Master of Science in Biology

Watershed Science Concentration

Because of the significant increase in knowledge regarding aquatic ecosystems dynamics, the formulation of management strategies, and the importance of this field of study to future management of our nation's surface water resources, the Watershed Studies Institute created the M.S. in Watershed Science degree program. The M.S. in Watershed Science is organized as an interdisciplinary program that provides students with a unique approach to watershed science. The program is designed around teaching and research resources of the WSI and will utilize the region's extensive aquatic ecosystems.                     

The Watershed Science MS in Biology emphasizes the biological aspects of watershed science while remaining highly interdisciplinary. It is designed to prepare students for careers or for further graduate studies in the broader aspects of watershed management and science.  All students must complete a core curriculum and advanced courses in their areas of interest.

 

Thesis Requirements

Total Course Requirements 30 hours:
BIO 642 Watershed Ecology (same as GSC 642)
BIO 689 Introduction to Graduate Studies 1
BIO 696 Understanding Scientific Communication
BIO 697 Seminar 1
Restricted Electives* 17
BIO 698-699 Thesis 6

 *Restricted electives to be selected from list (see academic bulletin) and approved by advisory committee. Must represent at least two disciplines, one of which must be BIO.

 

Other Degree Requirements

  • Proficiency in quantitative methods through STA 665.
  • Written and oral comprehensive examinations as specified by the advisory committee in broad aspects of watershed science and area of concentration, usually taken in third semester of residence.
  • Defense of thesis.

 

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 watershed science concentration 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.

 

Summary of Biological Sciences Graduate Program Admission Requirements:

  1. GRE:  You must have GRE scores to be admitted. We require a score of ~300 (50th percentile Verbal and 50th percentile Quantitative) on the GRE for unconditional acceptance. For conditional acceptance, your scores in both Verbal and Quantitative sections must be above the 25th percentile. If your scores are below this level, you will not be admitted.
  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. Undergraduate degree in: Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematics, Physics, or closely related field.
  4. 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.

 

For more information contact: Dr. Howard Whiteman, Graduate Coordinator, for Watershed Science, Department of Biological Sciences, Murray State University, 2112 Biology Building, Murray, KY 42071-3361, (270) 809-2786 or e-mail: hwhiteman@murraystate.edu.

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