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Master of Science in Biology


Our MS degree program has thesis research tracks in General Biology and in Applied Ecology, and non-thesis tracks in General Biology and Bioinformatics. Requirements are listed below. 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, contact Dr. Oliver Oakley, Graduate Program Coordinator for the Department of Biological Sciences; Oliver.Oakley@eku.edu, 859-622-3057.

Thesis Track

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

  • Six hours of thesis research (BIO 891)
  • 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)
  • 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, in addition to thesis research hours. 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)

Applied Ecology Option:

Students must also complete a minimum of 30 graduate semester hours and their program of study must include:

  • Six hours of thesis research (BIO 891)
  • 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)
  • Eight (8) hours of 'Applied Ecology core' courses: Aquatic Ecosystems (BIO 848; 3 hours), Field Methods in Ecology (BIO 849; 3 hours), and Dynamics of Ecosystems (BIO 850; 2 hours)
  • 10 additional hours of 700- or 800-level courses. Students completing a 30 hour program must have at least 12 hours of 800-level course credit, in addition to thesis research hours. Students may complete more than 30 hours of coursework, but at least 50% of non-thesis coursework must be at the 800-level.

Non-thesis Track

Graduate students must complete a minimum of 36 graduate semester hours for the M.S. degree. The program of study must include:

  • Nine hours of 'Biology core' courses: Biology and Ethics (BIO 800; 1 hour), Scientific Literature and Writing (BIO 801; 2 hours), Current Review of Biology (BIO 880; 3 hours), and a course in statistics (either BIO 810 or STA 700; 3 hours),
  • At least 12 additional hours of 800-level courses (in biology or related subject areas) plus 15 additional hours of 700- or 800-level courses (in biology or related subject areas)

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.

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