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The Master of Science in Biology is an opportunity to advance knowledge and skills in the ecological, environmental, cellular, or molecular aspects of the biological sciences. It is intended to meet the growing need for highly skilled professionals in the field of biology by strengthening the preparation of individuals already working in the field while also providing necessary content knowledge, critical thinking skills, and technical skills for individuals who wish to continue graduate study beyond the Master of Science degree.

Watershed science

The Master of Science in Biology program provides rigorous, research-driven training designed to develop skills and knowledge necessary for professional positions in industry, education, and outreach, or for advanced graduate study.

Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Students currently engaged in undergraduate research at Bridgewater State University can apply for early admission to continue their current research at the graduate level and complete their graduate degree more rapidly.

The MS in Biology offers you:

  • Diverse faculty with extensive experience and research in areas such as molecular biology, neurobiology, cancer biology, ecology, conservation biology, and environmental science
  • Solid scientific and technical skills for the pursuit of either doctoral work or advanced positions in business, industry, government, or non-profit organizations
  • State-of-the-art facilities with modern laboratory equipment, and access to many conservation areas and habitat types for field research
  • Full- and part-time program options
  • Small classes facilitating a more personalized learning experience
  • Affordable tuition, whether you live in state or out of state

Graduate Program Coordinator: Dr. Christopher Bloch

Admission requirements: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Biology or a closely related field
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • A detailed personal statement explaining research interests and experience
  • Two appropriate letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate course work

BSU undergraduates can apply for early admittance in their junior or senior year of undergraduate study. Both Biology B.S. and B.A. students are eligible and should consult with the graduate program coordinator during the sophomore or junior year to ensure proper preparation. Upon acceptance, students may take up to two graduate-level courses during their final year of undergraduate study, and may apply these courses to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees.

Requirements for early admission are:

  • Junior or senior rank in the B.S. or B.A. program in Biology at BSU
  • Completion of at least one semester of undergraduate research (BIOL 396 or BIOL 497) and continued participation until enrollment in the M.S. program
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0
  • A detailed personal statement explaining research interests and experience
  • Two appropriate letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts of all undergraduate course work
  • Completion of MATH 141, CHEM 243, and CHEM 244
  • Selection of the thesis option

Application Deadlines

Rolling admission for Fall and Spring enrollment. 

Applications that are not completed prior to the start of the semester will need to be moved to the next applicable semester.

Program requirements: 

Core courses (9 credits)

  • BIOL 510 – Introduction to Graduate Scholarship
  • BIOL 544 – Biostatistics
  • One of the following:

BIOL 540 – Research Techniques in Ecology & Environmental Science

BIOL 541 – Molecular, Cellular, & Biochemical Research Techniques

Early Admission students can replace BIOL 540 or 541 with 4 credits of BIOL elective courses at the 500 level.

Elective courses (11 credits)

  • 11 credits of BIOL courses at the 500 level. BIOE courses may be substituted with the approval of the graduate program coordinator.

Research experience and exit requirements (10 credits)

Students may select a thesis or non-thesis option.

Thesis option:

  • 10 credits of research from among the following:

BIOL 502 – Research

BIOL 503 – Directed Study

BIOL 588 – Thesis in Biology

BIOL 598 – Graduate Internship in Biology

At least 3 credits (usually the final 3) must be BIOL 588 – Thesis in Biology; oral defense required. For further information, please see the Graduate Academic Policies and Procedures “Thesis” section of the catalog.

A thesis proposal will be completed within the student’s first academic year in the program. Thereafter, a written progress update will be submitted to the research mentor at the end of each semester.

 

Non-thesis option:

  • 6 credits of research from among the following:

BIOL 502 – Research

BIOL 503 – Directed Study

BIOL 516 – Research Academy for Teachers

BIOL 598 – Graduate Internship in Biology

  • 4 additional credits of BIOL courses at the 500 level. BIOE courses may be substituted with the approval of the graduate program coordinator.
  • A comprehensive examination, which should be attempted in the last semester of the student’s program. Please see the Graduate Academic Policies section of this catalog for additional information.

Total Minimum Credits: 30

 

***For the most up-to-date information regarding course descriptions, please visit our University Catalog.

Funding Opportunities

The College of Graduate Studies provides various opportunities for graduate students to receive funding while working towards their degrees. Appointments are competitive and are determined by undergraduate and/or graduate grade point averages, pertinent experience, educational preparation and interviews. For information on assistantships, fellowships and conference funding awards, please visit our Graduate Funding Opportunities page.

The MS in Biology program is eligible for unsubsidized student loans and applicants are encouraged to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. For more specific questions, please visit the Financial Aid Office website or contact them directly at finaid@bridgew.edu.

Upon completion of this degree, students will demonstrate:

1. a broad understanding of biological principles and an advanced understanding of a specific sub-discipline of biology. 

2. the ability to communicate biological information effectively, both orally and in technical writing. 

3. the ability to locate, critically analyze, and interpret primary research literature in the biological sciences. 

4. the ability to formulate and conduct novel, scholarly research in the biological sciences.

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View this PDF for an overview of the College of Graduate Studies.
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View our graduate events page to RSVP to information sessions, workshops and seminars.
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Bridgewater offers competitive tuition and fees for graduate students both in and out of state.
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