Our MS program provides a foundation in biological research for students who have not had previous research experience. Students build on foundational coursework to complete a research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
As a foundation for the research experience, MS candidates complete 18 credit hours of coursework. Courses cover advanced topics in the biological sciences and teach critical thinking, analysis of primary scientific literature, and experimental design.
To develop oral presentation skills, MS candidates enroll in a seminar course each semester of their first two years. Each student presents one seminar. MS candidates also attend the departmental seminar series, featuring distinguished scientists from inside and outside the university.
In the first year, MS candidates perform two or three 10-week research rotations prior to joining a laboratory and embarking on a research project. Rotations consist of small research projects that are designed to introduce the student to research opportunities available in that laboratory.
In the second year of the program, MS students complete an original research project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. A written report describing this project is submitted at the end of the program.