Biology, Master of Science (056)

Biology

http://www.wku.edu/biology/


Program Coordinator

Carl W. Dick, carl.dick@wku.edu, (270) 745-2043

The Master of Science in Biology provides many opportunities in teaching, research, and public service and provides excellent preparation for many other areas of basic and applied sciences. The program offers students the option of a traditional thesis and a non-thesis option that incorporates distance-learning.  The non-thesis option is designed primarily for career-oriented students who are located off campus.

Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP)

This degree offers a Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP) which provides academically outstanding students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in approximately five years.  Contact the graduate program coordinator for additional information.

Program Admission

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the Department of Biology requires the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology or equivalent including supporting courses in science and mathematics
  • Undergraduate GPA ≥ 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • GRE general score (quantitative + verbal) ≥ 300 if taken on or after August 1, 2011 or ≥ 1050 if taken prior to August 1, 2011, and analytical writing score of ≥ 3.5. If the GRE has not been taken previously, exam scores from the MCAT (≥ 24) or DAT (≥ 16) may be substituted.
  • A biology graduate faculty member must be willing to serve as advisor before a student is admitted to the program.
  • Three letters of reference
  • Statement of purpose, in which the applicant must specify the program to which they are applying, indicate their academic and career interests, and summarize relevant experiences.

Exceptions to possessing a Biology degree may be made for students with undergraduate degrees in biology- related areas. Examples include, but are not limited to the following: agriculture, bioinformatics, biotechnology, botany, ecology, evolution, horticulture, microbiology, natural resource management, zoology. However, additional courses may be required and will be determined by the student's graduate advisory committee (or graduate advisor for online program students).

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30 hours)

The M.S. in Biology program offers a thesis and non-thesis option. 

Required Courses
BIOL 500Introduction to Graduate Studies and Research in Biology (first year)3
BIOL 598Graduate Seminar2
BIOL 599Thesis Research/Writing (6 hrs)3-6
or BIOL 516 Investigations/Biology
Electives
Advisor approved biology courses 119-22
Total Hours30
1

As part of the graduate biology elective courses, students may choose an option of Biochemistry, Environmental Science, or Peace Corps Master's International. Coursework will be determined by the student's graduate advisory committee (or graduate advisor for online program students).

Biochemistry Option (Thesis)

BIOL 446GBiochemistry I 13
BIOL 447GLab Biochemistry I 12
BIOL 467GBiochemistry II 13
BIOL 535Analytical Biochemistry3
BIOL 562Advanced Biochemistry3
Select 5 hours of electives 25
Total Hours19
1

Students who have completed BIOL 446, BIOL 447, and/or BIOL 467 for undergraduate credit will satisfy the requirement(s) and complete an elective(s) in lieu of the course(s).  

2

Coursework will be determined by the student's graduate advisory committee.

Environmental Science Option (Thesis)

BIOL 506Environmental Seminar3
BIOL 543Environmental Science Concepts3
BIOL 587Environmental Law, Regulations, and Policy3
Select 10 hours of electives 110
Total Hours19
1

Coursework will be determined by the student's graduate advisory committee.

Peace Corps Master's International Option (Non-Thesis)

LEAD 500Effective Leadership Studies (first term)3
LEAD 600Capstone in Leadership Experience (last term)3
Organizational leadership courses6
Ethics and social responsibility course3
Human relations course3
Select 4 hours of additional electives 14
Total Hours22
1

Coursework will be determined by the student's graduate advisory committee.