Master of Science in Biology

This is an archived copy of the 2019-2020 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Comprehensive examination
Option 1: Thesis
Option 2: Library or laboratory research project

A Master of Science in Biology student must complete 32-34 credit hours of approved graduate work. This will include 26-30 credit hours of coursework and two credit hours of BIOL 595 Colloquium. Two options are available to complete the M.S. degree requirements: a thesis option and a non-thesis option.

Thesis Option

The thesis option is designed for individuals planning careers as experimental biologists, including those who may wish to pursue a Ph.D. This option is available on a competitive basis. Students choosing the thesis option must complete six credit hours of thesis research (BIOL 591). Students must also prepare a written thesis based on laboratory research.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option is intended as a degree to meet the needs of teachers, science administrators, policy makers in the life sciences, patent attorneys, and others.

Students who elect the non-thesis option must complete a research project in one of the following courses:

Capstone (3)
BIOL 581Capstone3
Laboratory Research Project (6)
BIOL 522
BIOL 523
Research Techniques in the Biological Sciences I
and Research Techniques in Biological Sciences II


Required Courses (16)
BIOL 501Graduate Laboratory Techniques2
BIOL 504Biochemistry3
BIOL 515Molecular Biology3
BIOL 533Adv Graduate Lab Techniques3
BIOL 544Molecular Biology of Cells3
BIOL 595Biology Colloquium1
BIOL 595Biology Colloquium1
Research Course Requirements (6)
Select one of the following options:6
Option 1
Select one additional elective
Option 2
Resrch Tech in Biol Sciences I
and Resrch Techniqs in Biol Sci II
Option 3
Research and Thesis M.S.6
Elective Courses (10-12)
Select 10-12 credit hours10-12
Any 500-level biology course
Medical Microbiology3
Concepts of Cancer Biology3
Human Physiology3
Special Problems 11-3
Total Credit Hours32-34