Biological Sciences, M.A.

Admission Requirements

Applicants should follow the admissions process described in this catalog or at the Graduate Admissions website at

Applications for admission to the program are accepted throughout the year. However, graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) positions are open until filled beginning April 1 for GTA positions for the fall semester and October 15 for GTA positions for the spring semester. Later applicants may not be awarded a GTA if all the positions for the upcoming semester are filled. 

In addition, applicants should send the following materials directly to the Graduate Admissions office:

  • three letters of recommendation from academic or professional references;
  • a written statement of educational and professional goals that identifies a member of the graduate faculty from either the Department of Biological Sciences or Department of Natural Resources and the Environment willing to serve as the student's advisor (250-500 words);

Applicant must also have:

  • An overall undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and an average GPA of 3.0 on a 4.O scale in all biological sciences courses.

Program Requirements


Requirement for All Degrees

A Plan of Study approved by the student’s advisor must be submitted for approval to the dean before the student registers for his or her 12th semester hour. The Plan of Study is a student’s “blueprint” for completing graduation requirements. Students must also assemble a thesis committee (M.S.) or advising committee (M.A.) consisting of no fewer than three faculty (including the student’s advisor) by the end of their first year. Students must meet with their committees at least once within their first year and at least once per semester (excluding the defense) in subsequent years.

M.A. Degree Requirements

Students who select the M.A. option must complete a minimum of 36 hours of graduate coursework. At least 18 credits must be at the 600 level.

M.A. candidates do not conduct thesis research. The graduate seminars, BSC electives, Independent Study/Special Problems, GPA, “C” grades, and comprehensive oral exam requirements are as stated for the M.S. degree.