The Master of Science in Biology program offers a broad range of research opportunities ranging from the sub-cellular to entire ecosystems. Our program offers broad-based training in a variety of disciplines including Conservation Biology, Ecology, Evolution, Physiology, Genetics, and Cell and Developmental Biology.
The Master of Science in Biology program offers a thesis option only (the non-thesis MS option is not currently accepting applications). The thesis option requires a minimum of 30 credit hours, 15 of which must be at the 6000 level. Given the thesis requirement, students who wish to pursue this degree must receive a commitment from a faculty adviser for admission into the program. The thesis option curriculum contains a minimum of 24 credit hours of coursework excluding thesis hours (note: Independent Study and Directed Research may account for a maximum of 6 of the 24 coursework credits).
Total Credit Hours Required: 30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree
Applicants do not need to have an undergraduate degree in a biological science, but are expected to have 18 hours of biological sciences, including ecology and genetics. Courses in organic chemistry, calculus, and statistics are also recommended. After acceptance, minor deficiencies must be remedied by enrollment in the appropriate course at the first opportunity.
7 Total Credits
- Complete all of the following
- Complete the following:
- PCB6095 - Professional Development in Biology I (1)
- PCB6096 - Professional Development in Biology II (1)
- PCB6466 - Methods in Experimental Ecology (3)
- Earn at least 2 credits from the following:
- BSC6935 - Seminar in Biology (1)
- BSC 6935 - Seminar in Biology: Students will take 1 credit hour each of two semesters.
23 Total Credits
- Earn at least 23 credits from the following types of courses: BSC 6971 - Thesis 6 Credit Hours (minimum) Electives - 17 Credit Hours selected with the faculty adviser and advisory committee and approved by the graduate program director.
0 Total Credits
- A thesis proposal defense is required. The purpose of the proposal defense is to present the planned research and its foundations as a seminar to an interested audience of peers and the advisory committee. The proposal should be distributed to advisory committee members two weeks in advance of the defense, and the defense should be advertised (contact the graduate program specialist two weeks in advance). Public attendees typically have an opportunity to ask questions and comment following the seminar, after which the committee meets with the student to further discuss the proposal. The advisory committee must then vote to accept or reject the proposal. The thesis proposal defense must be passed a minimum of one semester preceding the oral thesis defense (i.e., the proposal defense and thesis defense cannot occur in the same semester). When the research is completed, the final oral thesis defense is conducted similar to the proposal defense.
Non-thesis Option (NOTE: The Biology Department is no longer accepting applications to the non-thesis program)
0 Total Credits
- In addition to the 7 credit hours of required courses listed above, nonthesis students must complete 12 credit hours of restricted electives, 19 credit hours of unrestricted electives, and a research report. Currently enrolled thesis option students interested in transferring to the nonthesis option should contact the graduate program director for information. Restricted Electives—12 Credit Hours Students take 12 credit hours of courses in at least three of the five areas below. Ecology Evolutionary Biology Genetics Physiology Cell and Developmental Biology Unrestricted Electives—19 Credit Hours Students take 19 credit hours of unrestricted electives that must be approved by the program graduate director. Research Report—2 Credit Hours BSC 6909 - Research Report 2 Credit Hours Examination Nonthesis students must take a comprehensive exam no later than the semester preceding that of graduation. If a student fails the comprehensive examination, a minimum of four weeks must elapse before reexamination. The comprehensive exam may be taken a maximum of two times.
0 Total Credits
- Nonthesis students are required to complete a research report as their independent learning experience. The thesis satisfies the independent learning experience for thesis option students.
Grand Total Credits: 30
Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.
Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student's graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.