The purpose of the Master of Science degree program in the Department of Biology is to prepare graduates for high-level careers in various areas of biology. The department offers the M.S. degree with the option of selecting from a variety of thesis research topics based on individual research interests of the faculty.
Departmental Admission Requirements for the M.S. Degree
Guidelines for full admission into the program require that one of the following two requirements be met:
- A minimum overall undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 (on a 4-point scale) OR an undergraduate grade-point average of 3.0 in all Biology, Wildlife Fisheries Science, and related courses.
- Combined Quantitative and Verbal Revised GRE score totaling 300, and a minimum Analytical Writing score of 3.0.
Applicants that do not meet either of these guidelines can be considered for provisional admission through an appeal to the Graduate Policies Committee within the Department of Biology.
In addition to meeting the GPA or GRE requirements, a student will not be admitted without being accepted by a faculty advisor (Advisor Acceptance Form). The advisor will serve as the student’s thesis advisor during the student’s pursuit of the graduate degree.
Applicants should be aware that meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission to the program, since:
- The Department may not be able to financially support the research of the student, regardless of whether or not a student receives a stipend in the form of teaching or research assistantship. Additional resources must be provided to Biology graduate students in order to conduct their thesis research. The cost to conduct graduate research in the Department of Biology varies widely between and within disciplines and is affected by factors such as:
- whether the study will be conducted in a laboratory or the field (or both);
- whether or not specialized equipment is required;
- the amount of travel that may be necessary;
- wages of full-time or part-time assistants
- The Department may have more students than the faculty can reasonably guide. Prospective Biology graduate students should contact a potential faculty advisor in their research area prior to applying for admission. A student will not be admitted without being accepted by a faculty advisor (Advisor Acceptance Form). The advisor will serve as the student’s thesis advisor during the student’s pursuit of the graduate degree. Acceptance of a student by the faculty advisor is dependent upon:
- similarity of research interests;
- admission standards;
- number of graduate students that the faculty member is currently advising;
- available funding for research.
Although the Department of Biology has no strict deadlines for application, complete applications for students being considered for teaching assistantships should be received no later than November 1 for enrollment the following Spring Semester, and April 1 for enrollment the following Fall Semester. Applicants being considered for research assistantships will be evaluated as extramural funding becomes available.
For more detailed requirements and thesis research options, contact the department chair.
Provisional Admission Procedures
Students who do not meet departmental GPA and GRE® General Test (GRE) requirements can be admitted provisionally by appealing the initial rejection decision to the Department of Biology Graduate Policies Committee. This committee will only consider appeals that are presented by the applicant’s potential faculty advisor. Criteria commonly used by the Graduate Policies Committee regarding appeals are previous experience in the area of research and work history following graduation. Absolute minimum requirements for appeal consideration will consist of a minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 2.5 (minimum requirement of Graduate School for non-provisional admission).
The Graduate Policies Committee will make the final decision for all appeals.
Provisional Status Requirements
All applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements established for admission to the Master of Science Program within the Department of Biology, and who are granted an appeal by the Department of Biology Graduate Policies Committee, will be admitted with provisional standing. Provisions for achieving full standing will be determined by the Graduate Policies Committee in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and departmental chair.