Program Timeline

The Biological Sciences M.S. degree is designed to be 2 year program, depending upon the student's outside commitments and motivation. Most grad courses are offered at two year intervals.

Sample Two-Year Program for Students Beginning in Fall 2019

  • Fall 2019
    • BIOL 5010: Advanced Writing in the Biological Sciences (4)
    • BIOL 5941: Directed Research (2)
    • BIOL 5961: Graduate Seminar in the Biological Sciences  (1)
    • Develop general thesis topic with advisor
       
  • Spring 2020
    • BIOL 5500 - Research Design and Data Analysis for Biologists (4)
    • Elective Course (3-4)
    • Select thesis committee (advisor + 2 other faculty), and complete thesis proposal
       
  • Pass Qualifying Exam
     
  • Fall 2020
    • Elective Course (3-4)
    • BIOL 5961: Graduate Seminar in the Biological Sciences  (1)
    • BIOL 5990 Thesis (3)

  • Spring 2021
    • Elective Course (3-4)
    • BIOL 5941: Directed Research (2)
    • BIOL 5990 Thesis (3)

  • Defend Thesis

Program Deadlines

  1. By no later than the end of the first semester after beginning the grad program (as a classified student), students should work with their advisor to select a general research topic.
  2. By no later than the end of the second semester after beginning the grad program (as a classified student), students need to have selected a thesis committee, complete the literature review and thesis proposal, and have the proposal approved by their committee.
  3. After proposal approval has been granted, the student and committee should schedule and administer the qualifying exam before the start of their third semster.

These three deadlines must be met by all grad students in order to make "good progress" on their degree program. If a deadline is missed, the student will be placed on probation and have one more semester to meet the requirement before s/he will be dismissed from the program.  For more information see Requirements for Advancement to Candidacy