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Biology MS

Graduate Studies in Biology

The Biology Master’s Program will prepare you for a job in the public or private sector, as well as continuing on to a Ph.D. program. Graduate students will design and implement research projects to provide solutions to real-life situations under the guidance of a faculty member in their area of specialty. We will work with you to customize your research project and coursework to match your interests and establish skills that will fuel your career aspirations. Graduate Assistant (teaching) positions are available and provide support in the form of a tuition waiver and stipend, and help our MS students build the soft-skills required in every profession. Graduate Assistant (research) positions provide the same support and are available to students working with faculty on externally funded projects.

Biology MS students have full access to the facilities operated by School of Natural Sciences through the faculty that make up those programs (i.e., Agriculture, Biology, and Chemistry). These resources include recently updated laboratories dedicated to research in chemistry, molecular biology, and wildlife biology, an R-Class animal care facility, two greenhouses, two farms, department vehicles/boat, multiple curated collections, and numerous pieces of specialized equipment that are required to produce publishable results in today’s scientific literature. Graduate students are able to conduct laboratory experiments, field research, or a combination due to the collaborative environment and interdisciplinary research approach made possible by the breadth of faculty expertise in the School of Natural Sciences. These Faculty members also work closely with professionals in your field, which creates a network that is utilized to facilitate your transition from graduate school to your next career position.

Program Requirements

MS Thesis Option (Plan A)

For the thesis option, students are responsible for completing an original research project, a written thesis, a committee defense of their thesis, and a public presentation near completion of the program. These projects often span two years, and we encourage students to publish their thesis research in peer-reviewed journals. Students must complete a minimum of 30 units of graduate coursework to complete the Plan A option.

MS Non-thesis Option (Plan B)

For the non-thesis option, students will focus on coursework and on broad issues rather than a specific research project. They are responsible for conducting, writing, and defending a literature review that develops an in-depth understanding of a relevant biological topic, and provides theoretical solutions or scientific opinions that are fully supported by scientific literature. Students must complete a minimum of 33 units of graduate coursework to complete the Plan B option.

How to Apply

The application process at UCM is a two-part process that has a student initially apply for admission to Graduate Studies at UCM. After acceptance to UCM Graduate Studies you are then eligible to apply to any graduate program at UCM, including the Biology MS program. You should initiate your application through that pathway, and Graduate Studies staff will forward your application to the Biology Program directly.

Before applying for admission to UCM Graduate Studies, you should contact a faculty member in the Biology MS program whose research matches your research interests. Students must have an advisor sponsor their application prior to being accepted into the Biology MS program. Any questions about the process should be sent to the Graduate Coordinator and your advisor can assist with the application process as well. Additional information regarding requirements for the program can be found under “Program of Study” or by contacting the Graduate Coordinator.

Get Involved!

You will have several opportunities to become an active member or leader of one of our biology organizations. Participation with these organizations will provide information about your field of study, meetings with professionals in your field, and exposure to potential job opportunities.

Many of our students travel to regional, national, and international scientific meetings to present their research to the scientific community. Multiple graduate projects involve collaborations with state and federal agencies such as the Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Division of Natural Resources, and United States of Department of Agriculture

Student Involvement Opportunities

Tri Beta Honorary Society

Tri Beta National Honorary Society - Dr. Dana Tucker

The Wildlife Society

Para-Medico and Pre-Vet Club

Para-Medico and Pre-Vet Club - Dr. Anna Oller

UCM Fisheries Society

UCM Fisheries Society - Dr. Aaron Geheber

Dr. Anna Oller
Graduate Coordinator
WCM 312
Tel: (660)543-4934
Fax: (660)543-4355


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