Master of Science in Biology

Admission Requirements

  1. Must meet current minimum general requirements as published by the School of Graduate Studies.
  2. Must provide GRE General test scores. Strength of scores will be considered regarding admission and awarding of departmental support.
  3. Minimum GPA of at least 2.75 for all undergraduate work or 3.0 for the junior - senior credits.
  4. Students must indicate thesis vs. non-thesis option upon application. M.S. (thesis) students may request a change to M.S. (non-thesis) only within the first two semesters (not including summer) of enrollment. Such requests will be evaluated by the Graduate Director and the student’s advisory commmittee.
  5. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

Students admitted to the M.S. program may, after one calendar year, and upon the recommendation of his/her advisory committee, request to by-pass the masters degree and work directly toward the Ph.D. degree. The same GRE and GPA requirements apply for by-pass as for students applying for the doctoral program through normal application procedures, i.e., a GPA no lower than 3.0 for work completed while in the M.S. program. The recommendation of the advisory committee shall be brought to a vote in a faculty meeting. A minimum of one week before such a meeting, the faculty shall be notified that the student’s updated file consisting of the materials used for application to the M.S. program, a transcript of all academic work completed at UND, and any additional materials the student wishes to have considered is available for review.

Students seeking summer or fall admission should complete their applications by February 15. Students seeking spring admission should check the School of Graduate Studies webpage for application deadline information. Master’s degree applicants should specify interest in either the thesis or non-thesis option. Inquiries should be directed to the Director of Graduate Studies, Biology Department.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Master of Science degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Biology Department. The Master of Science degree program is designed to produce broadly trained biologists for job opportunities or continued graduate study.

Thesis Option

The M.S. degree program with thesis requires the completion of a program of study of at least 30 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. The program of study, prepared with the approval of a three-member faculty advisor committee, includes the following:

  1. A minimum of 30 credits including coursework, research and thesis with research and thesis accounting for no more than 50% of credits.
  2. A minimum of three (3) credits of BIOL 503 Seminar (credits included in 1. above).
  3. A minimum of four (4) credits of BIOL 509 Scientific Writing, (credits included in 1. above). Two credits should be taken while the student is writing their thesis proposal (see below).
  4. BIOL 470 Biometry (3 credits) or other introductory statistics course and either 1) BIOL 571 Research Design and Statistical Analysis (3 credits), 2) a 500-level, data analysis course (3 credits minimum) in a specialty area approved by the student’s advisory committee, or 3) prior equivalent graduate course in statistical analysis and experimental design if approved by the student’s advisory committee.
  5. Satisfactory completion of an acceptable thesis proposal (written proposal, proposal presentation and proposal defense) evaluated by the student’s advisory committee.
  6. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s advisory committee; and
  7. Satisfactory completion of an acceptable thesis (written thesis, thesis seminar and thesis defense) evaluated by the student’s advisory committee.

Non-Thesis Option

This degree program is designed for students who wish to obtain broad training in graduate biology without research emphasis. The M.S. non-thesis degree program requires the completion of a program of study of at least 32 semester credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. The program of study prepared with the approval of a faculty supervisor, includes the following:

  1. At minimum of 32 credits of coursework.
  2. A minimum of three (3) credits of BIOL 503 Seminar (credits includes in 1. above).
  3. A minimum of 23 credits in the major (credits included in 1. above).
  4. BIOL 599 Research and BIOL 998 Thesis credits will not count toward the 32 credits.
  5. Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination administered by the student’s advisor and two other faculty members selected by the student with the concurrence of the advisor, the faculty members involved and the department chairperson.
  6. Satisfactory completion of an acceptable Independent Study. The Independent Study should be substantial and rigorous and involve a written report and a formal oral presentation to the Department.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
1.800.CALL.UND
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382