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MA in Biological Sciences

Biological Sciences offers an MA degree.  Students can directly apply to a thesis-based MA degree.  Acceptance to the MA degree program requires commitment from a mentor.

The MA degree can also be offered to students who are initially accepted with the intent of fulfilling a PhD and due to unforeseen circumstances, such as illness, a change in academic interest, or other personal reasons, request transfer to the MA degree.  In these cases, and depending on the unique circumstances of each student, the MA can be offered with or without a written thesis.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours.  Fifteen hours must be from courses at the 8000 or 9000 level and no more than 40 percent of the 30-hours credit requirement can be satisfied by a combination of special investigations and research courses.  Students are required to enroll in BIO_SC 8050 Professional Survival Skills and BIO_SC 8060 Ethical Conduct of Research.  The remainder of the hours is made up of seminars and 12 hours of thesis research.  Students opting for a M.A. degree must complete a research project, and write and defend a Master's thesis in front of their Master's committee.  Students design their program of study based on their research interest and in consultation with their faculty advisor and committee.

Admission Eligibility & Criteria

Our goal is to foster a community in which excellence in research, teaching and community engagement are recognized as synergistic activities of equal importance.  Therefore, we have moved away from a metric-based approach and instead use a holistic evaluation of candidates.  At the forefront of this process is the recognition that inclusion and equity are the foundations of a community in which diverse ideas and perspectives are likely to flourish.  As such, the Division of Biological Sciences prioritizes evidence of attributes such as drive, diligence, passion for sharing scientific knowledge, and a willingness to take scientific risks over metrics such as GPA, standardized test scores, and other similar qualifications.

Required Application Materials

Applicants are required to submit all the materials through the Graduate School application process.  Please note that your application will not be considered until all the materials are received.  We encourage all applicants to visit the Biological Sciences Graduate Studies link (below) to become familiar with the application process.

Admission Contact Information

Division of Biological Sciences
800-553-5698
573-882-1847
https://biology.missouri.edu