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Degree Requirements

The Department of Biological Sciences offers graduate training for professional careers in both applied and fundamental areas of biology. Programs are available leading to the degrees of Master of Science, Doctor of PhilosophyGraduate Certificate in Bioinformatics, Proteomics/Genomics; and Master of Arts in Teaching. Major areas of concentration include molecular biology, microbiology, cell biology, development, genetics, physiology, neurobiology, behavior, ecology, conservation biology and evolution.

Master of Science

Students may pursue the Master of Science (M.S.) degree under one of two plans, usually completed in 2 years.

Plan I: Plan I is a thesis option recommended for students who intend to continue on to a Ph.D. program or students who want to pursue careers involving biological research. Students must complete at least 30 semester hours of graduate credit, including 10 credits of formal coursework (3-4 courses) and three to six hours of BIOL 6990. Students select a advisor from the Graduate Faculty and 2 additional faculty (one of which must also be in Biological Sciences) for their committee. The composition of the committee is subject to approval by the Biological Sciences Graduate Committee. The student's course of study is designed, with the advice of the student's committee, to meet the student's particular needs and interests.

Candidates must complete an original research program, defend a proposal and a write and defend a thesis. Research is carried out with the help and supervision of a graduate faculty advisor. The final oral examination covers both the contents of the thesis and general biological knowledge.

Plan II: Plan II is a non-thesis plan designed to meet the needs of students whose career goals do not require a research-oriented course of study. Candidates are required to complete 34 semester hours of graduate credit including 10 credits of formal coursework (3-4 courses) and one hour of BIOL 6020. Students select a advisor from the Graduate Faculty and 2 additional faculty (one of which must also be in Biological Sciences) for their committee. The composition of the committee is subject to approval by the Biological Sciences Graduate Committee. The student's course of study is designed, with the advice of the student's committee, to meet the student's particular needs and interests.

In lieu of a thesis, students must complete both a paper based on either original research or a literature search and a comprehensive written examination. The final oral examination covers the student's written work as well as general biological knowledge.

Doctor of Philosophy

Students must complete at least 60 semester hours of graduate credit beyond the master's degree or 90 semester hours beyond the bachelor's degree (usually completed in 4 years). These hours must include 10 hours of formal coursework and at least 16 hours of BIOL 799, Dissertation Research (no more than 30 are applicable to the degree). Students select a advisor from the Graduate Faculty and 3 additional faculty (two of which must also be in Biological Sciences) for their committee.  An additional committee member is appointed by the Graduate College at the time of the Preliminary Examination.  The composition of the committee is subject to approval by the Biological Sciences Graduate Committee.  The student's course of study is designed, with the advice of the student's committee, to meet the student's particular needs and interests.

Students must complete a preliminary written and oral examination covering general biological knowledge, usually by the end of the second year  of study. Students successfully completing this examination and defending a proposal (within 6 months of the Prelims) are considered to be candidates for the Ph.D. degree.

Candidates must complete an independent research project acceptable to their doctoral committee. This research project is to be described and evaluated in the dissertation. The final oral examination consists of a defense of the dissertation and may cover related fields of study.  Doctoral students are also expected to have at least one manuscript submitted, accepted, or published before graduation.

Graduate Certificate in Bioinformatics, Proteomics/Genomics

Bioinformatics, proteomics, and genomics (BPG) have transformed biological research. The health of our research and educational programs as well as progress in biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, and related fields, depends on incorporating these tools. To address the need for training in these new disciplines, an interdisciplinary team of professors from BGSU and the University of Toledo now offer a comprehensive set of four BPG courses. These courses are designed for graduate students from a variety of backgrounds. Courses may be taken individually and a Certificate will be awarded on completion of all four courses (12 semester hours). Two of these courses are offered at BGSU and two are offered at the University of Toledo. Students participate in classes through internet-based videoconferencing and computer lab sessions at one of the institutions.

KEY STEPS FOR THE GRADUATE CERTIFICATE:

  • BGSU students should be admitted into the Bioinformatics Certificate program at BGSU before they register for these classes. Apply to the Certificate Program in Bioinformatics, Proteonomics/Genomics on the Graduate College website here.
  • BGSU students then submit an Application for Graduate Concurrent Enrollment to take the two Bioinformatics (BIPG) courses at UT. Please make sure you complete the form and obtain the necessary signatures well before the registration deadlines to avoid any late fees.

The four courses required for the Graduate Certificate are:

  • Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Proteomics/Genomics       (BIOL 6390)
  • Statistical Methods in Bioinformatics       (Offered at UT; BIPG520/720)
  • Introduction to Bioinformatic Computation       (Offered at UT; BIPG610/810)
  • Applications of Bioinformatics and Proteomics/Genomics       (BIOL 6400)

Students may enroll in only a certificate program, or may complete a certificate in conjunction with a graduate degree at BGSU. Certificate program applicants should hold an undergraduate degree prior to application to a certificate program.

