Biological Sciences

Master of Science in Biology

The graduate degree offered in the Department of Biological Sciences is intended to enrich and enhance education in biological sciences in order to prepare students for leadership roles in industrial, educational and research-oriented careers. The Department of Biological Sciences offers the Master of Science degree with thesis and non-thesis options, as well as a non-thesis Life Science Education option.

Students should have an undergraduate major in biology in order to gain full admission to the program. Those lacking the desired background will be required to complete appropriate leveling work. The departmental graduate adviser will review the student's transcript and determine the nature and amount of leveling work, and will assist the student in establishing his or her advisory committee. The committee chair, who will assume duties for the student through the remainder of their graduate program, should be chosen by the end of the first semester of graduate work. The advisory committee should consist of a minimum of three members. At least two members will be selected from Biological Sciences graduate faculty. Remaining members may be selected from the Biological Sciences graduate faculty or from graduate faculty outside the Biological Sciences that have expertise relevant to the student's area of interest.

The thesis, consisting of the written report of the research, must be the student's original work and must reflect his or her ability to express thoughts accurately and clearly. Both the thesis proposal and thesis must be written according to guidelines and deadlines established by the College of Graduate Studies and the Department of Biological Sciences. Students should refer to the Graduate Handbook, Thesis Manual, and the Biological Sciences Graduate Students Handbook for more detailed information.

Thesis students are encouraged to quickly establish and begin working with their advisory committee on a research proposal. To continue matriculation in the thesis option, students are required to gain approval of their research proposal from their advisory committee and submit the proposal to the College of Graduate Studies by the end of their first year in the program. Students failing to meet this deadline will be required to meet with their advisory committee to discuss a possible extension of the proposal deadline or switching to the non-thesis option. Thesis hours (BIOL 5688 Thesis) cannot be taken until the thesis proposal has been approved by the advisory committee and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Upon completion of the thesis and approval by the advisory committee and College of Graduate Studies, the student is required to schedule a public, oral presentation of his or her research followed by a comprehensive oral examination administered by the advisory committee. The oral examination will emphasize topics related to the thesis and course work. Successful completion of the comprehensive oral examination completes the program. If the attempt at the comprehensive oral examination is unsuccessful, it is at the discretion of the advisory committee to dismiss the student from the program or recommend to the student a plan of action to repeat the comprehensive oral examination. If a plan to repeat the examination is recommended, the plan may include recommendations to repeat courses in the weak areas, take additional course work, or spend more time in individual preparation prior to rescheduling a second attempt at the exam.

Master of Science in Biology

Required Courses
A. Thesis Option
BIOL 5088Thesis1-6
BIOL 5185Seminar 11
BIOL 5185Seminar 11
BIOL 5398Research Design and Analysis3
Additional BIOL course work15
Additional BIOL supporting area6
Total Hours: 32
B. Non-Thesis Option
BIOL 5185Seminar 11
BIOL 5185Seminar 11
BIOL 5398Research Design and Analysis3
Additional BIOL course work21
Additional BIOL supporting field10
Total Hours:36
C. Non-thesis Life Science Education Option
BIOL 5185Seminar 11
BIOL 5185Seminar 11
BIOL 5398Research Design and Analysis3
Additional BIOL Course Work16
EDUC 5311Methods of Effective Teaching3
EDUC 5314Creating and Managing the Learning Environment3
EDUC 5399Internship in Teaching 13
EDUC 5399Internship in Teaching 13
READ 5370Literacy Development3
Total Hours:36
1

Requires two semesters.

The non-thesis Master's candidate, during the final semester of course work, is required to successfully complete a comprehensive written and oral examination. For the written exam, instructors of degree plan courses are invited to submit questions over course material as the basis of the written exam. After successful completion of the written exam, students are required to schedule an oral examination with their advisory committee. Successful completion of the written and oral examination completes the program. If an attempt at the written or oral exam proves unsuccessful, it is at the discretion of the advisory committee to dismiss the student from the program or recommend a plan of action to the student to repeat the written or oral comprehensive examination. If a plan to repeat the examination is recommended, the plan may include recommendations to repeat courses in weak areas, take additional course work, or spend more time in individual preparation prior to rescheduling a second attempt at the exam.

