LAKERS TOGETHER: Grand Valley is preparing for successful learning experiences when classes resume on Aug. 31. Learn more about the plan for fall in this handbook.
For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to your college's section in this catalog.
The Master of Science in biology is a versatile graduate program designed to produce outstanding graduates. Versatility in the program will allow students to achieve individual goals while serving a diversity of student interests. Students have the opportunity to pursue graduate programs in broad areas such as genetics and cell biology, organismal biology, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, and natural resources. As a focus for these M.S. programs, we offer internship, project, and thesis pathways. Students may choose an emphasis (but not required) in either aquatic sciences or natural resources. The Master of Science in biology degree program is designed to meet the needs of baccalaureate-trained professionals who will be more competitive with a master's degree as they seek job placement or advancement, secondary teachers who prefer a science master's, and baccalaureate graduates who wish to earn a master's degree before continuing their graduate education at the doctoral level.
The Master of Science in biology helps candidates extend their knowledge in their discipline, extend their professional skills, gain experience in the application of their knowledge and skills, and helps them develop their abilities as leaders and team members. Graduates will be professionals who have progressed from learning about science to doing science, and graduates will be able to use their knowledge and abilities to solve problems and answer questions in the complex and interactive context of local, regional, and global issues and concerns. The optional emphasis in natural resources is offered in order to meet the more specific needs of natural resources management professionals, while the aquatic sciences emphasis highlights the importance of aquatic ecosystems of the region. Both aquatic sciences and natural resources emphases offer students opportunities to work with faculty from the Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon as well as with Biology Department faculty at the Allendale Campus.
The Biology Graduate Committee will begin reviewing applications in January for admission during the following fall semester.
See the Transfer of Credit portion of the Graduate Admission section in the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog for general provisions. If a candidate wishes any courses taken prior to admission to the Master of Science in biology program to be counted towards the required credits, the request must be made at the time of application. The decision to allow credits to transfer will be made by the departmental graduate program committee and the student's graduate committee chair.
Biology Department Graduate Program Coordinator, 212 Henry Hall, Biology Department, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 49401-9403. Telephone (616) 331-2470.
Allendale Campus and Annis Water Resources Institute
The Master of Science in biology is a highly individualized, planned program of study. Early advising is essential because the student's graduate committee chair must approve all course work in advance. Requirements for each student will be individually predetermined at the time the program plan is established. The degree will be earned upon the successful completion of all requirements outlined in the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog. The program of study will include a qualifying exam administered by the student's graduate committee and a minimum of 33 approved credits with a cumulative GPA of 3.0. All program plans will include the following three components:
Successful progress towards completion of the degree and continued enrollment requires that the student's graduate committee chair be determined before admission, the mentor (who may also be the graduate committee chair) be determined before the end of the student's first semester of enrollment and the student's graduate committee be appointed before the end of the second semester of enrollment. In addition, the student must pass the qualifying exam before registering for thesis, project, or internship credits. The purpose of the qualifying exam is to ensure that students have adequate science knowledge and background to successfully complete their thesis, project, or internship. All students will be limited to a five-year period to complete their degree.
The variable credits in components two and three are designed to allow for an extended thesis, project, or internship. The graduate program will consist of a minimum of 33 credits.
Corresponding to the existing undergraduate degree program in natural resources management, the Master of Science in biology includes an optional natural resources emphasis. Candidates choosing this optional emphasis have the same admissions criteria and degree requirements as other M.S. students, but will focus their course work, thesis, project, and internship activities in an area related to the management, conservation, or protection of atmospheric, aquatic, or terrestrial resources. Students in this emphasis will develop interdisciplinary studies involving CLAS faculty as well as other collaborating agencies and groups in the West Michigan area. Students in this emphasis will have opportunities to work with faculty and conduct research at the Annis Water Resources Institute located in Muskegon, as well as at the Allendale Campus of Grand Valley State University.
Corresponding to the existing undergraduate emphasis in aquatic sciences, the Master of Science in Biology includes an optional aquatic sciences emphasis. Candidates choosing this optional emphasis have the same admissions criteria and degree requirements as other MS students, but will focus their course work, thesis, project, and internship activities in an area related to research, management, conservation, or protection of aquatic resources. Students in this emphasis will develop interdisciplinary studies involving CLAS faculty as well as other collaborating agencies and entities in the west Michigan area. Students in this emphasis will have opportunities to work with faculty and conduct research at the Annis Water Resources Institute located in Muskegon, as well as at the Allendale Campus of Grand Valley State University.
Prospective students should review the Costs and Financial Aid section of the Grand Valley State University Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog in full detail. A limited amount of money is available on a competitive basis for candidates who need assistance. Those who receive departmental assistantships will work with faculty at a variety of departmental tasks that provide support to the undergraduate programs in the biology department. Candidates who wish to instruct laboratory or lecture sections must apply separately for adjunct teaching position, which are not linked to their status as graduate students. Additional assistance in the form of research assistantships may be available through faculty research grants. Candidates are encouraged to seek external support for their work by submitting grant proposals to external funding agencies. Assistance from faculty is available to candidates seeking external funding.
Departmental Contact. Biology Department Graduate Program Coordinator, 3300a Kindschi Hall of Science, Biology Department at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 49401-9403. Telephone (616) 331-2470.