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Master of Science in Biology

Available at the Milledgeville Campus

WELCOME to the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Georgia College. We have an active graduate program and typically have 30-40 students enrolled during a given a semester.  Depending on your future goals, both Thesis and non-Thesis options are available. The information below will give you an idea of the requirements for entering and completing the M.S. in Biology degree at Georgia College. Please see the graduate catalog for more details and the links on the left for more information on our department. We look forward to hearing from you.

Thesis Option
The biology master's thesis curriculum is designed for students who intend to pursue research oriented careers in science.  Many students who choose this option move into Ph.D. programs elsewhere.  Most of the others enter the professional workforce in a research oriented position.  The primary mission of the thesis based master of science degree is to provide students with the thinking, knowledge, and technical skills they will need to succeed in their professional career.

  1. Program of Study. A total of 36 semester hours is required for graduation including 6 hours of thesis research (BIOL 6970) and 30 hours of regular course work. The course work is is broken down into the following components: 2 hour graduate seminar required during the first fall semester of enrollment; at least 9 hours of 6000-level courses (excluding BIOL 6940, 6945, 6960, and 6970); and the remainder is made up of 18 hours of any combination of 6000- and 5000-level courses. 
  2. Thesis. Students must successfully complete a thesis research project that will be supervised by the student's Primary Advisor and Graduate Committee.  The research will typically last for approximately one year, or field season, and often takes place over the summer.
  3. Final defense. The final thesis project must be presented at a public forum.  This consists of an oral presentation of the thesis research as well as a defense of the thesis. Passing of the defense will be determined by a favorable simple majority vote of the committee members. 

Non-Thesis Option
The biology master's non-thesis curriculum is designed for students who do not intend to pursue research oriented careers in science. Most of these students intend to pursue either a medical or teaching career.  The primary mission of the non-thesis based Master of Science in biology degree is to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their academic profile, remove academic deficiencies, and to explore career options.

  1. Program of Study. A total of 36 semester hours is required for graduation including 3 hours of non-thesis study (BIOL 6945) and 33 hours of regular course work. The course work is broken down into the following components: 2 hour graduate seminar required during the first fall semester of enrollment; at least 9 hours of 6000-level courses (excluding BIOL 6940, 6945, 6960, and 6970); and the remainder is made up of 22 hours of any combination of 6000- and 5000-level courses. 
  2. Non-Thesis. The student will write a research paper on a topic selected in consultation with the members of their Graduate Advisement Committee. This paper will be organized to conform to the standards of the GC research journal and will be defended at a public forum.
  3. Final Defense.  The defense shall consist of an oral presentation of the independent study research paper and a defense of the ideas and concepts presented within the paper.  Passing of the defense will be determined by a favorable simple majority vote of the committee members. 

Additional Program Information.
Both Thesis and Non-Thesis students must take at least 9 hours of 6000-level courses (graduate student only courses).  These may not include Thesis Research (BIOL 6970), Internship (6960), Non-Thesis Study (6945), and Independent Study (6940).  The 6000-level courses (excluding those mentioned) must meet the following criteria: 1) be open to all graduate students, 2) meet regularly, 3) have scheduled assignments, and 4) cannot be open to undergraduate students. 

Application Deadlines
July 1 - Fall Semester
Nov 15 - Spring Semester
April 1 - Maymester
April 1 - Summer Semester

Entrance Requirements
A baccalaureate degree and a minimum of 30 hours of undergraduate biological sciences course work.

Admission Requirements
Admission to our program is currently based on an overall admission score calculated from several factors.  The general GRE exam is required for admission and the scoring for the exam has recently been revised.  We will accept either the original or revised scoring. Currently, our admission score is generated from:

  1. GRE score (minimum of 286 (revised) or 800 (original))
  2. Undergraduate GPA.
  3. Research experience (in the form of publications and/or papers presented at professional meetings).
  4. Previous Master of Science degree.
  5. Ideally, obtain a letter of recommendation from one of our faculty that indicates a willingness to immediately begin collaborating with you. This will add 75 points to your admission score under the new system or 200 points under the old system.
  6. The overall admission score is computed as follows:

Admission Scoring-New GRE—GRE (verbal+quantitative) + GPAx178 + publication pts (60 pts/publication (maximum 120 pts)) + papers/meeting (15 pts/paper (maximum 30 pts)) + letter of support (75 pts for one letter only) + previous Master of Science degree (30 pts per degree).

Admission Scoring-Old GRE—GRE (verbal+quantitative) + GPAx500 + publication pts (200 pts/publication (maximum 400 pts)) + papers/meeting (50 pts/paper (maximum 100 pts)) + letter of support (200 pts for one letter only) + previous Master of Science degree (100 pts per degree).

Health Forms
Students are required to submit immunization records. 
The Certificate of Immunization (pdf) requires a physician's signature.

Contact Information
Dr. Chris Skelton
Graduate Coordinator
Biological and Environmental Sciences
Georgia College
Campus Box 81
Milledgeville, GA 31061
478-445-2440
chris.skelton@gcsu.edu

Contact Information
Graduate Admissions
Georgia College
Campus Box 107
Milledgeville, GA 31061
(478) 445-6289
(fax) 478-445-1336
grad-admit@gcsu.edu

 

See the complete list of graduate programs.

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