Jun 21, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin 
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED BULLETIN]

Biological Sciences, Thesis, M.S.

Return to the Department of Biological Science 

The thesis M.S. degree option is designed for graduate students who wish to undertake a significant research project and write a thesis. Although class work is required, the focus of this degree options is research and writing. The thesis involves not only a scientific report on the research performed for the degree, but also a comprehensive literature review on the subjects related to the thesis research. The thesis M.S. degree option is for those students focusing on a care r that involves biological research, and gives participants hands-on training to be scientists. The thesis M.S. in Biology requires 30 hours of course work with no more than 40 percent at the 6000 level.

Degree Specifications

Course Work

30 hours with no more than 40 percent at the 6000 level.

Graduate Seminar: 6 hours  
Class Work: 9 hours in an area of specialization.  
Research/Thesis Courses: 15 hours  
Total: 30 hours  


An advisory committee chaired by the faculty member supervising the research should be formed at the end of the first year of study. It should have two other members of the graduate biology faculty.


The research should be of adequate originality and quality to be recognized by the faculty as meeting criteria applied for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Thesis Defense

The thesis defense consists of a departmental seminar that details the results of the research followed by a satisfactory defense of the thesis in an oral exam administered by members of student’s thesis committee.