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Master of Science in Biology

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Master of Science in Biology


Within the guidelines, the individual's program is developed by an advisory committee to ensure proficiency in the basic areas of zoology, botany, ecology and genetics. The thesis track is strongly recommended for anyone considering further research or graduate activities.

Thesis Track

Total Course Requirements
30 hours:
BIO 689 Introduction to Graduate Studies
1
BIO courses, 600 level
6-8
BIO courses, 500 or 600 level
6-12
Graduate courses in related fields
0-6
BIO 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
2
BIO 697 Seminar
1
BIO 698-699 Thesis
6

Non-Thesis Track

Total Course Requirements
36 hours:
BIO 689 Introduction to Graduate Study
1
BIO courses, 600 level
14
BIO courses, 500 or 600 level
6-8
Graduate courses in related fields
0-12
BIO 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
2
BIO 697 Seminar
1


Other Degree Requirements, Thesis

  • Proficiency in quantitative methods through MAT 665 or a graduate course in bioinformatics, such as BIO 657.
  • A preliminary examination will be given in the student’s first semester to assess the student’s understanding of principles across the diverse disciplines of biology.
  • Oral defense of thesis. 

Other Degree Requirements, Non-Thesis

  • Proficiency in quantitative methods through MAT 665 or a graduate course in bioinformatics, such as BIO 657.
  • A preliminary examination will be given in the student’s first semester to assess the student’s understanding of principles across the diverse disciplines of biology.
  • BIO 695 Biological Research (4) with prior approval of the research topic by the student's graduate committee; results to be presented while enrolled in BIO 697 Research Seminar.
  • Graduate courses must include a minimum of one 500 or 600 level course from each of the following fields: botany, zoology, ecology and genetics. Specific courses that fulfill the requirements for these fields will be defined by the faculty.

To apply to the Master’s program in Biological Sciences:

1)     Complete the application process on the graduate admissions webpage (domestic students, click here; international students click here).

 

2)     Send a letter of intent to the biology graduate program coordinator. Instructions for the letter can be Biological Sciences Graduate Program Letter of Application.

 

3)     Contact potential mentors. You must meet all program requirements listed below (academic and language) and also must be accepted by a faculty mentor who will be your advisor. Finding a graduate mentor is typically the limiting factor for the Biology graduate program. Click here to find the expertise and contact information for potential mentors at.

 

Summary of Biological Sciences Graduate Program Admission Requirements:

 

1)     GRE:  We require a score of 300 (Verbal + Quantitative) on the GRE for unconditional acceptance. If you do not have GRE scores you can be accepted conditionally and take the GRE within the first semester of study at Murray State.

 

2)     Minimum GPA requirement: 3.0 for unconditional acceptance, if lower than 3.0, you can be accepted conditionally and must maintain GPA of 3.0 for the first 9 credit hours.

 

3)     Students can be accepted as ESL conditional: 

                Minimum score requirements for unconditional acceptance

    IELTS:  6.0

    Paper Based TOEFL: 527

    Institutional Based TOEFL: 71

            These scores are the same minimum requirements for the International Graduate Language admission requirements.

 

In addition to the requirements listed above, all students will be required to take the ETS Major Field Exam for Biology during their first semester at MSU. Students will be tested in four areas: 1) Population Biology, Evolution and Ecology, 2) Organismal, 3) Cellular Biology and 4) Molecular Biology. Any area scores that are below ½ of 1 standard deviation from the national mean will require students to take remedial courses in the deficient area before completion of their degree. Information on the Field Test can be found at: https://www.ets.org/mft/about/content/biology.

 

 

For more information contact: Dr. Michael Flinn, Graduate Coordinator, Department of Biological Sciences, Murray State University, 2112 Biology Building, Murray, KY 42071-3361, (270) 809-2786 or e-mail: mflinn@murraystate.edu.

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