The M.S. degree can be earned through any of three different options:
This degree option is a research degree leading to a formal thesis. Students take a minimum of 9 credit hours of graduate level course work. Students may be required to take more than 9 credit hours of course work if there is research area or undergraduate course work deficiencies. The remainder of the 30 credit hours of registration is taken as Thesis Research (BIOL 698) and Seminar (BIOL 696), a one credit hour registration during which the student presents the results of the research prior to the thesis defense. This degree option is available primarily to full-time students and, in most cases, comes with a support package (see Financial Support). Students should plan on spending two full years to complete this degree option.
Non-Thesis MS Option (Standard Non-Thesis)
The standard 30 hour non-thesis degree is comprised of course work. This option is most frequently chosen by students who hold full-time positions elsewhere. This option can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis, but requires enrollment in three or more semesters (e.g. Fall, Spring, and Summer).
Pre-Professional Non-Thesis (PPTN) MS Option
Entry into a reputable medical, dental or veterinary program is a highly competitive process, one where good academic performance and experience may not be enough for admission into your first professional school of choice. If you are serious about a career in the life and health sciences and can benefit from a year of intensive coursework, this one-year program could be just what you need to make that challenging next step in your career. The full-time, non-thesis, biology M.S. program is designed to help you improve your chances at entry into professional programs by improving your qualifications and experience. The program provides excellent preparation and demonstrates your strong motivation toward success and ability to withstand the rigors associated with professional degree programs.
The 30-credit hour program (five courses each semester) includes exciting courses in modern biology such as stem cell biology, regenerative biology and medicine, developmental neurobiology, biotechnology and epigenetics. While not designed to mimic professional schools, the program allows you to demonstrate a firm commitment to success and opens your eyes to a variety of academic and professional options. The training we provide can make you much more marketable and desirable to future schools and employers. Enrolled students will be held to high standards and are expected to graduate well prepared to compete for admission into professional programs or career opportunities.
Applicants should have a minimum of 16 credit hours in coursework toward a Biology major plus Chemistry and Physics coursework expected by professional schools. Learn more about the admissions requirements.
Download the Pre-professional MS program brochure.
The PPNT masters program is designed for recent graduates or career changers seeking to pursue:
- Allopathic Medicine
- Osteopathic Medicine
- Veterinary Medicine
- Physician's Assistant Positions