"One of the things I definitely like the most about graduate school at K-State especially in the Division of Biology is the diversity of disciplines within Biology that are represented, so that when we all get together we have all these different perspectives on a particular idea or experiment"

- Joe Coolon, PhD Student in Biology (Ecological Genomics)

 

 

Graduate Degrees

Biology and microbiology are exceedingly broad disciplines, and the graduate program exploits this exciting diversity. Therefore the graduate faculty members of the Division of Biology strongly believe that research is the preeminent feature of our training responsibilities. Our faculty is a coalition of scientists who focus a wide diversity of experimental expertise on graduate education--ranging from the study of virus assembly and the biology of a cancer cell, to the interaction of grazing bison with plant growth on our expansive tall grass prairie. Graduate opportunities are available, in all areas of biology, including developmental biology, ecology, wildlife biology, cancer biology, virology, physiology, immunology, parasitology, and molecular genetics.

In partnership with a major advisor and a supervisory committee, each graduate student formulates a mixture of course work and research to comprise an individualized program of study. This partnership tailors the program to the needs of each student, and selects from a set of available courses those which present recent and exciting developments in the student's area of interest. A minimum of 30 hours past the bachelor's degree is required for a master of science; a minimum of 90 hours for a doctor of philosophy. We require that each student write a thesis or dissertation based on original research, of sufficient quality and importance to merit publication in a refereed journal.

For a detailed list of research interests, see Faculty Research Labs


Concurrent B.S. & M.S Degree Program
The combined B.S./M.S. program in Biology provides exceptional undergraduates with the opportunity to obtain both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in 5 years, a shorter time than typically required to earn a B.S. plus M.S. if both degrees are pursued separately.  The curriculum includes both course work and research experience. Degree requirements for the M.S. are similar to those for the more typical M.S. degree described above, with the exception that up to 9 credit hours can be used toward both the B.S. and the M.S. degrees. Admission requirements do not include submission of a score for the GRE, but do require that the applicant has substantial undergraduate research experience and support from a faculty member in the Division of Biology.

The goal of the program is to produce biologists with in-depth understanding of a sub-area of biology and extensive laboratory research experience. The curriculum will include both course work and research experience. Completion of the program will provide students with an advantage both in pursuing work in the private sector and in pursuing a further advanced degree.  

To enter this program, a student must be nominated by a Biology graduate faculty member (who will be the student’s major professor) at any time from the second semester of the sophomore year through the second semester of the junior year (when he/she has accumulated 45-90 credit hours toward the B.S. degree and has completed BIOL 201 or BIOL455 and BIOL 450 or BIOL529, his/her math requirement, and at least two semesters of chemistry).  A student may be nominated during the senior year with special permission from the chair of the Biology Graduate Affairs Committee. After nomination, the application process is the same as for the traditional M.S. degree, with the following exceptions:

    1. completion of a bachelor’s degree is not required prior to acceptance into the program.
    2. the GRE score requirement will be waived.
    3. the application must include a recommendation from a member of the Division of Biology faculty, who will serve as the student’s major professor and who agrees to support the student as a graduate research assistant during the 5th year.
    4. Minimum standards for regular admission and for retention in the program require a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.5 and a G.P.A. of 3.5 in required math and science courses.

Should the student meet these requirements and the requirements of the Graduate Affairs Committee, admission will be provisional, pending the award of the B.S. degree. The B.S. degree may be awarded at any time following the completion of the undergraduate degree requirements. Alternatively, the B.S. and M.S. degrees may be awarded concurrently.  

The student will work closely with the major professor to form a supervisory committee and file a program of study by the end of the second semester of the junior year. The undergraduate advisor will continue to advise the student in academic progress toward the B.S. degree, and the major professor will supervise the student’s academic progress and research project for the M.S. degree. Research toward the M.S. thesis will begin as soon as possible, but typically will begin during the junior year.

Biology M.S. Program
The M.S. program in biology requires 30 hours past the bachelor's degree. 22 hours of classes must be taken; at least 18 hours should be at the 700 level and above, including the thesis research credit. Courses at the 600-level may be included. All students are required to take BIOL 862, Professional Skills in Biology (3 hrs.).

Biology Ph.D. Program
The Biology Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 24-30 hrs course work including 15 hours of courses at the 800 level, depending on the student's background. Students may chose from all graduate courses, including all Division of Biology Graduate Courses listed in the Graduate catalog. Course selection is done in consultation and approval of the student's supervisory committee. All students are required to take BIOL 862, Professional Skills in Biology (3 hrs.).

Microbiology Ph.D. Program
The Microbiology Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of 24-30 hrs course work, including 15 hours of courses at the 800 level. Course selection is done in consultation and approval of the student's supervisory committee and should include the following.

I. Required core courses:

3 hrs BIOCH 755 Biochemistry I
3 hrs BIOCH 765 Biochemistry II
3 hrs BIOL 862 Professional Skills in Biology

II. Suggested courses for the specialization in Ecological Microbiology:

BIOL 604 Biology of fungi
BIOL 632 Ecology Lab
BIOL 687 Microbial Ecology
BIOL 690 Microbial physiology and metabolism
AGRON 645 Soil microbiology
BIOCH 766 DNA manipulation
BIOCH 767 RNA manipulation
STAT 703 Statistical methods for natural scientists
STAT 704 Analysis of Variance
STAT 705 Regression and correlation analysis
BIOL 805 Advanced mycology
BIOL 818 Advanced aquatic ecology
BIOL 823 Demographic methods
BIOL 826 Nutrient dynamics
BIOL 860 Modern molecular approaches
BIOL 865 Advanced plant ecology
BIOL 870 Advanced plant systematics
BIOL 886 Confocal fluorescence and light microscopy
BIOL 888 Electron microscopy techniques
PLPTH 835 Plant virology
PLPTH 840 Plant pathogenic bacteria
PLPTH 845 Plant pathogenic fungi

III Suggested courses for the specialization in Molecular Microbiology

BIOL 670 Immunology
BIOL 671 Immunology lab
BIOL 676 Genetics of microorganisms
BIOL 690 Microbial physiology and metabolism
BIOL 705 Eukaryotic genetics
BIOL 707 Advanced cell biology
BIOL 730 General virology
BIOL 731 Virology Lab
BIOCH 766 DNA manipulation
BIOCH 767 RNA manipulation
BIOL 830 Advanced virology
BIOL 835 Cellular and molecular parasitology
BIOL 840 Molecular and cellular immunology
BIOL 850 Advanced topics in immunology
BIOL 860 Modern molecular approaches
BIOL 886 Confocal fluorescence and light microscopy
BIOL 888 Electron microscopy techniques
BIOCH 911 Molecular signal transduction
BIOCH 920 Nucleic acids
BIOCH 930 Proteins
BIOCH 950 Enzyme chemistry
DMP 860 Pathogenic mechanisms
DMP 871 Molecular diagnostics of infectious diseases
DMP 878 Applications of flow cytometry

   
   
Home | Forms & Resources | Student Expectations