Biology Curriculum

The Master of Science in Biology graduate program curriculum requires a minimum of 30 credits with thesis and non-thesis options. For the thesis option, you’ll complete a minimum of 18-24 credits of coursework and 6-12 credits of thesis research, and for the non-thesis option, you’ll complete 28 credits of coursework and 2 credits of independent study, in which you will produce a shorter research paper. The only required courses for all students are the one-credit Biology Colloquium that must be taken each semester (and may cover up to two credits of the graduate credit requirements) and the one-credit University Biology Teaching course.

Some of the current upper-division undergraduate courses will be co-listed as graduate courses. Graduate students can enroll at the graduate 5000 level for these co-listed courses, which will require a grade of B or better to pass, along with the additional graduate-level assigned papers or projects.

Program of Study

  • Biology Component
  • 1-2
    Course is comprised of lectures featuring prominent speakers from a variety of institutions.
  • 3
    Avian Ecology is a field-oriented course that focuses on bird interactions with each other and their environment as a medium for understanding field ecological research. Students become familiar with local bird identification, give presentations on selected topics, assist in banding birds, and carry out their own individual research projects under the guidance of a researching avian ecologist.
  • 3
    Lectures on special topics in selected areas of the Biological Sciences. May be repeated in the same or separate terms, as topics vary, to a maximum of 9 graduate hours.
  • 1
    A course designed for graduate students interested in learning more about teaching biology effectively at the University level. The format of the course will primarily be discussion-oriented with contributions from faculty both in and outside off the Department of Biological Sciences. You should either be currently teaching or have taught at the college level. Topically the course will cover three areas: teaching and learning, the academic job market, and faculty life.
  • 3
    Specific topics vary from year to year depending upon the interests of the faculty and the students enrolled.
  • 2
    Original research done in an area of the student's choosing in conjunction with a sponsoring faculty member. Results must be presented at a scientific conference.
  • 6-12
    Supervised execution of thesis research. Prerequisite: permission of advisor after submission of a thesis proposal to committee.
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Co-Listed Biology Component
  • 3
    BI 4050/5130 Ecology
    Fundamental ecological concepts which illustrate the complex interrelationships of living organisms with each other and with the non-living environment will be the focus of the course. Laboratory time used for field work, experimentation and analysis of data will be incorporated. Graduate students will have additional coursework and/or projects equivalent to graduate level study. Falls.
  • 3
    Addresses the diversity of form and function found in the basic units of life, the cells. The first segment centers on the various techniques, especially electron microscopy, which are used to study microscopic anatomy. The components, organelles, which comprise a "generalized cell" are examined and their functional relationships discussed. The second segment centers on the structural differences between tissues of the body (classical histology). Finally, this knowledge of cell and tissue structure will be employed to understand organs and organ systems. This course will not be purely morphological. The development and functional properties of these systems will be examined. There will be a laboratory component in this course. Falls.
  • 3
    BI 4180/5120 Biotechnology
    This course is an exploration of the use of living organisms to produce products beneficial to human kind, the application of biological organisms to technical and industrial processes and the use of "novel" microbes which have been altered or manipulated by humans through techniques of genetic engineering. This is a laboratory oriented course. Falls.
  • 3
    BI 4760/5140 Animal Behavior
    The study of animal behavior offers a unique opportunity to understand the relationship between ecology, evolution, physiology, populations and individual organisms. Examines the influence of genetics and environment on animal behavior. Outdoor and laboratory investigations test specific student and/or instructor generated hypotheses concerning the causal mechanisms underlying behavior. Falls.
  • 3
    BI 4770/5150 Animal Physiology
    This course will examine the various systems of the body including the respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and excretory systems using a comparative approach. Discusses the control of these systems and behavior by the nervous and endocrine systems. Inherent is an analysis of an interaction between the mechanisms of homeostatic regulation and the environment. Laboratory investigations using local animals illustrate some of the principles outlined in lecture through the use of student and/or instructor generated hypothesis testing and uses modern equipment including computers, Data Acquisition Units, amplifiers, transducers, stimulators and activity monitors. Spring of even years.
  • 3
    BI 4780/5150 Neurobiology
    This course will examine the various systems of the body including the respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and excretory systems using a comparative approach. Discusses the control of these systems and behavior by the nervous and endocrine systems. Inherent is an analysis of an interaction between the mechanisms of homeostatic regulation and the environment. Laboratory investigations using local animals illustrate some of the principles outlined in lecture through the use of student and/or instructor generated hypothesis testing and uses modern equipment including computers, Data Acquisition Units, amplifiers, transducers, stimulators and activity monitors. Spring of even years.
  • Minimum total for MS in Biology – 30 credits

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