About the Biological Sciences Master's and Doctoral Programs
The 36-hour non-thesis option may be elected by students working toward the M.S. degrees in biology, microbiology, and zoology. However, those students who expect to work beyond the M.S. degree and toward the Ph.D. degree are strongly encouraged to choose the 30-hour thesis option.
The Master of Science and doctoral programs include specializations in the areas of animal physiology, ecology, evolution and systematic biology, microbiology, plant physiology, plant biotechnology, and quantitative biology.
Once admitted to a master’s or doctoral degree program, students may be required by their advisory committee to take a preliminary, diagnostic examination that includes subject matter usually required of undergraduates. If the preliminary examination reveals serious weaknesses in the student’s subject-matter background, the student may be required to take remedial courses designated by the advisory committee.
Doctoral students must have five members on their advisory committee. Otherwise, the basic degree requirements of the Graduate School determine the policy of the department.
All graduate students in the Master of Science or Ph.D. programs are required to take BIOL 6202 during their first fall semester after acceptance in the graduate degree program. During their first year, teaching assistants are required to take a special topics course (BIOL 6301 ) that emphasizes development of teaching skills.