Biological Degrees Offered

M.S. (Master of Science)

  • 1-2 years
  • Coursework in field of interest
  • Requires thesis and thesis defense (or preliminary exam, if continuing on toward Ph.D.)
  • Selection and performance of original research
  • Timely progress and completion reports on their research findings as required by the major professor or funding agency.
  • One or more manuscripts suitable for submission to a refereed scientific journal.
  • May be terminal (i.e., can’t continue same studies toward a Ph.D.), or may be awarded immediately prior to starting a relevant Ph.D. program.

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

  • Highest earned academic degree
  • 5 years, on average (if includes M.S. or equivalent experience)
  • May or may not be combined with an  M.S. degree
  • Requires conducting original research, some of which will be published in a scientific journal.
  • Trains you to be a scholar and researcher.
  • Requires a written dissertation and an oral defense of the dissertation.
  • Required for a career as a university professor, high-level researcher, etc.
  • Teaching experience may be required by serving as a graduate teaching assistant for undergraduate courses in the same department or school.