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Biological Sciences

M.S. in Biology-Thesis Option

Mississippi College’s Master’s in Biology degree with a thesis option delves into research and scientific writing.

Master of Science in Biology (M.S.) Degree - Thesis Option

Mississippi College’s Master of Science in Biology (Biological Sciences), with the option to complete a master’s thesis, prepares students for biology research careers in private industry or for continued graduate study. For those who have a State of Mississippi Class A Standard Educator License, this M.S. in Biology degree meets the requirement for Class AA Standard Educator License.

In addition to the Thesis Option program, the Department of Biological Sciences also offers the following graduate programs: M.S. in Biology - Non-Thesis Option, M.S. in Biology - Medical Sciences, and M.Ed. in Biological Sciences.

Admission to the M.S. in Biology Thesis Program

Students successfully completing at least eight (8) hours of graduate-level biology courses at Mississippi College may be invited to pursue the Master of Science in Biology; Thesis Option. The required eight academic hours may not include research hours, BIO 6330 Seminar Observation or BIO 6430 Graduate Seminar. Special topics courses and field studies courses may be used only with permission of the Chair. 

Opportunity for admission to the Thesis Option track is based on performance in the M.S. in Biology or M.S. in Medical Sciences programs and the availability of space in the biology master’s thesis program. The Thesis Option program offers graduate students more intensive biology research experiences and training in scientific writing. Visit Mississippi College’s Graduate Admissions page to learn more about the requirements to apply for graduate study. 

Biology Research at Mississippi College 

The Department of Biological Sciences at Mississippi College offers a variety of graduate research experiences to master’s degree students. Our faculty members are well-accomplished research biologists who are dedicated to advancing knowledge in their specialities and mentoring students. 

With their varied expertise, our students are empowered to pursue an array of topics for their master’s thesis in biology. Learn more about MC’s biological sciences faculty research areas

M.S. in Biology Program

Biology Semester Hour Requirements

  1. Students must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of graduate work with at least one-half of the hours being 6000 level. Twenty-one to 30 graduate hours of the master’s program must be in biology.
  2. Of the 30 required semester hours, a minimum of 15 hours must be in non-research-based courses. Special topics courses and field studies courses may be used only with permission of the Chair. Up to 9 hours can be taken in graduate-level mathematics, chemistry, computer science and/or physics. 
  3. Students who are using this degree to meet the requirements for Class AA Standard Educator License may take six hours of graduate level education (EDU) courses as part of their 30 total hours. 
  4. Students may not use the following courses to complete the MS in Biology degree: BIO 5403 -Vertebrate Histology, BIO 5404 - Pharmacology I, BIO 5405 - Pharmacology II, BIO 5410 - Human Gross Anatomy, BIO 5412 - Medical Physiology I, BIO 5413 - Medical Physiology II, and  BIO 5425 - Human Neuroanatomy.

Biology Research Requirements

  1. Students who wish to complete the biology master’s thesis option must complete BIO 6563 - Thesis I (3 hours) and BIO 6564 - Thesis II (3 hours) in addition to 6 hours of research.
  2. Candidates for the M.S. in Biology must either take an oral comprehensive examination based upon course work used to satisfy degree requirements or complete BIO 6430 - Graduate Seminar.
  3. The oral exam will also include a defense of the biology master’s thesis. If judged unsatisfactory, all or part of the written and/or oral examination may be taken once in the following semester or summer term.  

Earn your M.S. in Biology with a Thesis at Mississippi College

After enrolling in one of Mississippi College’s M.S. in Biology programs, students may be invited into the Thesis Option program. With close faculty mentorship, intensive laboratory experiences, and a culminating master’s thesis in biology, our graduates are well-prepared to pursue biology research careers in industry or academia. 

Request information to learn more about studying Biological Sciences at Mississippi College.