Master of Science
The Department of Biology offers both thesis (Plan A) and non-thesis (Plan B) Master of Science degree programs. Both programs require a minimum of 30 semester hours of courses at the 300 level or higher. A minimum of 18 semester hours of formal course work is required for the thesis degree, and a minimum of 24 semester hours of formal course work for the non-thesis degree. The remaining credits may be research credits (BIOL 601 Research and BIOL 651 Thesis M.S.). The Entrepreneurial Biotechnology (EB) is a two-year Plan A professional MS degree in Biology. The program includes four required courses, an internship, and electives to make up the 30 semester hours (Click here for curriculum). The thesis is based on a real entrepreneurial project with an existing company or your own startup (the internship).
Plan A (Thesis)
The Plan A Master of Science degree in Biology is a thesis graduate degree program. The purpose of the program is to provide advanced training for those wishing to further research skills and experience in the field of biology. Students are required to conduct research under guidance of a faculty advisor and complete a Master of Science thesis.
Program of Study
All candidates must complete a total of 30 credit hours in course work at the 300 level or higher within 5 years. At least 18 of these credit hours must be at the 400 level or above. Further, at least 15 credit hours must be in courses offered by the Biology Department. The remaining coursework may include courses offered by any department within the University, subject to the advisor’s approval and Graduate School regulations. Candidates may take no more than 3 credit hours of BIOL 601 Research in Biology, but may take up to 9 credit hours of BIOL 651 MS Thesis Research. According to rules of the Graduate School, once a candidate registers for BIOL 651, the registration must continue for a minimum of 1 credit per semester until completion of the degree program. Students who are uncertain about completing the thesis requirements for the Plan A Master’s degree may consult the regulations for the Plan B Master’s degree. Candidates may take BIOL 599 Advanced Independent Study, which requires approval and evaluation by the Advisory Committee. The Plan A Master’s degree requires candidates to successfully pass an exit exam. The exam includes a written thesis and a two-part oral exam.
Plan A (thesis) Entrepreneurial Biotechnology
The Entrepreneurial Biotechnology (EB) students study state-of-the-art biotechnology, practical business, and technology innovation while working on a real-world entrepreneurial project with an existing company or your own startup. The EB helps to connect students with mentors, advisors, partners, funding sources and job opportunities. EB prepares students to work in diverse research or technology-centered environments. The Entrepreneurial Biotechnology Program (EB) requires students to write a thesis in order to graduate with a Master of Science in Biology, Entrepreneurship Track. The thesis must be based on a project of significant time investment on the part of the student and must be grounded in the real world (i.e. not simply an academic exercise). Thus, each student is required to work as an intern, employee, or entrepreneur, typically with a start-up, existing company, early-stage investment firm, or an affiliate of a research organization. The duration must be at least one year, with one semester reserved for full-time work outside of the classroom (usually the fourth and final semester). Under this requirement, international students will be permitted no more than one semester of full-time curricular practical training (CPT).
Plan B (Non-thesis)
The Plan B Master of Science degree in Biology is a non-thesis graduate degree program. The purpose of the program is to provide advanced exposure to biology for interested professionals, to provide additional training for those wishing to resume or change careers, or to provide additional preparation in biology for students interested in pursuing professional studies in the health sciences. Students are not required to write a Master of Science thesis, but the program does require independent study of all degree candidates.
Program of Study
All candidates must complete a total of 30 credit hours in course work at the 300 level or higher. At least 18 of these credit hours must be at the 400 level or above. Further, at least 15 credit hours must be in courses offered by the Biology Department. The remaining course work may include courses offered by any department within the University, subject to the advisor’s approval and Graduate School Regulations. Candidates are limited to 3 credit hours of independent study (BIOL 599) and may take three credit hours of BIOL 601: Research in Biology. Both of these courses require completion of a Course Proposal Form (available in the Biology Department Office) and approval by the advisor and Advisory Committee. In the case of enrollment in BIOL 599, the letter grade assigned will reflect the evaluation by the entire Advisory Committee. The candidate’s program of study must also include at least one seminar course that requires presentation of a seminar on a topic different from the topic to be covered in BIOL 601. Finally, at least one course must be taken in each of the following areas of biology: Cellular and Molecular Biology (including chemical biology), Organismal Biology, and Ecology/Population biology.