Jeffrey S. McKinnon, Chair, BN-108 Howell Science Complex
Terry L. West, Director of Graduate Studies, BN-108E Howell Science Complex
Students entering the MS programs in the Department of Biology must have a baccalaureate degree in biology or equivalent training in a related field, make satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination, and meet all the requirements for admission as approved by the Graduate School. Each entering student should consult the director of graduate studies in biology prior to beginning graduate work.
Students participating in a thesis-based master’s degree program (biology or molecular biology/biotechnology) must complete a minimum of 30 s.h. of course work (15 s.h. must be at the 6000-7000 level), a research-based thesis, a comprehensive defense of a thesis proposal, a seminar based on thesis research, a thesis defense and must show competence in teaching. The thesis option is intended for students interested in participating in scientific discovery and whose career path is best served by having thorough training and experience in the research process. Graduates of the thesis option commonly go on to join PhD programs, or enter research-based positions in universities, corporate organizations, or state or federal agencies. Up to 9 s.h. of graduate courses from other departments may be used to meet curriculum requirements upon approval by the department’s director of graduate studies. Up to 20 percent of required credit hours may be earned at another institution. See the director of graduate studies for acceptable transfer courses or consent to take courses off campus. The department attempts to offer courses on a one- or two-year rotation. However, because of changing interests of graduate students, it is unlikely that all the courses listed below will be offered in a two-year period.
Students selecting the non-thesis option for a master’s degree program (biology only) must complete a minimum of 38 s.h. of course work (19 s.h. must be at the 6000-7000 level), a final project consisting of a written scholarly review of a topic of interest in biology, an oral defense of the final project, and show competence in teaching by assisting in biology laboratory class instruction. Up to 12 s.h. of graduate courses from other departments may be used to meet curriculum requirements upon approval by the department’s director of graduate studies. The non-thesis option is designed for students who do desire to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the biological sciences, and aspire to careers in teaching, practice-based clinical professions, business, or other areas where individuals are not required to maintain an active research program. A student may switch between thesis and non-thesis tracks with the approval of their faculty advisor, and the director of graduate studies.
For the information about the doctoral program in interdisciplinary biological sciences, click on Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences, PhD or visit the program website at www.ecu.edu/idpbs/.