SUNY Oneonta

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology

Department of Biology

Department phone number: (607) 436-3703

FAX: (607) 436-3646

Website: http://www.oneonta.edu

Faculty: Jeffrey Heilveil, Chair, Nancy Bachman, Willard N. Harman, Vicky Lentz, Carolyn Nersesian, Florian Reyda, Sean Robinson, Keith Schillo, Donna Vogler, Jennifer Withington, David Wong, Kiyoko Yokota, Fredrick Zalatan

Program purposes and philosophy: The objectives of this program are to prepare students for doctoral studies and for professional careers in biology. A plan of study will be developed by the student and a committee, based upon student interest, undergraduate background and the results of a diagnostic examination taken in the first semester of the program.

The program emphasis is ecology and environmental science but open to any area within biology. Program quality is particularly enhanced by the facilities, opportunities for study, and research activities at the Biological Field Station in Cooperstown NY. This site provides students with a research complex that contains several multipurpose and analytical laboratories, two lakefront docks, boats, sampling equipment and access to over 2,600 acres of woodlands, bogs, marshes and ponds.

Non-degree students should not enroll in more than 9 s.h. of graduate courses before applying to a degree program.

No more than 16 s.h. may be transferred into this program from another college. Courses with grades of "B-" through "F" are not transferable.

Program Options

The M.S. in Biology Thesis Option was established to prepare students for undertaking doctoral studies at university centers and to train technicians for specialized career opportunities in the biological sciences. In this track, students focus on an independent research topic and develop a research thesis that is presented in written and oral forms to the college community.

The M.S. in Biology Non-thesis Option is designed to offer post-graduate education for biology teachers in secondary schools and two-year colleges, and for those who desire a broad understanding of biological topics at an advanced level. In this track, students select from a wider array of elective courses in biology, and produce a research paper directed on a single topic area within biology.

5-year Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biology. SUNY Oneonta students majoring in Biology may apply to this five year dual-degree program in their 3rd-5th semesters. Admission into the dual program is competitive, normally requiring a 3.5 GPA with at least four Biology courses. At the current time the graduate program is focused on graduate studies in field biology, ecology or aquatic biology, and this includes the 5-year program. Students who qualify for this program in Biology have the opportunity to complete a B.S. in Biology in their fourth year (7th and 8th semesters) while simultaneously taking introductory graduate classes and beginning research. The fifth year is devoted to graduate work exclusively. Students accepted into this program may select either the Thesis Option or the Non-Thesis Option for the graduate degree and follow the degree requirements of those options. To apply, the student must submit an official transcript, 3 letters of reference including one from a member of the Biology graduate faculty willing to serve as an initial advisor.

Admission Requirements

All students applying for admission to degree status are required to:

  1. Submit a completed application and the non-refundable fee.
  2. Submit an official transcript of an earned Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with at least 25 s.h. in biology and 6 s.h. in chemistry. Students not meeting these requirements may be admitted on the condition that undergraduate deficiencies be made up.
  3. Submit three letters of recommendation.
  4. Submit a written statement explaining the purpose/goal for seeking the degree.
  5. Submit the official scores from the GRE General Test. This requirement will be waived for SUNY Oneonta with a 3.2 GPA in Biology or related field.

Admission is competitive and meeting the minimum admission criteria does not guarantee acceptance.

Degree Requirements: M.S. in Biology – Thesis Option

  1. At least 32 s.h. of approved courses beyond the baccaureate degree including: a minimum of 12 s.h. of approved graduate course work in Biology excluding thesis, seminar, independent/directed study, and internship. A minimum of 3 credits of Biol 698 Thesis, and up to a maximum of 20 credits of thesis, seminar, independent/directed study, or internship must be completed.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0.
  3. Diagnostic Examination.
  4. Research Thesis, with an Oral Presentation and Defense (including thesis deposition).

Degree Requirements: M.S. in Biology – Non-Thesis Option

  1. At least 32 s.h. of approved courses beyond the baccaureate degree including: a minimum of 26 s.h. of approved graduate course work in Biology excluding thesis, independent study, seminar and directed research. A minimum of 3 credits of seminar or independent/directed study must be completed.
  2. Minimum GPA of 3.0.
  3. Diagnostic Examination.
  4. Project Report with Oral Presentation.
  5. Comprehensive Examination.

All College policies and procedures found in this Graduate Catalog will apply to students enrolled in this program.

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