The graduate program of the Department of Biological Sciences is designed to qualify persons for continued graduate work at the doctoral level; for teaching biology in high schools, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges; and for employment in various fields of biology, including certain fields of applied biology.
Lecture rooms, teaching laboratories, a greenhouse, and research facilities of the department are located in Breukelman Hall. Constant- temperature chambers for plant and animal studies, a darkroom, an electron microscope, centrifuges of various kinds, and electrophoretic, spectrographic, chromatographic, electrophysiological, and immuno-chemical instruments, as well as field operated physioecological monitoring equipment are extensively used by graduate students. There is also equipment for quantitative radioisotopic analysis, transfer hoods for microbiology, animal facilities, a herbarium, and research microscopes. A natural history museum, with specimens mounted by internationally recognized taxidermist Richard H. Schmidt, contains hundreds of species of birds, mammals, fish mounts, and hand-painted molds of Kansas snakes. The museum also has more than a thousand other vertebrate study specimens. A field station, The Ross Natural History Reservation, consists of laboratory buildings, ponds, and 200 acres of native grassland. The reservation located a few miles northwest of the main campus is extensively used in conjunction with class work, research, and science education. In addition, the students in our graduate programs have access to two Ozarkian wooded areas, a 40 acre tallgrass prairie area in the Flint Hills with a spring, stream and pond, and several Federal and State reservoirs within a short drive. The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has a research office on campus, and often interacts with the Department.
Students who plan to do graduate work in biology should have an adequate background of undergraduate courses suitable to the area of biology in which they are interested. If such a background is lacking or incomplete, the student can be asked to make up these deficiencies in addition to pursuing the normal graduate program.
The Department of Biological Sciences uses an application that is available upon request from Scott Crupper, who is the Graduate Coordinator of the Department. In addition to encouraging a visit to the department, it requires the applicant to submit references and a personal background statement detailing goals and experience in biology. International students must apply for graduate studies through the International Student Office. The department's admission committee will make a decision based upon the applicant's undergraduate grade point average, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, the application materials, and the visit. The applicant can be accepted unconditionally, with condition, on a probationary basis, or the applicant can be denied.
Degree Candidacy Requirements
Sometime during the first year of study the student must complete the Application for Admission to Degree Candidacy. This form, along with the approved permanent graduate program (signed by the major advisor and the other members of the student's advisory committee) is to be submitted by the student to the Graduate Coordinator of the Department of Biological Sciences.
If the academic record, English proficiency examination, proposed plan of research and degree plan are satisfactory, the Degree Candidacy Card will be signed by the Graduate Coordinator of the Department and forwarded to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research. If the record is unsatisfactory, the student will not be admitted to degree candidacy and can be asked to terminate graduate study.
In the event that the application is denied, the student can appeal the case by letter to the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Committee for review. The committee, after consulting with the advisor, can suggest that the student discontinue graduate study or suggest that the student compete additional course work.
These policies and others are described in more detail in the Guidelines for Graduate Study.
M.S. Degree, Biology
For those students considering graduate work beyond the master's level, or employment as professional biologists, the Master of Science program of study is strongly recommended. This program is designed to provide students with more sophisticated research experiences than the Master of Arts program. The Master of Science in biology requires no fewer than 30 hours of graduate credit, including a minimum of five hours of thesis credit. There is no limitation on the number of thesis and investigation credit (research) hours for which a student may enroll, however, only six hours of thesis credit and no more than 12 hours of combined thesis and research credit may apply toward a Master of Science degree.
M.A. Degree, Biology
Students who prefer to place less emphasis upon research and more emphasis on broad biological training may, in consultation with their graduate committee, fulfill degree requirements by completing 35 hours of graduate credit and a comprehensive oral examination (comprehensive option) or 32 hours of graduate credit and a 3-hour (GB 880) research project (project option). Students enrolled in the project option must take courses in 3 of the 5 areas of emphasis. Students enrolled in the comprehensive option must take courses in 4 of the 5 areas of emphasis, and select 3 areas of emphasis to be covered by the comprehensive oral examination. A maximum of three credit hours in research may be counted toward the 35-hour requirement for the comprehensive option. In addition to the required 3-hour research project (GB880), a maximum of 3 credit hours in research may be counted towards the 32-hour requirement for the project option.>
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