The graduate program in Biological Sciences affords students an opportunity to pursue advanced training in many of the major disciplines of the biological sciences.
Students specialize in one or more areas of the biological sciences including conservation biology, ecology, ornithology, gene expression and development, bioenergy, plant anatomy, fisheries biology, bacteriology, wildlife biology, behavioral ecology, toxicology, parasitology, phylogenetics, evolution, morphology, community ecology, adaptations, mitochondrial physiology, neuroscience, Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative diseases, ecological genetics, algal ecology, behavioral ecology and genetic engineering.
In addition to well-equipped laboratory facilities, computer facilities, a scanning electron microscope facility, biotechnology center, G.I.S. laboratory, extensive herbarium collections, and a multi-room greenhouse for teaching and research, a number of outdoor facilities, including state parks, nature preserves, local streams, rivers, reservoirs, and watersheds are available for field studies.
The thesis track option is our “standard” degree and is designed for students seeking to gain expertise in scientific research. It allows students to design, implement, and analyze an original research project, in cooperation with their graduate research committee. Click here for more information on the Thesis Option.
The internship track option is designed for students seeking applied experience in the field, outside of the university setting, as a means to enter the workforce. Students find and complete a internship in an appropriate setting, which incorporates an independent study/research project, to complement their coursework. Click here for more information on the Internship Option.
The Non-Thesis option allows students to earn a master's degree in one year without having to take the GRE. The curriculum is flexible and helps to fill requirements to teach K-12 and in higher education. Click here for more information on the Non-Thesis Option.
Students work closely with faculty advisors to conduct research in any of several areas of biological sciences. Graduate faculty research interests and expertise span the gambit, allowing students to design a research project in any sub discipline from organismal and field biology to physiological, cellular and molecular biology.
All courses for students majoring in the biological sciences are taught by research active faculty. You’ll be able to meet and work with professional faculty early in your educational career. With small class size and a myriad of practical and field based experiences, you will leave Eastern Illinois University well prepared and well prepared in your field.
Students in the program are part of an academic community. They interact closely with faculty members – both academically and socially. They are involved in mentoring of undergraduate students through teaching assistantships and research.
“My research is driven by an interest in understanding wildlife-habitat associations. My research projects are diverse but aim to understand the factors explaining why species occur where and when they do, patterns of animal movement in search of suitable conditions, and the consequences of movement and habitat selection on fitness and species distributions at various scales."
“My research focuses on the biochemical underpinnings of adaptations to extreme environmental insults such as elevated temperature, severe desiccation, and freezing in animals. Undergraduate and graduate students are highly encouraged to contact me by phone or email about current research opportunities."
“My research focuses on how fish populations respond to anthropogenic impacts. Specifically, I am interested in the responses of native fishes to harvest, invasive species and habitat alterations. Most of my research focuses on commercially or ecologically important species in lotic (flowing) water system."
"EIU's education extends far beyond the classroom, providing strong, applicable skills I've continued to use past graduation and throughout my career. The sincerity and passion behind the professors has provided me with experiences I'll carry with me for a lifetime."Paul Edwards, Environmental Toxicology (2012)
"There's so much out there waiting for you. So many opportunities to do research to find employment. Just go and explore everything that Eastern has to offer, because you won't find it anywhere else. It's really one of the best choices I've made.”Jennifer Kim, Biology (2014)
"The small class sizes, hands-on lab experiences, and engaged instructors who consistently delivered detailed feedback on my scientific writing and career advice provided me with the best possible groundwork to be a successful neuroscientist.""Apryl E. Pooley, Biological Sciences Bachelor's (2008), MS (2011)
"Whether it be through receiving prestigious summer research fellowships at several universities, internships, or performing honors research through the EIU Departmental Honors Program, I have developed professionally as a student of science and medicine.”Nick Smith, Pre-Health Professions (2015)