Graduate Degrees & Requirements

Transfer of Credits

Course for which transfer credits are sought must have been completed with a grade of “B” or better. Approval is required by the Chair of the Department.

Time   Limit

No student will be granted an M.S. degree unless all requirements are completed within a period of eight (8) consecutive calendar years from the time of admission to the program.


Students are required to spend one academic year in resident study on the campus. One academic year may include two adjacent regular semesters or one regular semester and one adjacent summer session. To satisfy the continuous residence requirement, the student must complete a minimum of eighteen (18) hours for the required period.

Admission To Candidacy Requirements

When approximately 12-15 semester hours have been completed, the student should make application for advancement to candidacy. Please note that students cannot be advanced to candidacy until:

  1. All admission requirements have been met.
  2. Notification of the program option the student is electing, or that is required.
  3. All incompletes (“I” grades) have been removed.
  4. The Graduate English Competency Examination (GECE) was passed, or in the event of failure, passed ENG 500 with a grade of B or better.
  5. Earned a 3.00 cumulative G. P. A.
  6. Filed the Application for Graduate Degree Candidacy with the approval of the Candidacy Committee in his/her major department.

Degree   Requirements

A student seeking the M.S. in Biology or M.S. in Environmental Science degree must:

  1. Complete a minimum of thirty (30) semester hours, with a B or higher cumulative G.P.A. Six of the required semester hours must be in Thesis Research.
  2. Pass the Graduate Area Comprehensive Examination (GACE) in 1 elective and 2 core/required  courses.
  3. Successfully defend the thesis before the Graduate Committee and public audience.
  4. Submit an approved thesis to the Chair of the Department of Biology with one copy to the Department and one to the JSU library.
  5. Completion of all departmental requirements.


Master of Science in Biology

Courses available for the M.S. degree in Biology provide appropriate preparation for: 1) biological, marine and environmental sciences, 2) advanced professional degrees elsewhere in zoology, plant science, marine science, environmental biology, environmental health, biomedical science, toxicology, genetics, immunology, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, anatomy and other associated areas, 3) research careers in industry, government and academic institutions, and professional degrees in medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and related health fields.

Required Course Course Title Semester Hours
BIO 511 Biostatistics 3
BIO 515 Molecular Biology 3
BIOL 515 Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
BIO 540 Cell Biology, 3
BIO 540 Cell Biology Laboratory
or 1
CHEM 531 Biochemistry 3
CHML 531 Biochemistry Laboratory 1
BIO 589 Graduate Seminar 1
BIO 599 Thesis Research 6
Total Hours 14

Elective Courses (Total = 16 semester hours) A student in consultation with his/her advisor and guidance committee must select a minimum of sixteen (16) semester hours from departmental course offerings to complete degree requirements with emphasis in one of the following areas: Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Plant Biology/Science, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, and/or Invertebrate Zoology.

Master of Science in Environmental Science

The M.S. in Environmental Science program provides an education that allows for greater opportunities in employment and further education in the diverse field of environmental science, particularly as the need relates to minorities and women. It also provides a cadre of trained individuals committed to using their environmental literacy toward the betterment of the environment and mankind.

Required Course Course Title

Semester Hours

BIO 506 Human Environments and Natural Systems


BIOL 506 Human Environments and Natural Systems Lab.


BIO 511 Biostatistics


BIO 523 Ecology


BIOL 523 Ecology Laboratory


BIO 589 Graduate Seminar


BIO 599 Thesis Research


Total Hours 18

Elective Courses (Total = 12 semester hours) A student in consultation with her/his advisor and graduate committee must select a minimum of twelve (12) semester hours from those areas and departments offering appropriate instruction.

Elective Courses

In addition to the required courses shown above, the student must complete a minimum of 16 semester hours (M.S. in Biology) and 12 semester hours (M.S. in Environmental Science) selected from some of the elective courses listed below.

Required Course Course Title

Semester Hours

BIO 509 General Genetics 3
BIO 514 Methods in Environmental Analysis 4
BIO 515 Molecular Biology 4
BIO 516 Marine Botany 4
BIO 512 Natural Resources and Conservation 4
BIO 513 Advanced Human Nutrition 3
BIO 524 Plant Physiology 4
BIO 530 Advanced Microbiology 4
BIO 531 Invertebrate Zoology 4
BIO 533 Biology of Water Pollution 4
BIO 534 Ichthyology 4
BIO 540 Cell Biology 4
BIO 546 Selected Topics in Marine/Environmental Science 1
BIO 547 Introduction to Oceanography 4
BIO 550 Immunology and Serology 4
BIO 553 Tropical Marine Ecology 4
BIO 570 Human Physiology 4
BIO 575 Endocrinology 4
BIO 580 Limnology 4
BIO 602 Special Problems in Environmental Science 1-4
BIO 610 Environmental Microbiology 4
BIO 615 Principles of Bioremediation 3
CHEM 515 Environmental Chemistry 4
ITHM 520-531 Industrial/Technical Hazardous Materials Management courses 3-6