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M.S. in Biology Thesis track

M.S. Program Requirements

  • Total of 30 credits required (including BSC6910, BSC/MCB 6971, BSC6935 & other credits approved by CMMB)
  • Twenty of these credits must be in structured courses
  • Ten credits from structured courses MUST BE at 6000-level
  • Three lab rotations in first semester where appropriate (3 hrs of BSC 6910 Directed Research credit)
  • PCB6525 (3 hrs) Molecular Genetics during Fall Semester of first year#
  • PCB6093 (2 hrs) Advances in Scientific Review during Fall Semester of first year
  • PCB6920 (1hr) Advances in Cellular & Molecular Biology during Fall Semester of first year
  • PCB6956 (3 hrs)  Scientific Grant Writing during Spring Semester of first year*
  • Minimum of two additional structured courses approved by CMMB (more depending on committee’s assessment, 3 hrs each)
  • BSC6930 (1 hr) Lectures in Contemporary Biology at least three times
  • BSC6905 / MCB6919 (3 hrs) Independent Study or equivalent where necessary
  • Submission and Approval of Thesis Proposal
  • Successful Completion of an Oral Qualifying Examination
  • 8 Credits MS Thesis Research (BSC/MCB6971)
  • Presentation Requirement (1 presentations at national/regional professional meetings)
  • Submission of acceptable thesis
  • Presentation of the masters seminar (BSC6935)

# May be changed to another course that better supports a student’s research endeavors. 
* For Fall admissions.  Students admitted in Spring will take this course in the Spring of their 2nd year. 

M.S. Biology Typical Progress Timeline

Projected tracking through program in 2 years*

*based on successful completion of written and oral qualifying exams in the time specified, good academic standing and continuation of research during summer sessions


Semester 1 (fall)
• BSC6910 Directed Research or Laboratory Rotations if required
• BSC6932 Advances in Scientific Review
• PCB6920 Advances in Cellular & Molecular Biology
• 1st Structured Course
• Submit Annual Progress Report by December 15th
• Establish ms Laboratory and Major Advisor

Semester 2 (spring)
• BSC6910 Directed Research
• BSC6932 Advances in Scientific Writing I (work on thesis proposal)
• BSC6930 Lectures in Contemporary Biology (1)
• 2nd Structured Course
• Form thesis committee (file paperwork)

Summer 1
• BSC6910 Directed Research
• Work on thesis proposal

Semester 3 (fall)
• BSC6910 Directed Research
• BSC6930 Lectures in Contemporary Biology (2)
• 3rd Structured Course
• Submit Thesis Proposal to Thesis Committee
• Complete Oral Qualifier by November 15th
• Submit Annual Progress Report by December 15th

Semester 4 (spring)
• BSC6971 Thesis: Masters
• BSC6930 Lectures in Contemporary Biology (3)
• BSC6905 Independent Study

Summer 2
• BSC6971 Thesis: Masters

Semester 5 (fall)
• BSC6971 Thesis: Masters
• BSC6935 Thesis Seminar
Defend thesis and graduate