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Description of M.S. Biology Plan 1: Research Literacy Paper


Biology offers a primarily coursework Master’s degree, also called “Plan 1”, designed for students seeking additional exposure and training in sub-disciplines of Biology without the emphasis placed on original research by the thesis track (Plan 3) M.S. degree. Through this program students can develop additional technical skills, expand understanding of major areas of biology, and prepare themselves for various career opportunities or promotions. Although thesis research is not required, non-thesis students may gain research experience through research topics courses carried out in collaboration with faculty. For information on how to apply and admission requirements click here.

Plan 1 Requirements:

Please check the bulletin for the most up-to-date requirements. 

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.