Each student must have a thesis committee consisting of a major adviser and at least two other faculty from the department. This committee will be responsible for supervising the student 's research, advising the student regarding coursework and other aspects of the program, and administering a final oral exam at the time of the thesis defense.
In addition to at least 1 credit of BIOL 700 (Thesis) and 9 credits of BIOL 695 (Graduate Research), a M.S. candidate must complete 15 semester hours of courses numbered either in the 500s or 600s, with a grade average of ‘B’ or better. Within the 15 semester hours of courses, every student must successfully complete BIOL 580 (Introduction to Graduate Studies) during their first year in the program. Thesis students are strongly encouraged to complete their course requirements before the beginning of their fourth semester.
Each student must pass a Graduate Student Qualifying Examination covering basic and advanced principles of biology before the start of their third semester. The exam is usually given in the student's second semester. Details of the examination and other procedures are provided in the current version of the Biology Department Graduate Handbook.
Each student must also complete a research thesis approved by the committee. The work must be presented in a seminar open to all members of the department; the seminar is followed by an oral examination administered by the committee. Students who wish to work with a specific faculty member are encouraged to contact him or her prior to entering the program.
A minimum residency period of one year is required.