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Division of Academic Affairs
Graduate Catalog 2012-13


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Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Biology


Jeffrey S. McKinnon, Chair, BN-108 Howell Science Complex
Terry L. West, Director of Graduate Studies, BN-108E Howell Science Complex

As a prerequisite to graduate study in a degree program, the Department of Biology requires that the applicant meet the admission requirements of the university, make satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examinations, and show competence in specific related areas. Each entering student should consult the director of graduate studies in biology prior to beginning graduate work.

Students must complete a minimum of 30 s.h. of course work (15 s.h. must be at the 6000-7000 level), a research-based thesis, a comprehensive defense of a thesis proposal, a seminar based on thesis research, a thesis defense and must show competence in teaching. Up to 20 percent of required credit hours may be earned at another institution. See the director of graduate studies for acceptable transfer courses or consent to take courses off campus. The department attempts to offer courses on a one- or two-year rotation. However, because of changing interests of graduate students, it is unlikely that all the courses listed below will be offered in a two-year period.

For the PhD in interdisciplinary biological sciences, see the Brody School of Medicine.

MS in Biology

  1. Core: BIOL 6880, 7000*; BIOL 7900 or BIOS 7021 or 7022; and 7 s.h. of electives - 15 s.h.
  2. Concentration area (Choose a minimum of 15 s.h. from one area.) - 15 s.h.
    Cell biology:
    BIOL 5450, 5451, 5630, 5631, 5800, 5810, 5821, 5870, 5890, 5900, 5901, 6030, 6082, 6083, 6100, 6120, 6130, 6200, 6230, 6231, 6250, 6251, 6300, 6301, 6504, 6900, 7080, 7090, 7091, 7130, 7170, 7180, 7181, 7190, 7210, 7211, 7212, 7213, 7240, 7345, 7370, 7480, 7481, 7870, 7875, 7880, 7881, 7890, 7895.
    Environmental and organismic biology:
    BIOL 5070, 5071, 5150, 5151, 5220, 5221, 5230, 5231, 5260, 5261, 5270, 5351, 5400, 5401, 5550, 5551, 5600, 5601, 5640, 5641, 5680, 5730, 5731, 5950, 5951, 6040, 6041, 6071, 6210, 6220, 6514, 6700, 6800, 6820, 6821, 6850, 6860, 6910, 7010, 7020, 7021, 7200, 7201, 7310, 7350, 7360, 7630, 7740, 7741, 7920.
*BIOL 7000 may be repeated for registration status, but only 6 s.h. may count toward graduation.

MS in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology

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Applicants must complete courses or demonstrate competency in genetics, microbiology, and basic molecular technology. The degree requires 30 s.h. of credit as follows.

  1. Required courses (12 s.h.): BIOL 5870 or 7870, 5800, 5821, 6880, 7000*.
  2. A minimum of 14 s.h. (including two of the ** courses) must be taken from the following: BIOL 5260, 5261, 5510, 5511, 5520, 5521, 5890, 5900**, 5901**, 5930, 5931, 6030, 6082, 6083, 6100, 6120, 6200, 6230, 6231, 6250**, 6251**, 6504, 6514, 6992, 6993, 7080, 7180**, 7181**, 7190, 7210, 7211, 7212, 7213, 7480**, 7481**, 7875, 7880, 7881, 7890, 7895.
  3. Electives: A maximum of 4 s.h. may be designated at the candidate’s option as elective hours with the approval of the graduate director and the candidate’s advisor, to complete graduation requirements of 30 s.h. for this degree.
*BIOL 7000 may be repeated for registration status, but only 6 s.h. may count toward graduation.

Internship Option: Qualified students will be encouraged to spend from six months to one year in an internship at an industrial or governmental research laboratory. From 2-5 s.h. of internship credit can be applied toward the degree.