Courses

BIOL 5086. Biological Problems. 1-6 Credit Hours (Lecture: 0 Hours, Lab: 1-6 Hours).

Independent research under the supervision of an instructor. A formal report will be submitted to the instructor. A student may not count more than 6 hours of biological problems toward a degree. Lab fee $10.

BIOL 5088. Thesis. 1-6 Credit Hours (Lecture: 1-6 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Scheduled when the student is ready to begin the thesis. No credit until thesis is completed. Prerequisite: BIOL 5398 and consent of major professor.

BIOL 5185. Seminar. 1 Credit Hour (Lecture: 1 Hour, Lab: 0 Hours).

A graduate seminar course providing the opportunity for students to lead discussions on a current topic in Biology. Topics vary according to interests of faculty and/or students. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisite: 12 hours of biology.

BIOL 5302. Ecological Plant Physiology. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

The interrelations of plants and their environments with emphasis on those which are subject to manipulation. Critical processes such as dormancy, photosynthesis, nutrition, reproduction, and water relations and their interactions in survival and biomass production. Prerequisite: BIOL 3426 or approval by the department head.

BIOL 5309. Cellular Biology. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of cellular morphology and function at the ultrastructural and molecular level. Prerequisites: Organic chemistry and 18 hours of BIOL or approval by the department head.

BIOL 5320. Environmental and Restoration Biology. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Study of human interactions with plants and animals within ecosystems with an emphasis on conservation and restoration ecology. Outdoor laboratories and restoration of plant communities are required.

BIOL 5321. The Aquatic Environment. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of the basic principles involved in the ecology of the aquatic community including biotic and abiotic relationships. Emphasis placed on the sources of water contamination to include the effects of the contamination upon the changes in water chemistry and their possible biological implication. Prerequisite: 18 hours of BIOL and 2 semesters of CHEM or approval by the department head.

BIOL 5330. Development of Modern Biological Concepts. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

A study of the development of biological concepts and their impact upon science and society. Biographical as well as contemporary readings will be involved. Prerequisite: Graduate classification or approval by the department head.

BIOL 5331. Conservation Biology. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Principles of conservation biology and the major issues that define the discipline. Study of value, threats to, and conservation of biodiversity. Conservation issues at the population and species levels, policy, and practical applications of the science will be included. Prerequisites: BIOL 3403 and 4401 or approval of department head.

BIOL 5340. Measuring Biological Diversity. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course is designed to give graduate students real world experience in acquiring and analyzing basic ecological data on the distribution and abundance of living organisms.

BIOL 5361. Evolutionary Biology. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Examination of evolutionary patterns, mechanisms and processes at the organismal, chromosomal and molecular levels; modes of adaptation and the behavior of genes in populations. Prerequisite: BIOL 3043 or equivalent.

BIOL 5380. Biological Scientific Writing. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

This course covers the basic principles of scientific writing with an emphasis on writing for the biological sciences. A specific focus of the course will be on the design, planning and writing of a research proposal in terms of problem selection, objectives, methodology, and formatting. Students will learn the types of literature and complete a literature search and review. Students will present their research proposal in an oral presentation.

BIOL 5390. Special Topics. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Selected topics in an identified area of biology, biochemistry or biotechnology. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisites: 12 hours of biology and 8 hours of chemistry or approval of department head.

BIOL 5398. Research Design and Analysis. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Statistical principles and techniques applicable to the procurement, analysis, and evaluation of quantitative data. Prerequisite: MATH 1314 or approval by the department head.

BIOL 5399. Practicum, Field Problem, or Internship. 3 Credit Hours (Lecture: 3 Hours, Lab: 0 Hours).

Supervised practice in specialized laboratory or professional settings. Prerequisites: 12 hours of biology and 8 hours chemistry or approval of department head.