Advisory Committee

Each M.S. student in the thesis option has an advisory committee that directs the course work and research. In the first semester, you'll selects a faculty member from the Department of Biological Sciences to serve as chair of your advisory committee. By the end of the second semester, the advisory committee is expanded to a minimum of three members. Members of the advisory committee must be members the graduate faculty and at least half must be from the Department of Biological Sciences.

Annual Reports

Students in the thesis option submit Annual Reports documenting progress in the program, which are evaluated by the graduate committee. A Candidate Plan of Study that includes coursework completed, in progress, and remaining, must be approved by the graduate coordinator and submitted to the graduate school no later than the semester prior to the completion of the degree.


The thesis option student works to cultivate a thesis embodying original research in a specialized area. The thesis must be presented in a seminar open to the public, defended in an oral final examination, and approved by the student's advisory committee. After the defense, the thesis is revised according to committee recommendations and approved by the College of Sciences and the Graduate School.

Non-thesis Option Requirements

15 credit hours in courses numbered 6000 or higher
Core (BIOS) 5103, 5113, 5153), BIOS 6113 12 hours
BIOS 6091 (Seminar) 1 hour
BIOS 6002 (Internship) 2 hours
BIOS 6003 (Capstone) 3 hours
6000-level Electives 6 hours
Electives 6 hours 


Prior to entering the program, and at regular intervals thereafter, students will meet with the program director who will advise students on elective coursework, internships, and progress through the program.

Examination Report

An examination report must be presented to the Graduate School as evidence of completion of the Master’s degree capstone course.

Any course in which a student earns a C will be reviewed by the graduate committee to determine whether it will count toward the degree requirements. In no case, will more than 6 credit hours of C be applied to the degree requirements.