Feb 23, 2024  
2023-2024 Catalog 
2023-2024 Catalog

Biology (MS)

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Biology (BIO) information  

Director: Heather Dawson

Program Faculty:  Professors Randall Duncan, Joseph F. Sucic; Associate Professors Heather Dawson, Jerry D. Sanders, Kevin Tang; Assistant Professors You-Shin Chen, Karmen Hollis-Etter, Rebecca Tonietto, Jill Witt; Lecturers Anita Baxter-Blough, Kenneth Cabine, Russell Cossaboom, Dwayne Etter, Dania Habeck, Danielle Harbin, Cynthia Holzer, Kerry Lazenby, Elizabeth A. Malinowski, Earl Mayhew, Jennifer Miller, Jon Morey, Jill Slater, Melvin Smith, Dennis P. Viele, Jr., Margaret Ware, Nicole Yambrick, Teresa Yoder-Nowak  

Program Mission

The mission of the Biology Master of Science program is to update, as well as increase, breadth and depth of training in students who have completed undergraduate degrees in biology or related life science. The Program emphasizes varied methods and techniques that have proven useful in both teaching and research settings. Program core requirements survey cellular/molecular, organismal and ecology/evolutionary biology, and levels of biological organization; other coursework expands breadth and depth of student understanding of living systems.


The Program participates in the University-wide effort to assess its academic programs. Information on assessment plans, including goals, methods and outcomes is available at http://www.umflint.edu/assessment.

Admission to the Program

The following are required for regular admission:

  1. A Bachelor of Science degree in Biology or a related life science (e.g., zoology, botany) from an accredited institution
  2. Two (2) letters of recommendation (BS/MS applicants only require one (1) letter of recommendation)
  3. A minimum overall GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.0 in required prerequisite undergraduate courses or their equivalents
  4. A written statement delineating personal goals for graduate study
  5. A personal interview may be conducted by the graduate admissions committee of the Biology faculty of the UM-Flint
  6. General and advanced GRE Scores
  7. Completion of the prerequisites below
  8. An application fee
Admission Deadlines

To begin in Spring or Summer term, students must apply for Regular Admissions no later than March 15 or May 15, respectively. To begin in Fall or Winter term, applications for thesis students must be received no later than March 1 or August 15, respectively, for guaranteed consideration.  To begin in Fall or Winter term, applications for non-thesis students must be received no later than August 1 or November 15, respectively. Conditional Admission may be granted if all prerequisites are not completed. Applications for this program may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Programs.

Transfer or Lifelong Learning Credit

All students, with approval of the graduate committee, may transfer in or take as a Lifelong Learner up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in biological sciences. No more than two courses (8 credits maximum) of cognate, transfer or Lifelong Learning credits may be applied toward completion of this degree.  See Transfer of Credit  in the Graduate Study  section for additional information on University of Michigan-Flint policies regarding the transfer of graduate credit.

Time Limit for Degree Completion

All requirements must be completed within six calendar years of initial enrollment in the program.

Academic Rules and Regulations

See College of Arts, Sciences, and Education (CASE)  and Graduate Study  for rules and regulations pertaining to all College of Arts and Sciences graduate programs.


  • Cell Biology, Ecology, Genetics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pre-Calculus Mathematics
  • General Physics
  • Statistics (preferably, Biostatistics) recommended


B. Option of Choice

One of the following options:

Thesis Option

  • (1)
  • An original research project report (thesis) designed and completed in cooperation with the student’s advisor, including an oral defense of the thesis. Thesis design must be approved by the student’s individual thesis committee.

  • (1-5) , elected to a total of 8 credits
  • Additional graduate-level courses in biology  to complete a minimum total of 30 credit hours.  With permission of the Biology Graduate Committee, up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in non-biological science may be applied toward the degree.

Non-Thesis Option

  • (1)
  • Additional graduate-level courses in biology  to complete a minimum total of 32 credits, which may include up to two credits in BIO 597 - Non-Thesis Research .  With permission of the Biology Graduate Committee, up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in non-biological science may be applied toward the degree.

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