Jul 24, 2024  
2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Department of Biological Science

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Estelle Levetin

Charles R. Brown
Mark Buchheim
Estelle Levetin
Richard L. Reeder
Harrington Wells

Associate Professors
Akhtar Ali
Ron Bonett
Warren Booth
Mohamed Fakrh
Kenton Miller

Assistant Professor
Matteo Avella

Graduate Program Advisor
Harrington Wells


For more information about degree offerings by the faculty of biological science, visit the Department of Biological Science webpage.

The Department of Biological Science has several graduate degree options.

Dissertation and thesis tracks are available for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)  and Master of Science (M.S.)  degree programs. These programs are designed for graduate students who wish to undertake a significant research project. Although coursework is required, the focus of these degree options is research and writing, and each requires considerable non-flexible time commitments.

The non-thesis M.S. degree  in biological science is a coursework-focused program.

In addition to the standard thesis and non-thesis M.S. degree programs, the faculty of biological science also offers the accelerated master’s  and joint J.D./M.S.  programs. The accelerated master’s  degree program is a five year program resulting in a B.S. and M.S. in biological science. The joint J.D./M.S.  degree program is a program in which a law students can obtain a M.S. in biological science at the same time as the J.D. Both degree programs offer significant course hour reductions compared to obtaining the degrees sequentially.

Research facilities include laboratories equipped for the study of bioinformatics, cell biology, ecology, genetics, histology, molecular biology, microbiology, neurobiology, physiology and virology. In addition, core facilities exist for electron microscopy (scanning and transmission), automated DNA sequencing, microarray analysis, confocal microscopy, and an fMRI facility associated with the Laureate Institute for Brain Research. Areas of faculty research include animal behavior, botany, cellular biology, ecology, genetics, histology, herpetology, microbiology, molecular biology, mycology, parasitology, phylogenetics, physiology and virology. The University of Tulsa is also ideally located for field work in biomes as diverse as salt plains, the tallgrass prairie, and the deciduous forests of the Ozarks.

Mission Statement

Graduate work in the biological science at The University of Tulsa maintains scholarly excellence in fields that range from cell and molecular biology to ecology and physiology. The department supports both thesis (M.S. and Ph.D.) and non-thesis (M.S.) degree programs to meet that goal. Our mission for the thesis track degrees focuses on developing skills to be scientists. That includes not only scholarly expertise in an area of biology but also development of technical research skills and knowledge in experimental design and statistical data analysis. Central to the thesis degrees is critical thinking skills associated with literature review and scientific writing. Our mission for the non-thesis degree centers on scholarly expertise in an area of biology that complements professional development in law, the health sciences, or teaching. The non-thesis degree also requires critical thinking and analytical skills needed to understand the biological literature.

Learning Objectives

Doctor of Philosophy. The focus of the program is to offer quality graduate level courses in advanced topics in biology and to graduate Ph.D. students prepared for leadership roles in both academia and industry. Graduating students will have:

  • Gained an in-depth understanding of a particular set of sub-fields within biological science, which involves both knowledge of the literature and analytical ability to relate existing studies to alternative theories;
  • Conducted original research, with a leadership role in the experimental design, and the research will be of a magnitude that it could lead to several publications;
  • Developed communication skills to function successfully in the scientific community; and
  • Developed research skills to the degree that they can work as independent scientists.

Master of Science Thesis Option. The focus of the program is to offer quality graduate level courses in advanced topics in biological science and graduate M.S. students prepared for an advanced degree program (e.g. M.D., D.O., Pharm.D., D.D.S) including those with a research focus (e.g. Ph.D.), or research technician positions in industry or academic. Graduating students will be able to:

  • conduct original research of significant magnitude for publication,
  • exhibit knowledge of the scientific study undertaken beyond that expected of a technician, and
  • write-up and defend research results.

Master of Science Non-Thesis Option. The focus of the program is to offer quality graduate level courses in advanced topics in biological science and graduate M.S. students prepared for non-research positions or advanced degree programs not involving research (e.g. M.D., D.O., Pharm.D., D.D.S.). Graduating students will be able to:

  • exhibit knowledge beyond the B.S. level within a selected special focus area of biological science, and
  • effectively give an oral presentation on a selected area of focus.

Approved Supporting Elective Graduate Courses for Biological Science


    Master’sDoctoralAccelerated Master’sJoint Degree


      Biological Science

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