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The Department of Biology offers a Master of Natural Science (MNS) degree. Students can earn a MNS degree by completing either the Plan A or Plan B option. The Plan A requires course work and culminates with the successful defense of a thesis. The Plan B option requires course work and culminates with the completion of a topic paper and a passing score on a comprehensive examination that covers a student's graduate course work. Thus, the Plan A and Plan B options can generally be termed the thesis and non-thesis options, respectively.
Fields of study:
No two pathways to receive a MNS degree are identical. The coursework and areas of research are highly dependent on a student and their advisor’s area of interest for research. Thus, while some students might focus their attention toward research on fungal genetics, other students might focus their attention toward understanding the evolutionary relationships of stream fishes. While the former student might focus course work toward advanced courses in cell and molecular biology, the latter student might focus course work toward advanced courses in evolution and ecology. Students interested in the MNS program should contact faculty members in the Department of Biology that conduct/advise research in an area of biology that is of interest to the student. Faculty areas of research and contact information can be found HERE.