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Master of Science in Biology


The Department of Biological Sciences provides opportunities for graduate studies leading to the Master of Science degree in Biology. Thesis and non-thesis programs of study are available, and the requirements are detailed below. Students engaged in thesis work may conduct research in such areas as aquatic biology, animal behavior and ecology, plant systematics and ecology, wildlife and conservation biology, physiological and molecular ecology, and biomedical sciences including cellular and molecular biology, and microbiology.
Many of our graduate students are employed as Graduate Assistants or Part-time Instructors, helping to teach our non-science-major labs under the direction of our PhD faculty. Prospective students should also visit the Graduate School web page, where an online application link is available. If you have questions, please contact Dr. Luke Dodd, the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of Biological Sciences (email: luke.dodd@eku.edu, phone: 859-622-2523).

Thesis Track
Graduate students on the thesis track must complete a minimum of 30 graduate semester hours for the M.S. degree. The program of study must include:

  • Six hours of 'Biology core' courses: Biology and Ethics (BIO 800; 1 hour), Scientific Literature and Writing (BIO 801; 2 hours), and a course in statistics (either BIO 810 or STA 700; 3 hours)
  • Six hours of thesis research (BIO 891)
  • 18 additional hours in biology or related subject areas. Students completing a 30 hour program must have at least 12 hours of 800-level course credit. Students may complete more than 30 hours of coursework, but at least 50% of non-thesis coursework must be at the 800-level

All students must also:

  • Demonstrate their knowledge of biology and preparation for carrying out their thesis research by successfully passing an oral defense of their written thesis proposal (GRD 857A; exam administered by the student's graduate committee)
  • Pass an oral examination in defense of their thesis (GRD 858A)

Non-thesis Track
Graduate students on the non-thesis track must complete a minimum of 36 graduate semester hours for the M.S. degree. The program of study must include:

  • Six hours of 'Biology core' courses: Biology and Ethics (BIO 800; 1 hour), Scientific Literature and Writing (BIO 801; 2 hours), and a course in statistics (either BIO 810 or STA 700; 3 hours)
  • Completion of 9-10 hours consisting of: Current Review of Biology (BIO 880; 3 hours), and two courses from BIO 727, 728, 731(4), 821, 831, 848, or 849
  • Completion of 20-21 hours of approved electives
  • All students must also:
  • Demonstrate their knowledge of biology and preparation for completing their research paper by successfully passing an oral defense of their written BIO 880 proposal (GRD 857A; exam administered by the student's graduate committee)
  • Pass an oral examination in defense of the review written for BIO 880 (Current Review of Biology)

For a detailed curriculum, please visit the University Graduate Catalog.


ABOUT OUR PROGRAM

Our graduate program comprises approximately 20 students supported by both research and teaching assistantships. EKU services ca. 12,000 students, and is a public university in Richmond, Kentucky located about 30 minutes south of Lexington, Kentucky, and 2 hours north of Knoxville, Tennessee. Numerous recreational opportunities may be found nearby, with the Daniel Boone National Forest and Red River Gorge and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area each about 1.5 hours from Richmond and Mammoth Cave National Park just 3 hours away. Great Smoky Mountain National Park can be reached in about 4 hours. For those interested in attending cultural or sporting events, Richmond, Lexington, Cincinnati, Louisville, and Knoxville offer many events throughout the year.

For prospective students interested in ecology and evolutionary biology, EKU is located in the Outer Bluegrass Ecoregion, and is within an hour’s drive to a diversity of ecoregions (Interior Plateau, Southwestern Appalachians, and Western Allegheny Plateau). Notably, EKU’s Division of Natural Areas manages three field stations spanning early successional, secondary growth, and old growth systems. Further, EKU has a long pedigree of mentoring students engaged in field ecology and working in scientific collections. Our faculty mentor students conducting research across a variety of terrestrial and aquatic systems, and actively seek out students for floral and faunal research.

For prospective students interested in cell-based and biomedical sciences, our researchers have access to state-of-the-art biomedical suites, constructed in 2017, and are able to conduct a wide range of scientific equipment ranging from cellular to whole animal levels. Further, partnerships with R1 universities in the region afford our students access to molecular core facilities.

Multiple teaching assistantships are competitively awarded to incoming master’s students every Fall. Candidates must have full application materials submitted to the EKU Grad School by February 1st to be considered for an assistantship awarded in the Fall. Further, part-time teaching opportunities are commonly available for students not awarded assistantships. Teaching assistantships include a partial (66%) tuition waiver, and a stipend of $11,200 per academic year. Research assistantships may also be available through individual faculty members, and many graduate students are funded through summer months while conducting thesis research.

For a directory of faculty, and links to mentors’ webpages, see https://biology.eku.edu/people
For more details related to the structure of our master’s program, see https://biology.eku.edu/master-science-biology
For details related to our required application materials, see the link to How to Apply
Finally, for information related to EKU’s admission process, see https://gradschool.eku.edu/

As a school of opportunity, EKU fosters personal growth and prepares students to contribute to the success and vitality of their communities, the Commonwealth, and the world. EKU is committed to access, equal opportunity, dignity, respect, and inclusion for all people, as integral to a learning environment in which intellectual creativity and diversity thrive.

HOW TO APPLY

HOW TO START

Applicants must have a faculty member from the Department of Biological Sciences agree to serve as their advisor should they be accepted to the program. Thus, you should contact faculty members to discuss details of a program of study suitable to your interests. Review faculty home pages, and feel free to send them an e-mail! Information concerning the research interests of our faculty is available at http://biology.eku.edu/people. Otherwise, if you have questions, please contact Dr. Luke Dodd, the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of Biological Sciences (email: luke.dodd@eku.edu, phone: 859-622-2523).

APPLICATION PROCESS

We appreciate your interest in our graduate program! To apply, you must complete the online application with the EKU Graduate School. Please make sure that you include all the required documentation, as outlined below. When the Graduate School has a complete application package (application, transcripts, 3 letters of reference, Graduate Studies Advisor Agreement Form, GRE scores and departmental experience & essay form), your file will be sent to our department for evaluation. Candidates must have full application materials submitted to the EKU Grad School by February 1st to be considered for an assistantship awarded in the Fall.

  • Your entire application package must consist of the following for the department's evaluation process:
  • Completed application for admission, including a statement of personal and professional objectives
  • Application Fee
  • Your grade point average (GPA) & official transcript(s)
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Our department’s experience & essay form
  • Our department’s Graduate Studies Advisor Agreement Form

Applicants should have an undergraduate major in an area of the biological sciences, and supporting courses in chemistry, physics, and mathematics are recommended. Any deficiencies in a successful applicant’s undergraduate training will be specified by the Department’s Graduate Affairs Committee at the time of admission. Graduate Record Exams are not required for admission into our program.

Applications will not be considered complete unless our department’s Graduate Studies Advisor Agreement Form is included in an application. All applicants must meet the general requirements established by the Office of Graduate Education and Research for clear admission. Final acceptance of an applicant is determined by the Graduate Affairs Committee of the Department of Biological Sciences.
 

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