The master of arts in biology degree is designed to strengthen your background in biological sciences and related disciplines through course work at the graduate level; there is no research thesis requirement. While the MA degree requires 16 credit hours from courses offered by the biology department (BIO, BIOT, BOT, ZOOL), the remaining 14 credit hours needed to fulfill the 30 hours required for graduation can be taken in a wide variety of other disciplines. This allows you to tailor your course work to meet your individual needs. This degree is appropriate for students who seek advanced course work in preparation for jobs in biomedical laboratories, natural resource management agencies, scientific supply firms, environmental consulting firms, and scientific publishing firms. Graduate-level course work toward an MA degree can also further prepare students for post-graduate education in biology or medical professions. In addition, the MA degree would be especially advantageous for in-service life science teachers who wish to enhance their biology knowledge and skills while also allowing them to take graduate course work in education from Teachers College or science education (SCI) courses offered within the biology department.

Program Requirements

  • Approved courses from BIO, BIOT, BOT, ZOOL, SCI (13-27 credit hours).

  • Choose one of the following: (3 credit hours)
  • CRPRJ 698 - Creative Project 
  • RES 697 - Research Paper - Must be taken for a total of 3 hours of credit. Prerequisite: permission of the graduate advisor. 
  • BIOT 590 - Introduction to Recombinant DNA and RNA Techniques Study of the fundamental methods and approaches used in biotechnology with experiences in recombinant DNA and RNA techniques. Emphasis on theory and practice of commonly used scientific techniques, experimental design, and reading and analysis of scientific literature. Prerequisite: BIO 215 or 655. Not open to students who have credit in BIOT 490.   AND
  • BIOT 595 - Research Design and Presentation. Emphasizes improvements in oral and written communication skills, and development of an independent research proposal.Prerequisite: BIOT 590. Not open to students who have credit in BIOT 490.
  • SCI 699 - Research Methodology in Science Education
    Identification of research problems in science and science education. Introduction to types of research, research design, and grant-writing. Review of literature pertinent to a special topic of student interest. Development of a research proposal. Prerequisite: permission of the department chairperson.
  • Minors and Electives: (0-14 credit hours): Minors are optional, but if taken must include at least eight hours of courses approved by a designated advisor from the minor area and the biology department. You can refer to the list of master's degree electives.