Master of Arts in Teaching Biology

OVERVIEW:

For in-service teachers of grades 7-12

Overall goals:

  • Provide additional content knowledge in biology to improve teaching proficiency
  • Increase science process knowledge (e.g. nature of science)
  • Increase biology pedagogical content knowledge - the ability to know HOW to teach particular content using research based best practices for known misconceptions and problem areas in specific subjects.
  • Provide additional professional coursework in pedagogy, curriculum development, and educational foundations
  • Provide the opportunity to use research to improve teaching effectiveness

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Praxis II content specialization exam in Biology content, or Biology and General Science (or approved equivalent to include science content[e.g., NTE, or other Non-Ohio-State-mandated-science content test, or GRE science content area test])
  • Valid Teaching Certificate/License (from any State within the United States) and 1 year teaching experience in Biology or approved related area
  • Teacher Educator Dispositions Form to be completed by school administrator who has direct knowledge of applicants teaching
  • Completed Application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • 3 letters of recommendation

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

22-26 hours of graduate level biology courses including:

  • BIOL 6010 - Biological documentation techniques (1credit)
  • BIOL 6020 - Biodocumentation II (1 credit)
  • BIOL 5500 - Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science
  • At least one seminar BIOL 6800/6810 or Topics BIOL 6820/6830 or Curriculum Topic Study
  • Additional courses based on student need,
            - some courses may be interdisciplinary in nature (e.g., ENVS 6950 GLOBE)
            - at least 10 hours must be formal coursework

9-13 hours in professional education, with the following courses required:

  • EDFI 6770 Contemporary Theory and Research (3 credits)
  • an Education Practicum designed to meet NCATE key assessments [Practicum assessment of effective practices] (2-3 credits)
  • EDTL 6890 Practicum assessment of effective practices (3 credits)

In addition:

  • complete 35 semester hours of acceptable graduate course work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Not accumulate more than 7 semester hours of credit below a "B"
  • Complete the MAT within 6 years from date of first enrollment
  • Write a library research paper which shall require study beyond usual course requirements and demonstrate the student's ability to interpret and apply research findings in a specific area of study (BIOL 6020 may be done in conjunction with COSMOS Action Research)
  • Final assessment: presentation of BIOL 6020 research to appropriate audience, e.g., COSMOS Inquiry series or at professional development meeting.

Master of Arts in Teaching: Specialization in Interdisciplinary Science

OVERVIEW:

For in-service teachers of grades 4-9

Overall goals:

  • Provide math and science knowledge in teachers who have otherwise limited background in these areas
  • Increase math and science process knowledge (e.g. nature of science)
  • Increase math and science pedagogical content knowledge - the ability to know HOW to teach particular content using research based best practices for known misconceptions and problem areas in specific subjects.
  • Enhance the concept of science and mathematics as problem solving tools through an interdisciplinary approach with a particular focus on environmental sustainability and the nature of science.

Features:

  • Innovative interdisciplinary approach to providing quality instruction for classroom teachers
  • Improved accessibility for classroom teachers (e.g. some online courses and evening scheduling)
  • Increased opportunities for collaboration and communication among teachers who teach at schools that are widely separated geographically

Specialization

  • In order to earn the Specialization in Interdisciplinary Science ALL of the credit requirements must be met (20 hours of core content, 6 hours of interdisciplinary content and 6 hours of educational core)

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

  • Praxis II content specialization exam (or other equivalent[e.g., NTE, or other Non-Ohio-State-mandated exam), or GRE*
  • Valid Teaching Certificate/Licensure (from any State with the United States) and 1 year teaching experience*
  • Teacher Educator Dispositions Form to be completed by school administrator who has direct knowledge of applicants teaching
  • Completed Application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • 3 letters of recommendation

    *Note: If Praxis II (or equivalent) and/or Teaching Certificate/Licensure are not in Biology or General Science another measure of Biology content knowledge will be required during degree program to meet program key assessment requirements for NCATE review.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

Core Content (18-20 hours)

Foundations (14 hours)

  • Teaching and Learning Biology Fundamentals(BIOL 6250) (3 credits)
  • Foundations in Earth Science for Teaching and Learning (GEOL) (3 credits)
  • Foundations in Environmental Science for Teaching and Learning (ENVS)(3 credits)
  • Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science (BIOL 5500) (3 credits)
  • Biodocumentation (BIOL 6001) (1 credit)
  • Biodocumentation Seminar (1 credit) (BIOL 6020)

Focus: e.g., Curriculum Topic Study/Lesson Study (Choose 2 (2-3 credits each))

  • Math 586 Mathematics Lesson Study I Problem Solving (MATH 5860)
  • Earth Science Curriculum Topic Study (GEOL)
  • Life Science Curriculum Topic Study (BIOL)
  • Environmental Curriculum Topic Study (ENVH)

These curriculum topic study and lesson study courses focus on specific topics. Additional courses within each content area will be developed based on need of participants and availability of faculty.

Interdisciplinary Content Electives (6 credits required)

  • Earth as a System GLOBE (ENVS 6950) (3 credits)>
  • Environmental Odysseys (ENVH) (3 credits)

Additional courses will be added as developed

Educational Core (9-13 hours of professional education coursework, with the following 6 hours of required courses)

  • EDFI 6770 Contemporary Theory and Research in Classroom Teaching (3 credits)
  • an education practicum designed to meet NCATE key assessments [Practicum assessment of effective practice] (2-3 credits)

In addition:

  • complete 35 semester hours of acceptable graduate course work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Not accumulate more than 7 semester hours of credit below a "B"
  • Complete the MAT within 6 years from date of first enrollment
  • Write a library research paper which shall require study beyond usual course requirements and demonstrate the student's ability to interpret and apply research findings in a specific area of study (BIOL 6020 may be done in conjunction with COSMOS Action Research)
  • Final assessment: presentation of BIOL 6020 research to appropriate audience, e.g., COSMOS Inquiry series or at professional development meeting.