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Master of Science in Biology

The graduate program in the Department of Biology offers courses that can be used to fulfill requirements for the Master of Science degree. The mission of the Department of Biology is to educate students to become competent, confident, and compassionate individuals within their chosen careers. The Department of Biology faculty is committed to providing instructional and research experiences for students to develop skills of inquiry, abstract and logical thinking, and critical analysis of natural science phenomena. The Department is also committed to meeting the needs of students by providing professional and academic tracks for degree completion. Students may pursue the M.S. under one of two degree plans, Plan 1 (Literacy Paper: non-thesis track) or Plan 3 (Thesis track).  See below for more information and admission requirements for each plan.

Plan 1:

Students selecting Plan 1 will demonstrate literacy in science, scientific writing, and oral communication by successfully completing 8 hours of core course requirements targeted at these goals. Students must demonstrate mastery of basic scientific and biological principles by successfully completing 28 hours of elective courses and passing an oral exam administered by an exam committee consisting of three graduate faculty. All candidates must maintain a minimum scholastic average of “B” (3.0) on all graduate courses completed and must give an oral presentation that summarizes scientific literature. The latter is typically accomplished in BIOL 5000 and BIOL 5735, but other venues deemed appropriate by the faculty advisor may suffice.

In their first semester, Plan 1 students will be assigned an advisor selected from the Biology Graduate Faculty with interests overlapping those of the student. This advisor will help the student chart and plan their coursework. The advisor will also form an exam committee in the students last semester that will administer the oral exam.

For a detailed listing of course options, please visit the Deparment of Biology website.

Plan 3:

Students selecting Plan 3 will demonstrate literacy in research, scientific writing, and oral communication by successfully completing 8 hours of core course requirements targeted at these goals. Additionally, students must submit a thesis based on an original, scientific investigation conducted under supervision of the student’s thesis committee chair and committee members. This research will refer specifically to that performed in connection with BIOL 5990. The graduate committee must approve the thesis prior to submission to the College of Graduate Studies. Students must demonstrate mastery of scientific and biological concepts by successfully completing 18 hours of elective courses, presenting and defending their thesis research in a public seminar, and passing an oral thesis defense exam administered by the thesis committee. All candidates must maintain a minimum scholastic average of “B” (3.0) on all graduate courses completed.

With approval of the thesis research mentor, students will develop a plan of study that outlines coursework and identifies two additional Biology Graduate Faculty to serve on the thesis committee by the end of their first semester. The committee will advise the student in research activities throughout their degree and administer the oral thesis defense upon approval of the thesis by the thesis committee chair.

For a detailed listing of course options, please visit the Deparment of Biology website.

Graduate Coordinator
Dr. Rebecca Johansen
johansenr@apsu.edu
931-221-7774
Department of Biology website

Admission Requirements

Program Specific Admission Requirements:

The Biology program admits for spring and fall terms on the APSU Clarksville campus. Only completed admission packets will be forwarded to the Biology Graduate Education Committee for review. Applicants should meet the Biology Department admission requirements and follow the specific Biology Department application instructions listed below:

Plan 1 (Literacy Paper: non-thesis track):
Plan 3 (thesis track):

Review of applications begins March 1st for the fall semester and October 15th for the spring semester and continue until all positions are filled. 

To Apply, submit the following to the College of Graduate Studies:

International Admission Requirements

To view graduate programs available to international students, refer to the Graduate Programs for International Students page on the College of Graduate Studies website. Depending on program and/or visa status, additional graduate admission requirements must be met. All admission documents must be received and processed before Biology Graduate Education committee review.

Admission Status

Regular admission will be granted to applicants who have met all entrance requirements. To be granted conditional  admission, unofficial transcripts and entrance exam scores may be submitted until the official documents are received  by Graduate Admissions. If official documents are not received as prescribed in the current Graduate Bulletin all classes will be dropped. Denied admission status will be granted to applicants who do not meet the regular or conditional criteria for admission to the program.

What do Master of Science in Biology Graduate Students do after Graduation?

A Master of Science in Biology presents an incredible diversity of career paths from:

Air pollution analyst Cytologist Animal ecologist
Museum curator Public health educator Biological photographer
Marine biologist Entomologist Criminologist
Biotechnology Botanist Scientist
Zoology Oceanographers Environmental analyst
Mycologist Osteopath Physical therapist