Courses for Biology, M.S.

Learn more about courses required for Biology, M.S., optional emphasis study areas, and a suggested curriculum plan. Students are encouraged to consult their advisor for more information on course selection. 

Course List

  • Appropriate 400-level courses (as approved by the Graduate Program Coordinator)
  • BIO 530 - Aquatic Ecosystems & Processes
  • BIO 535 - Aquatic Microbial Ecology
  • BIO 550 - Advanced Population Ecology
  • BIO 570 - Landscape Ecology Theory and Application
  • BIO 580 - Special Topics in Biology
  • BIO 585 - Molecular Ecology
  • BIO 586 - Advanced Restoration Ecology
  • BIO 593 - Advanced Univariate Methods
  • BIO 594 - Advanced Multivariate Methods
  • BIO 610 - Scientific Methodology
  • BIO 651 - Emerging Issues in Water Resources
  • BIO 680 - Special Topics in Biology
  • BIO 691 - Graduate Internship
  • BIO 693 - Graduate Project
  • BIO 695 - Thesis Research
  • BIO 698 - Perspectives in Biology
  • BIO 699 - Independent Study

Emphasis (Optional)

Aquatic Sciences

Natural Resources

The Master of Science in Biology also includes an optional Aquatic Sciences emphasis.  

Candidates choosing this optional emphasis must meet the same degree requirements as other MS students, but will focus their course work, thesis, project, or internship activities in an area related to the physiochemical properties, biology, or ecology of aquatic ecosystems.  

Students in this emphasis will:

  • Develop interdisciplinary studies involving faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences as well as other collaborating agencies in the Great Lakes basin
  • Have opportunities to conduct research, take classes, and work directly with faculty at the Annis Water Resources Institute located in Muskegon (this opportunity is available to other students as well), as well as at the Allendale Campus of Grand Valley State University

Students 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, or internship activities in an area related to the management, conservation, or protection of atmospheric, aquatic, or terrestrial resources.

Suggested 4-Semester Curriculum Plan

First Year



BIO 610 (3 cr)

Courses (6-9 cr)

Courses (9-12 cr)

Qualifying Exam

Second Year



Course (3 cr)

Choose one

  • Full-time internship
  • Thesis (3-6 cr)
  • Project (3-6 cr)

BIO 698

Courses (3-6 cr)

Public presentation of Thesis, Project, or Internship

Complete Thesis, Project, or Internship