Students pursuing a non-thesis degree are required to have a major professor by the end of their first long term of enrollment in the graduate program. The major professor will normally be a faculty member specializing in an area of particular interest to the student and is often the individual who supervises the required independent study project. Prior to the final term of enrollment the non-thesis student must, in consultation with the major professor, select a committee that will administer the final comprehensive examination. A “Master’s Non-Thesis Committee form” can be downloaded from the Department of Biology's website and must be approved by the chair of the department’s graduate committee and the department chair.
All candidates for master’s degrees in the Department of Biology must pass a comprehensive final examination administered by the student’s committee. The examination may be oral or written and must cover, at a minimum, the student’s field of concentration and the thesis, if one was written. The results of this exam should be reported on the “Master's Comprehensive Examination Report form", which can be downloaded from the department’s website and which must be filed with The Graduate College at least 10 days prior to the date of expected graduation.
Assistantships and scholarships are available to qualified applicants on a competitive basis. In order to be considered for assistantships or scholarships, applicants must have their application completed for review before the priority application deadline. The Department of Biology offers a limited number of graduate instructional assistantships to full-time students enrolled in the master’s program. These assistantships are renewable based upon an annual review of each student’s progress and performance. Faculty members may also have funds available to support students as research assistants. Support is normally limited to two years.
The Graduate College can provide information concerning the availability of graduate scholarships.