Aug 22, 2019  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
    
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin

Biology (M.S.)


Bulletin/Catalog Year 2019-2020
College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
Department of Biology

Dr. Don C. Dailey
Chair, Department of Biology
Professor
Location: Sundquist Science Complex, Room D125
P.O. Box 4718
Phone: 931-221-7781
Email: daileyd@apsu.edu

Dr. Rebecca Johansen
Graduate Coordinator
Professor
Location: Sundquist Science Complex, Room D116
Phone: 931-221-7774
Email: johansenr@apsu.edu

Description of Major

The graduate program in the Department of Biology offers courses that can be used to fulfill requirements for the Master of Science degree. The mission of the Department of Biology is to educate students to become competent, confident, and compassionate individuals within their chosen careers. The Department of Biology faculty is committed to providing instructional and research experiences for students to develop skills of inquiry, abstract and logical thinking, and critical analysis of natural science phenomena. The Department is also committed to meeting the needs of students by providing professional and academic tracks for degree completion.

Admission Requirements

Plan 1 (Literacy Paper: non-thesis track)

Applications are due by March 1 for Fall admission and October 15 for Spring admission. Unofficial GRE scores and transcripts may be used for the admission evaluation process, but if admitted, official documents are required before starting classes.

Listed below are the required application materials and the associated scores (if necessary) for each. The Biology Graduate Committee will evaluate all applicants and provide its admission decision (admit/deny) to the graduate school to complete the required admission process.

  • Application for admission
  • Application Fee:  $45 domestic or $55 international
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Verification of lawful presence in the United States (i.e. submit a license or other approved document)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or a minor in Biology, from a regionally accredited institution showing a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Combined verbal and math GRE Score of 300 or higher. The review committee may waive the GRE requirement for students that have exceptional academic credentials evidenced by their GPA, success in past biology courses, letters of support, or other documents deemed appropriate by the committee.
  • A one-page statement of your area(s) of interest in biology and purpose for seeking an M.S. degree in Biology
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Military documents (if applicable)

Plan 3 (thesis track)

Applications are due by March 1 for Fall admission and October 15 for Spring admission.  Unofficial GRE scores and transcripts may be used for the admission evaluation process, but if admitted, official documents are required before starting classes.

Listed below are the required application materials and the associated scores (if necessary) for each. The Biology Graduate Committee will evaluate all applicants and provide its admission decision (admit/deny) to the graduate school to complete the required admission process.

  • Application for admission
  • Application Fee:  $45 domestic or $55 international
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Verification of lawful presence in the United States (i.e. submit a license or other approved document)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or a minor in Biology, from a regionally accredited institution showing a minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Support of a faculty research mentor. Candidates should review biology faculty research interests and are encouraged to contact faculty with whom they would like to collaborate on a graduate thesis project. Faculty must agree to serve as the thesis advisor prior to admission under this plan.
  • Preference for admission and assistantship support will be given to those students with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher and a combined verbal and math GRE Score of 300 or higher.  Students with cumulative GPA below 2.5 will not be accepted.
  • A one-page statement of research interests you wish to pursue, past research experiences, and the name(s) of the faculty member with whom you wish to work.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Military documents (if applicable)

Tracks/Options/Plans

Students may pursue this degree following one of two tracks: Plan 1 (Literacy paper – non-thesis) or Plan 3 (thesis).

For more information about the application process, please visit apsu.edu/grad-studies

Plan I (Literacy Paper - non-thesis track)


Plan 1: Research Literacy Paper

Students selecting Plan 1 will demonstrate literacy in science, scientific writing, and oral communication by successfully completing 8 hours of core course requirements targeted at these goals. Students must demonstrate mastery of basic scientific and biological principles by successfully completing 28 hours of elective courses and passing an oral exam administered by an exam committee consisting of three graduate faculty.  All candidates must maintain a minimum scholastic average of “B” (3.0) on all graduate courses completed and must give an oral presentation that summarizes scientific literature. The latter is typically accomplished in BIOL 5000 and BIOL 5735, but other venues deemed appropriate by the faculty advisor may suffice.

In their first semester, Plan 1 students will be assigned an advisor selected from the Biology Graduate Faculty with interests overlapping those of the student. This advisor will help the student chart and plan their coursework. The advisor will also form an exam committee in the students last semester that will administer the oral exam.

Total Hours 8


Electives


Select twenty-eight (28) credit hours from electives listed below.

Total hours for degree completion 36


Plan III (thesis track)


Plan 3: Thesis

Students selecting Plan 3 will demonstrate literacy in research, scientific writing, and oral communication by successfully completing 14 hours of core course requirements targeted at these goals. Additionally, students must submit a thesis based on an original, scientific investigation conducted under supervision of the student’s thesis committee chair and committee members. This research will refer specifically to that performed in connection with BIOL 5990. The graduate committee must approve the thesis prior to submission to the College of Graduate Studies. Students must demonstrate mastery of scientific and biological concepts by successfully completing 18 hours of elective courses, presenting and defending their thesis research in a public seminar, and passing an oral thesis defense exam administered by the thesis committee. All candidates must maintain a minimum scholastic average of “B” (3.0) on all graduate courses completed.

With approval of the thesis research mentor, students will develop a plan of study that outlines coursework and identifies two additional Biology Graduate Faculty to serve on the thesis committee by the end of their first semester. The committee will advise the student in research activities throughout their degree and administer the oral thesis defense upon approval of the thesis by the thesis committee chair.

Total Hours 14


Electives


Select eighteen (18) credit hours from electives listed below

Total hours for degree completion 32


Plan 1 and Plan 3 Elective Courses


Special rules or conditions needed for graduation (written/oral exams, practicum, etc.)


All candidates must maintain a minimum scholastic average of “B” (3.0) on all graduate courses completed.  All plans require giving an oral presentation and passing an oral exam to assess competency in fundamental biological principles and biological research for completion of the Biology Department Master of Science degree. Those on Plan 1 may accomplish the presentation requirement through presentations in BIOL 5000, BIOL 5735 or other avenue deemed appropriate by the faculty advisor. Those pursing Plan 3 must give a public, oral seminar and defense of their completed thesis research. A minimum of 75% of elective hours must come from Biology courses.