M.S. in Zoology

Ph.D. | M.S. | Master’s (non-thesis)


It is important that you identify a potential faculty adviser, as this will greatly increase your chance of admission.  Although all applications are made available to faculty advisers for review, a graduate student will not be admitted for graduate studies unless the prospective student has identified a faulty adviser.  Once a faculty adviser has requested review of prospective student, the application is then evaluated with regard to the applicants’ potential for success in graduate school only at the request of a faculty adviser.  The admissions process involves consideration of the ability of our program to accommodate students.

Successful applicants usually have a Bachelor’s degree in a  biological science with at least an overall B average and a minimum number of courses in biology and supporting fields (6 in biology, 4 in chemistry, 2 in physics, and 2 in mathematics).  In addition to the applicant’s grades and coursework, we consider relevant experience (e.g. through internships, volunteer, or paid work), statement of interest, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores.  We expect applicants for the MS degree to have a least a 3.0 GPA and  a combined score of at least 295 (new GRE scale) or 1000 (old scale) on the quantitative and verbal GREs.

Degree Requirements

Students pursuing a Master of Science in Zoology work with an advisory committee to develop a Plan of Work and conduct novel research under the guidance and mentorship of their major adviser(s).  Upon completion of the necessary courses and research program, MS students are required to write a thesis and present a seminar describing their research.  The seminar will be open to all who wish to attend.  After the seminar, the student will meet with their advisory committee for the final exam.  Students are expected to carry their research to publication.

Course Requirements

The Plan of Work must be approved by the Advisory Committee and submitted by the end of the student’s second semester.  It can be altered only with approval of the Advisory Committee and completion of the necessary paperwork.  Including a minor is optional.

The Plan of Work must include at least 30 credit hours and must meet the following requirements:

  • 20 of the 30 hours must be regular 500-800 level courses
  • At least 6 hours of research credit (ZO 695) must be included
  • No more than 6 hours of temporary courses (ZO 624, 824) can count toward the 30 hours
  • No more than one 400 level course can be included and it must not be a ZO course
Iif a minor is included:
  • at least 9 credit hours will be used to complete the minor
  • One committee member must represent the minor area

A minor can be specific to one area or it can be an interdisciplinary minor, which must include at least 3 courses from outside the student’s major department or program and those courses must represent at least two different areas.