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Biological Sciences Graduate Programs

Explore our graduate programs which include biology and Forensic Science

Graduate Programs

The graduate programs in the Department of Biological Sciences are designed to qualify persons for: i) employment in various biology fields, ii) continued graduate work at the doctoral level, and iii) for teaching biology in high schools, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges. Available programs include research-intensive Master of Science Thesis and Non-thesis options, as well as a Master of Arts option, which emphasizes coursework.

In addition, the Master of Science in Forensic Science (MSFS) degree is the only one of its kind in the state of Kansas. The MSFS program offers a vigorous curriculum encompassing a broad spectrum of subjects including criminalistics, molecular biology, toxicology, and firearms, and it prepares students to work as a scientist in national, state, or regional criminalistics laboratories or conventional analytical laboratories.

Our faculty

Faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences have expertise in a wide range of biological disciplines, including animal behavior, botany, ecology, fisheries and wildlife biology, immunology, microbiology, physiology, zoology, etc. Applicants to the Thesis and Non-thesis options are required to have prior commitment from an academic advisor before admittance into these particular programs. Prospective students are encouraged to search faculty profiles to learn more about their research expertise and contact information and to begin correspondence with prospective advisors before applying and early in the application process.

Our facilities

Equipment and available in certain faculty-operated laboratories or for general departmental use include:

  • Constant-temperature chambers for plant and animal studies
  • Flow cytometer
  • Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LCMS)
  • Microtome-tissue embedding system
  • Fluorescent microscopes
  • Centrifuges of various kinds including an ultracentrifuge
  • Electrophoretic, spectrographic, chromatographic, electrophysiological, and immuno-chemical instruments
  • Physioecological monitoring equipment
  • Equipment for quantitative radioisotopic analysis
  • Research-grade microscopes
  • Transfer hoods for microbiology and animal cell culturing
  • Animal housing facilities

Additional facilities and ecological research sites:

  • H. A. Stephens Herbarium
  • Richard H. Schmidt Museum of Natural History (containing hundreds of species of birds and mammals)
  • Eight Natural Areas comprising tallgrass prairie, woodland, wetland, stream, and other aquatic habitats. The 200-acre (81 ha) Ross Natural History Reservation also hosts a building with a laboratory and classroom.
  • Additionally, the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve are within a half-hour drive of the ESU campus.
  • The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism also has a research office on campus and often interacts with the ESU Biology Department.

To be considered for any available teaching assistantships for the fall-spring academic year, those applying for fall-semester admission should submit their applications by February 15. Graduate Research Assistantships might be available from various faculty members for particular research projects, which can be learned during correspondence with prospective advisors.

Biology-Master of Science Thesis Option

Master of Science

The master’s program in 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. This program is available on campus and offers concentrations in Botany, Ecology and Biodiversity, General Biology, Microbial and Cellular Biology, and Zoology.

Biology-Master of Science Non-Thesis Option

Master of Science

The Master of Science Non-thesis option in the Department of Biological Sciences is designed to provide additional biological training through coursework in addition to a thorough literature review of research on a contemporary biological topic. This option is appropriate for students pursuing a career in research-driven biological fields or for continued graduate study at the doctoral level. This program requires enrollment in the department’s Research Design and Analysis and Scientific Writing Courses and passing the department’s English Proficiency Examination. Otherwise, students may tailor their courses toward particular professional concentrations (e.g., botany, ecology, microbial and cellular biology, zoology, etc.).

Biology-Master of Arts

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts (MA) in Biology option is a scientific degree that is designed to provide additional biological training through coursework. This program does not require enrollment in the department’s Research Design and Analysis and Scientific Writing Courses and therefore does not require the department’s English Proficiency Examination. Students may tailor their courses toward particular professional concentrations (e.g., botany, ecology, microbial and cellular biology, zoology, etc.). This option is appropriate for students pursuing a career in biology or for continued graduate study.

Forensic Science, Biology Concentration

Concentration, Master of Science

Developed with the input of crime lab directors across the Midwest, students gain analytical techniques in forensic biology, forensic chemistry, toxicology, trace evidence.

Forensic Science, Chemistry Concentration

Concentration, Master of Science

Developed with the input of crime lab directors across the Midwest, students gain analytical techniques in forensic biology, forensic chemistry, toxicology, trace evidence.

Forensic Science, Criminalistics Concentration

Concentration, Master of Science

The Master of Science in Forensic Science program at Emporia State University was developed with the input of crime lab directors across the Midwest to ensure that it was preparing students for the workforce. The opportunity to learn from practitioners and professors and the one-on-one guidance ensure a quality education with opportunities not found elsewhere.