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Master of Science in Biology



The thesis-based Master of Science in Biology requires successful completion of the following: structured coursework, an oral qualifying exam, research thesis, and comprehensive final defense of thesis examination.

The master's degree requirements should be completed in 2-3 years. All degree requirements must be completed within a five-year period after enrollment in the program. Thesis research should be publishable, and students are encouraged to publish their findings.

Students pursuing a Master of Science in Biology can choose from three areas of concentration:

  Ecology and Evolution

Master of Science in Biology Ecology and Evolution Concentration (EEV)

The master's degree requirements should be completed in 2-3 years. The department requires all graduate work applied toward the completion of degree requirements be completed within a five year period after matriculation.

  • Credit hour requirement: a total of 30 semester hour credits beyond the Baccalaureate Degree are required. (including BSC 6910 Directed Research, BSC 6971 Thesis: Master's, BSC 6935 Graduate Seminar in Biology, BSC 6930 Graduate Seminar in Biology and other structured and unstructured courses approved by the department).
  • Successful completion of the oral comprehensive qualifying examination. The exam should be taken at the end of the first year, or early in the second year of study. The examination is administered and evaluated by the student's graduate committee.
  • Submission of a thesis proposal and approval by the major professor, graduate committee and graduate director.
  • A minimum of eight (8) thesis research credit hours (BSC 6971).
  • Seminar requirement: one presentation, excluding the thesis seminar and defense. Students should present posters or oral presentations based on their thesis research at national/regional professional meetings. The student's graduate committee must approve the presentation.
  • Submission of an acceptable thesis.Presentation of the thesis seminar (BSC 6935) and successful defense of the thesis.

Students selecting the ecology and evolution concentration must complete 17 credit hours of coursework selected from the list below. The graduate student, major professor and graduate committee will establish the specific courses for each graduate student.

BSC 5931 Conservation Biology (3)
BOT 5185 Marine Botany (4)
PCB 6455 Statistical Ecology (3)
PCB 6456 Biometry I (4)
PCB 6458 Biometry II (3)
BSC 5931 Comparative Approaches in Evolution (3)
PCB 6426 Population Ecology (3)
ZOO 5463 Herpetology (4)
ZOO 5456 Ichthyology (4)
BSC 6932 Advances in Population Biology (1)
BSC 6932 Advances in Ichthyology (1)
BSC 6932 Advances in Herpetology (1)
BSC 6932 Advances in Marine Ecology (1)
BSC 6932 Scientific Writing (2)
BSC 6932 Restoration Ecology (3)
BSC 6447 Community Ecology (3)
PCB 6933 Seminar in Ecology (variable)

Related Links

Ecology and Evolution Concentration
USF Graduate Catalog
Apply to USF Graduate School

  Environmental and Ecological Microbiology

Master of Science in Biology
Environmental and Ecological Microbiology Concentration (EVM)

The master's degree requirements should be completed in 2-3 years. The department requires all graduate work applied toward the completion of degree requirements be completed within a five year period after matriculation.

  • Credit hour requirement: a total of 30 semester hour credits beyond the Baccalaureate Degree are required. (including BSC 6910 Directed Research, BSC 6971 Thesis: Master's, BSC 6935 Graduate Seminar in Biology, BSC 6930 Graduate Seminar in Biology and other structured and unstructured courses approved by the department).
  • Successful completion of the oral comprehensive qualifying examination. The exam should be taken at the end of the first year, or early in the second year of study. The examination is administered and evaluated by the student's graduate committee.
  • Submission of a thesis proposal and approval by the major professor, graduate committee and graduate director.
  • A minimum of eight (8) thesis research credit hours (BSC 6971).
  • Seminar requirement: one presentation, excluding the thesis seminar and defense. Students should present posters or oral presentations based on their thesis research at national/regional professional meetings. The student's graduate committee must approve the presentation.
  • Submission of an acceptable thesis.Presentation of the thesis seminar (BSC 6935) and successful defense of the thesis.

Students selecting the environmental and ecological microbiology concentration must complete 17 credit hours of coursework selected from the list below. The graduate student, major professor and graduate committee will establish the specific courses for each graduate student.

MCB 5206 Public Health and Pathogenic Microbiology (3)
MCB 5655 Applied and Environmental Microbiology (3)
PCB 5235 Principles of Immunology (3)
MCB 6930 Seminar in Applied and Ecological Microbiology (1)
PCB 5525 Molecular Genetics (3)
BSC 5931 Genomics (4)
PCB 6456 Biometry I (4)
PCB 6458 Biometry II (3)
PCB 6455 Statistical Ecology (3)
BSC 6932 Advances in Environmental Ecology (1)

Related Links

Environmental and Ecological Microbiology Concentration
USF Graduate Catalog
Apply to USF Graduate School

  Physiology and Morphology

Master of Science in Biology
Environmental and Ecological Microbiology Concentration (PMY)

The master's degree requirements should be completed in 2-3 years. The department requires all graduate work applied toward the completion of degree requirements be completed within a five year period after matriculation.

  • Credit hour requirement: a total of 30 semester hour credits beyond the Baccalaureate Degree are required. (including BSC 6910 Directed Research, BSC 6971 Thesis: Master's, BSC 6935 Graduate Seminar in Biology, BSC 6930 Graduate Seminar in Biology and other structured and unstructured courses approved by the department).
  • Successful completion of the oral comprehensive qualifying examination. The exam should be taken at the end of the first year, or early in the second year of study. The examination is administered and evaluated by the student's graduate committee.
  • Submission of a thesis proposal and approval by the major professor, graduate committee and graduate director.
  • A minimum of eight (8) thesis research credit hours (BSC 6971).
  • Seminar requirement: one presentation, excluding the thesis seminar and defense. Students should present posters or oral presentations based on their thesis research at national/regional professional meetings. The student's graduate committee must approve the presentation.
  • Submission of an acceptable thesis.Presentation of the thesis seminar (BSC 6935) and successful defense of the thesis.

Students selecting the physiology and morphology concentration must complete 17 credit hours of coursework selected from the list below. The graduate student, major professor and graduate committee will establish the specific courses for each graduate student.

PCB 6456 Biometry I (4)
PCB 6458 Biometry II (3)
BSC 6932 Advances in Ichthyology (1)
ZOO 5463 Herpetology (4)
ZOO 5456 Ichthyology (4)
ZOO 54xx Ornithology (3)
BSC 6932 Scientific Writing (2)
PCB 5256 Developmental Mechanisms (3)
BSC 6932 Physiological Ecology (3)
BSC 6932 Advances in Physiology (1)
BSC 6932 Ecoimmunology (3)
BSC 5931 Comparative Approaches in Evolution (3)
BSC 5931 Ecological and Functional Morphology (3)
BSC 6932 Physiology of Movement (3)

Related Links

Physiology and Morphology Concentration
USF Graduate Catalog
Apply to USF Graduate School