Typically, the degree is obtained within two years of matriculation. Individual master's programs are developed by the student in consultation with her or his adviser and a graduate committee. Areas of study depend on the research interests of individual faculty.

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Biology

Graduate Program: Biology

Biology Graduate Program

The Biology Department supports a master's degree program that provides facilities, equipment, and experiences in teaching and research.

The faculty are dedicated to the University and the Department, but most importantly, to our students. Biology is best learned as a "hands-on" science.

Options available in our master's program: 

  • Option I - Thesis. A minimum of 30 hours including BIOL 801 Introduction to Research, at least one hour in BIOL 800 Seminar and BIOL 890 Research and Thesis (4-6 hours) is required. With the approval of the adviser and chairperson, up to nine hours may be taken outside the Department of Biology. All full-time graduate students are required to attend graduate seminar when offered.
  • Option II - Problem. A minimum of 32 hours including BIOL 801 Introduction to Research, at least one hour of BIOL 800 Seminar and BIOL 891 Research Problems (3-6 hours) is required. With the approval of the adviser and chairperson, up to nine hours may be taken outside the Department of Biology. All full-time graduate students are required to attend graduate seminar when offered.
  • Option III - Professional Masters: This option is intended for science professionals (e.g. those entering or currently serving as in-service teachers, and those in environmental/ ecological/ biotechnological careers) who need more experience in their areas of biological science and more focused preparation for work outside of their academic advancement. Requirements: A minimum of 36 hours. BIOL 800 Seminar (1 hour), BIOL 801 Introduction to Research (3 hours) with a grade of B or better, BIOL 803 Biometry (3 hours), BIOL 892 Professional Experience (3 hours) is required.

Students who begin work in biology for the degree of Master of Science must have completed a minimum a BS in Biology with at least 25 hours of acceptable undergraduate courses in biology. These should include fundamental courses in botany, ecology, zoology, genetics, microbiology, and physiology.

A cumulative total of 13 hours of chemistry, including organic chemistry, is required. However, a student may apply certain senior-graduate or graduate level chemistry on the degree requirements upon the recommendation of the adviser.

Why Pitt State?

Typically, the degree is obtained within two years of matriculation. Individual master's programs are developed by the student in consultation with her or his adviser and a graduate committee. Areas of study depend on the research interests of individual faculty.

Career Options

A four-year degree qualifies students for a variety of jobs, but having an advanced degree can mean better-paying, more specialized careers. Those can include:

  • Cellular biologist, including those who teach medical microbiology, molecular genetics, and immunology
  • Pharmaceutical labs
  • Cosmetic companies
  • Vaccine supply firms
  • Forensic scientist
  • Arborist
  • Laboratory geneticist
  • Genetic counselor

Internship and research opportunities

  • Teaching: A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships become available each year in the Department. These provide a small stipend and valuable teaching experience. Assignments usually are made into the laboratory sections of undergraduate courses. Students will receive an application for an assistantship as part of their admission packets.
  • Research: Various faculty conduct sponsored research in which there are funded graduate research assistantships. This research may be ongoing or may result from a grant proposal initiated considering the student's interests. Contact individual faculty for information about their research programs.

Learn more about the Department of Biology

In addition to a graduate program, the Biology Department supports undergraduate programs in five areas:

  • pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, medical technology
  • cell and molecular biology
  • field biology and environment
  • ecology and organismic biology
  • secondary education

The faculty are dedicated to the University and the Department, but most importantly, to students. Biology is best learned as a "hands-on" science. PSU's physical facilities and equipment provide opportunities for both teaching and research involving both undergraduate and graduate students.

Program

Students in the Biology program take a selection of classes that successfully prepare them for a career in a related field.

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