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Master of Science, Biology

Do more with your degree

Master of Science, Biology - Thesis Option

The Master of Science in Biology Thesis option is designed to provide a more sophisticated research experience for students pursuing a career in research-driven biological fields or for continued graduate study at the doctoral level. The thesis project entails original research done in collaboration with the student’s academic advisor. 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.).


  • Qualify for more advanced positions in applied biology
  • Prepare for doctoral level education
  • Teach at the high school (pending certification) or college levels

Subject areas


This subject area consists of our core biology courses to provide background in all areas of biology and specific upper-level classes in plant taxonomy, plant physiology and plant ecology.








Homer S. Stephens Herbarium

On-campus greenhouse

Natural Areas

Ecology and Biodiversity

This subject area is appropriate for students seeking a specialized program of study in ecology and organismal biology.




Wildlife Manager

Game Warden

Microbial and Cellular Biology

This subject area is appropriate for students seeking a specialized program of study in microbiology and/or cellular biology.


This subject area is appropriate for students seeking a specialized program of study in zoology, emphasizing laboratory work that includes courses in physiology and organic chemistry.



Animal husbandry specialist

Animal Physiologist


Schmidt Museum of Natural History

Applying for this degree

More information on applying

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 may be asked to make up these deficiencies.

Prospective students who are interested in applying to the Master of Science in Biology (thesis) are required to submit an ESU Graduate School application. Within the application, students will complete the Biology Application which asks for a personal background statement detailing goals and experience in biology. Applicants will also need to provide the names and emails of three recommenders.

Once the application is submitted with payment, the Graduate School will email the applicant’s recommenders on their behalf, requesting a recommendation. M.S. Thesis option applicants should visit or contact potential advisors prior to submitting their application. An M.S. Thesis option applicant can be admitted only if a Biology faculty member agrees to advise the applicant’s thesis.

The department's Graduate Committee will make an admission decision based upon the application materials. The applicant can be accepted unconditionally, with condition, on a probationary basis, or the applicant can be denied. International students must apply for graduate studies through the Office of International Education.

For additional details see our Guidelines for Graduate Study.pdf in Biology.

If you have further questions, contact the Biology Graduate Program Coordinator or the Department of Biological Sciences at 620-341-5311.


33 Credit Hours (Thesis option)

Required application materials

Graduate School Application

Upon filling out the application, one has the choice to choose a concentration to supplement their Master's Degree. If one does not desire to choose a concentration, then leave that section blank on the application.

Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended

Departmental application

Three reference forms

Copy of government-issued ID

Submitting Application Materials

The following items must be provided/completed at the time of application submission through the Application Portal:

*Unofficial bachelor's degree transcript

*Copy of government-issued ID

*Departmental application located within Graduate School application

*Three references or the names and emails of three recommenders

Official transcripts

Students must submit official bachelor’s degree transcripts containing at least 60 credit hours of coursework and final grades. Any additional transcripts from college credit accumulated after the bachelor’s degree MUST be submitted if you will be using these credits for transfer credit or for last 60 GPA. Transcripts are considered official when they arrive in the Graduate Office in a sealed envelope from the issuing institution or are received through a secure electronic transcript service to

If the transcripts need to be mailed, send to:

Emporia State University
Graduate School

Campus Box 4003
Emporia State University
1 Kellogg Circle
Emporia, KS 66801-5415


Why ESU?

Our professors don’t want you to be a passive learner in the biology program, but an active participant in study and research in your field of interest. With smaller class sizes in your major, you’ll have the opportunity to do original research of your own choosing or work with professors on ongoing projects.

Take action


Apply to the Emporia State University Graduate School.

Request more info

Request more information today.


Scholarships are available for Biology students at ESU.

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Contact the Biology Department

Address + Location


Science Hall 174

Mailing Address

1 Kellogg Circle
Box 4050
Emporia, KS 66801