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Graduate Degrees

Our graduate programs are designed to offer a challenging, high-quality, and valuable graduate experience that prepares graduates for 21st Century careers in the life sciences. Students admitted into any of our six graduate programs have internship and grant & scholarship opportunities that will further prepare them for their future careers.

For additional information regarding our graduate programs or to discuss the availability of financial support for graduate students, please contact Dr. Michael Thomas.

To apply for all departmental graduate programs:

  1. Directly contact the Departmental Faculty for information about research opportunities.
  2. Complete the Graduate Application Process.
  3. Once your application materials have been submitted through the Graduate Application Process, notify the Department of Biological Sciences.

Graduate Degrees

  1. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biology
  2. Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Microbiology
  3. Doctor of Arts (D.A.) in Biology
  4. Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology
  5. Master of Science (M.S.) in Microbiology
  6. Bachelor of Science/Master of Science (B.S./M.S.) in Biology

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biology


The Doctor of Philosophy in Biology degree is designed to prepare graduates for careers in the biological sciences, working in academia, industry, and government research labs.  The Ph.D. degree is offered in areas consistent with faculty expertise. This degree is granted for proven ability, independent investigation, and scholarly attainment in a special field. It is primarily a research degree and is not granted solely on the completion of a certain number of credits. There is not a fixed total credit requirement for this degree. Credits for the dissertation and the research upon which it is based should comprise a substantial portion of the program and involve original work. It is understood that the research for and writing of the dissertation will require the equivalent of at least one year of full-time work.

To prepare for admission to the program familiarize yourself with the:

  1. Degree requirements found in the course catalog​, 
  2. Graduate School admission requirements for doctoral programs, and
  3. Departmental general admission requirements.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Microbiology


The Doctor of Philosophy in Microbiology degree is designed to prepare graduates for careers in the biological sciences, working in academia, industry, and government research labs.  The Ph.D. degree is offered in areas consistent with faculty expertise. This degree is granted for proven ability, independent investigation, and scholarly attainment in a special field.

To prepare for admission to the program familiarize yourself with the:

  1. Degree requirements found in the course catalog​, 
  2. Graduate School admission requirements for doctoral programs, and
  3. Departmental general admission requirements.

Doctor of Arts (D.A.) in Biology


The Doctor of Arts in Biology stresses preparation for undergraduate teaching at colleges and universities and the development of research abilities that complement instruction at the college level. The program is designed to provide the student with a broad background in the biological sciences, the ability to conduct and interpret research, and excellent pedagogical skills. All D.A. students are eligible for D.A. Fellowship support, which includes full tuition, benefits, and a stipend (contact the biology graduate programs director for details). The  D.A. in Biology is a terminal degree that produces graduates who are both excellent instructors and knowledgeable biologists. Scholars who graduate with a D.A. in Biology are exceptionally prepared to design and teach a variety of Biology courses at the college level and have practiced doing so throughout the course of the program. D.A. Graduates in Biology have a better than 95% success rate at attaining faculty positions at colleges and universities throughout the country.

To prepare for admission to the program familiarize yourself with the:

  1. General D.A. in Biology information,
  2. Degree requirements found in the course catalog​, 
  3. Graduate School admission requirements for doctoral programs, and
  4. Departmental general admission requirements.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology


The Master of Science in Biology degree is designed to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of the biological sciences and the capability to teach or conduct research. Programs are flexible and can be tailored to satisfy the professional and goals of each student, preparing students for careers in industry or for advanced study in the life and health sciences. Graduates follow many paths, finding success and solving problems for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, academia, education, and the private sector, while others engage in entrepreneurial activities or seek additional training in doctoral programs.

To prepare for admission to the program familiarize yourself with the:

  1. Degree requirements found in the course catalog​, 
  2. Graduate School admission requirements for other programs,
  3. Departmental general admission requirements, and
  4. The program of study found below.

Program of Study

M.S. Biology grads work with an advisory committee to develop an independent research project and a program of study to that will help them achieve their professional aspirations.

  • First semester: Incoming grads take BIOL 6690 (first semester seminar) and other courses as directed by their advisory committee; grads also meet with their advisory committee and develop a preliminary program of study.
  • Second semester: Grads take BIOL 6605 (biometry) and 6691 (proposal seminar), during which they present their research proposal, and other courses as directed by their advisory committee.
  • Second (and, if necessary, third) year: Grads conduct research, take courses as directed by their advisory committee, and write and defend their MS thesis.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Microbiology


The Master of Science in Microbiology degree is designed to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of the biological sciences and the capability to teach or conduct research. Programs are flexible and can be tailored to satisfy the professional and goals of each student, preparing students for careers in industry or for advanced study in the life and health sciences. Graduates follow many paths, finding success and solving problems for government agencies, nonprofit organizations, academia, education, and the private sector, while others engage in entrepreneurial activities or seek additional training in doctoral programs.

To prepare for admission to the program familiarize yourself with the:

  1. Degree requirements found in the course catalog​, 
  2. Graduate School admission requirements for other programs, and
  3. Departmental general admission requirements.

Bachelor of Science/Master of Science (B.S./M.S.) in Biology


The goal of the B.S./M.S. in Biology  is to allow academically strong students to begin work towards an M.S. degree after completing their Junior year. This will allow students to complete an M.S. degree, as well as a B.S. degree, with only one additional year in school. It prepares students for careers in science and for graduate programs in the life sciences.

  1. General B.S./M.S. in Biology information,
  2. Degree requirements found in the course catalog​, 
  3. Graduate School admission requirements for other programs, and
  4. Departmental general admission requirements.

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