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Departments & Programs

Department of Biology
Master of Science

Degree Options

M.S. Non-thesis in Interdisciplinary Biology  This program requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of registration, at least 21 of which must be in biology. For students who wish to combine biology training with work in a secondary area as a mechanism to meet career objectives, up to 9 credit hours can be taken in the secondary area. Advanced-level undergraduate course work hours are limited to 6. Examples of secondary areas include, but are not limited to, chemistry, mathematics, public affairs, business, statistics, law, computer science, administration, and, for those interested in teaching, education. For those students with no secondary area of interest, all 30 credit hours may be taken in biology. The program requires registrations in BIOL 59500 Special Assignments and BIOL 69600 Seminar. The former consists of an independent, creative project done in association with a faculty member. Typical examples include a limited laboratory research experience or a library research assignment. The results of the project are reported both in writing and orally in BIOL 69600.

M.S. Pre-professional Non-thesis 

This program also consists of a minimum of 30 credit hours, all of which must be taken over two semesters. This challenging program is highly intensified and is open only to those students who meet a high admission standard based on undergraduate GPA and GRE scores. The program is available to those students planning careers in medicine, dentistry, optometry, or other health-related fields and differs from the interdisciplinary non-thesis M.S. by having no requirement for the BIOL 59500 and BIOL 69600 registrations.

M.S. with Thesis 

This 30 credit hour program requires a minimum of 9 credit hours of 500-level and 600-level course work in biology chosen in consultation with the student’s graduate advisory committee, and intensive research leading to a thesis. Most full-time students should expect to spend at least two full years to complete this program. Areas in which research opportunities are available include: yeast molecular biology, renal physiology, wound repair and tissue regeneration, oncology, plant hormones, antifungal antibiotics, developmental genetics, cell biology, membrane biochemistry and biophysics, molecular toxicology, plant tissue culture, plant physiological ecology, plant and animal molecular biology, neuroscience, and regenerative biology and medicine. The overall emphasis of the department’s research program focuses on questions at the cellular, biochemical, and molecular levels. Many of the projects provide a foundation in biotechnology and an excellent preparation for biomedical and industrial applications.

Admission Requirements
  • Students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning and demonstrate good preparation in biological sciences, organic chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
  • Students must take the GRE aptitude tests.
  • Three letters of recommendation are required.
  • A minimum graduation grade point average of 3.0 or its equivalent is required for unconditional admission.

Transfer of Credit

Transfer credit to be used in the nonthesis option may be given for up to 9 credit hours of graduate work completed elsewhere with a grade of B or higher. Such credit may be used only in the secondary area and will be accepted only after one semester of satisfactory work is completed in residence at IUPUI. Transfer credit is not accepted in the thesis option. Up to 12 hours of biology graduate credit taken at IUPUI under graduate nondegree status may be transferred to the thesis or nonthesis options.



Only grades of A, B, or C are acceptable, although performance higher than C may be required. Pass/Fail grades are unacceptable.

Residence Requirements

Thirty (30) credit hours of registration are required for the M.S. degree. Students entering with advanced standing from another graduate school are given residence credit commensurate with the graduate work accomplished.

Final Examination

A comprehensive written or oral examination in the individual’s primary area may be required of nonthesis students unless their cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher. The final examination for thesis students will consist of a thesis defense, which will be done in conjunction with BIOL 69600 Seminar.

All students are required to take BIOL 69600 Seminar. The creative project required of all nonthesis students will provide the basis for the public presentation.

Financial Assistance

The Department of Biology has financial support available in the form of tuition-refund assistantships, associate faculty positions, fellowships, and stipends from local industry on a limited basis.