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BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES

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Contact: Graduate Program Director

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Application Deadlines:
For domestic classified status, the deadline is approximately a month before the start of classes (Definite dates are on the application itself). International students, please see the FAQs #16 for your deadline. NOTE: If you are a new graduate student and you intend to apply for a Competitive Graduate Award (CGA), the deadline for having all of your application materials turned in moves up to January 15th. If you apply for the CGA but your SIUE application is incomplete, your application for the Competitive Graduate Award will be removed from consideration.

MASTER OF ARTS

MASTER OF SCIENCE

The Department of Biological Sciences offers programs leading to the graduate degrees of Master of Arts and Master of Science and, in conjunction with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the School of Education, provides courses that support the Master of Science in Education degree in secondary education with a teaching field in biology.

Graduate students in biological sciences may concentrate in one of several areas such as evolution, ecology and environment, or cellular and molecular biology. Course work in genetic engineering is also available. Students interested in taxonomic studies can benefit from faculty affiliations with the Missouri Botanical Gardens in nearby St. Louis.

Numerous career and advanced training opportunities are available to persons holding a master's degree in biology. These include doctoral training in biology and in the health sciences; secondary and junior college teaching; environmental assessment; and employment in educational, industrial, and governmental laboratories and agencies.

ADMISSION

Applicants who satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate School will be considered for admission to the master's program in biological sciences. Applications are accepted at any time, but applicants wishing to be considered for a graduate assistantship should apply by March 15th for fall admission and October 1st for spring admission.

After completing a Graduate School application, applicants should submit the following directly to the Department of Biological Sciences:

  • A personal letter/statement summarizing the applicant's preparation and experience leading to the undertaking of a master's program of study at SIUE, and outlining the applicant's academic and career goals, highlighting the role that a master's degree in biological sciences at SIUE will serve in meeting those goals.
  • At least two letters of recommendation, preferably from instructors and/or individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic and professional preparation for undertaking a master's program in the Biological Sciences.
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores (verbal, quantitative, analytical). GRE test scores are not required of applicants who have an undergraduate GPA above 3.0 on a 4 point scale and who are applying to the Master of Science or Master of Arts Thesis or Non-thesis plans.
  • An optional Teaching/Research Assistantship Application. This application is required for those wishing to be considered for a teaching or research assistantship and is obtained from the Graduate School.

All applicants must identify a faculty member who has agreed in writing to serve as a graduate mentor in order to be considered for acceptance into the program. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to contact prospective graduate mentors at the time that their application materials have all been submitted, and to contact the Biological Sciences Graduate Committee Chair for assistance in identifying faculty members who might serve as graduate mentors.

Students accepted into the biological sciences graduate program are expected to have completed course work equivalent to the SIUE undergraduate biology degree requirements, or they may be expected to resolve any deficiencies by completing course work beyond that required for the graduate degree. Upon admission to the program, the student shall consult with his/her mentor to review the student's academic record, and develop a plan of course work that will address any academic deficiencies.

PROGRAM OF STUDY

Master of Science: Thesis and non-thesis plans of study are available for fulfillment of the requirements of the Master of Science degree. The thesis and non-thesis plans require a minimum of 32 semester hours, of which at least 21 semester hours must be in biology. There is no foreign language requirement for the Master of Science degree.

Thesis Plan

At least 9 semester hours in biology must be earned in courses numbered BIOL 415-488 or 514-590.

Required courses: Enrollment in BIOL 595 or 596 at least twice or in combination is required and must be taken under at least two different faculty members. Completion of BIOL 592 at least three times is required. It may be taken a maximum of four times.

Electives: Students may take up to 25 hours of electives.

Thesis: Students must complete a thesis based on the student's original research and must enroll in at least three semester hours of BIOL 599.

Non-Thesis Plan

At least 14 semester hours in biology must be earned in courses numbered BIOL 415-488 or 514-590.

Required courses: Enrollment in BIOL 595 or 596 at least twice is required and must be taken under at least two different faculty members. Completion of BIOL 592 at least three times is required. It may be taken a maximum of four times.

Electives: Students may take up to 7 hours of electives.

Research Paper: At least 4, but no more than 8 semester hours must be taken in BIOL 591 and 593, culminating in an acceptable final research paper.

Master of Arts: A student may earn a Master of Arts degree while following the thesis plan. The Master of Arts degree requires a minimum of 32 semester hours, of which at least 21 semester hours must be in biology. The Master of Arts also requires a reading knowledge of a foreign language. The foreign language requirement must be met at least three months prior to graduation by passing an examination offered by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature.

EXIT REQUIREMENTS

For the final examination in biological sciences for either the Master of Arts or the Master of Science degree, students meet with their advisory committee for a public oral defense of the thesis or research paper.

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATION

CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION with a specialization in

SECONDARY EDUCATION/BIOLOGY

The Department of Biological Sciences, in cooperation with the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, offers a biology teaching field as part of the Master of Science in Education (MSEd) degree in curriculum and instruction. A jointly advised program ordinarily including 15 hours in biology will be designed, taking into account each student's background and interests. Throughout the program, students must be advised by a member of the biology faculty before registering for any biology courses to be applied toward this degree. Upon completion of the program, students must have accumulated at least 42 semester hours in biology (graduate and undergraduate work combined). Thus, students admitted to the program with less than 27 hours of acceptable undergraduate work will be required to complete more than 15 graduate hours in biology in order to satisfy degree requirements. Students must achieve a 3.0 (A=4.0) grade point average in the biology teaching field, as well as an overall average of 3.0. For further information, see "Curriculum and Instruction" in another section of this chapter.

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