Master of Arts in Biological Sciences

Program Rationale:

The master of arts programs provide study in the biological sciences for those graduate students desiring to major in biology. The programs are designed to fulfill the educational needs of biologists who desire further specialization and/or knowledge of recent advances in the field; students who seek a subject matter masters as an intermediate step toward preparation for work at the doctoral level; and teachers who are interested in specializing in a particular area, or updating their knowledge within the discipline of biology. Specialization may be in such areas as botany, zoology, physiology, ecology, and environmental studies. Each student will be assigned an advisor whose function will be to help the student plan a sound program.

Program Learning Outcomes:
Graduate students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge in general biology;
  • describe scientific methodology and conduct experiments;
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of a specific area of biology;
  • be able to read and comprehend primary literature;
  • deliver effective oral presentations (poster or PowerPoint); and
  • effectively communicate on research in written format.

Course and Capstone Requirements:
Note: Additional work, as described in the course syllabi, will be required for graduate credit in 400-level courses. Students may take no more than nine credits of 400-level courses.

Biological Sciences: General Program, MA

There are two options (Plan A and Plan B) leading to the Master of Arts degree, both of which require 30 credits.

Both Plan A and B require BIO 500 and 540 in addition to 19-20 credits of directed electives in biology or related fields as approved by advisor.
Plan A
BIO 599 Thesis and thesis defense (6 credits)
BIO 598 Research in Biology (3 credits)
599 Thesis and thesis defense (3 credits)
Plan B
BIO 590 Focused Study in Advanced Biology 1-4
BIO 591 Independent Research Project in Advanced Biology 1-4 and BIO 598 Research in Biology (3 credits) and a comprehensive exam.
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