M.S. in Biology
The M.S. in Biology is designed to prepare students for graduate or professional studies as well as for entering the job market. Students choose from one of three concentrations: molecular/cellular biology, microbiology or medical microbiology. For each concentration a student chooses one of two pathways to complete the degree: (1) complete a research project under the advisement of one of the faculty members, and write and successfully defend a thesis based upon that research; or (2) take a comprehensive examination based upon the course work completed. Each concentration has a set of required core courses (see Course of Study) which the student must complete; additional course work is completed from elective classes.
Students who elect to complete a thesis must complete a total of 30 credits (core plus electives). Students who elect to take the comprehensive examination must complete a total of 36 credits (core plus electives). For qualified students, financial aid packages are available in the form of teaching and graduate assistantships. These assistantships provide a stipend for the student and cover the cost of tuition for up to 12 credits per semester. Students can receive these assistantships for a maximum of four semesters.
About the Field
A Master’s of Science degree can be used as a steppingstone for multiple career paths. Students may further their scientific pursuits by continuing on to earn a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. Alternatively, students may enter the work force and be employed in research laboratories in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, hospitals and federal and state agencies. Successful graduates also may choose to enter medical, osteopathic, veterinary or dental schools to obtain professional degrees. In addition, students can choose from a wide variety of health related fields, such as physical therapy, nursing, genetic counseling, radiologic technology, to name a few. Biology majors are encouraged to develop specific career objectives while pursuing their graduate studies. Departmental advisers will assist students in exploring career possibilities and in devising a personalized plan of study that will best prepare them for their career goals.