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Description of M.S. Biology: Thesis

Biology offers a research-focused Master’s degree. This track is designed for students who want to gain independent research experience and who wish to pursue careers that require such experience. For example, students often pursue this plan as a stepping stone to a Ph.D. or professional program, or careers that seek employees with skill sets developed through independent research. A key requirement for admission to this program is support of a faculty mentor to oversee the student’s thesis research. For information on how to apply and admission requirements click here.

Thesis Track Requirements:

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

Students selecting the thesis track 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.