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Master of Science in
Biological Sciences

Thesis Option

  • Become a scientist
  • Get published
  • Present your work around the world
  • Flexible curriculum
  • Get paid through an assistantship

The thesis option 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. Students write and publish a thesis, and are encouraged to publish their research in peer-reviewed journals.

We encourage applicants in Thesis Option to contact individual graduate faculty regarding the availability of space in their laboratories.

Admission Requirements

  • Baccalaureate degree in biological sciences or related field from an accredited institution.
  • A minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.75 out of 4.0.
  • A professor who is willing to serve as a thesis mentor

Study Plan

A minimum of 30 hours of coursework in Biological Sciences is required.  Courses taken in any department other than BIO will not be counted toward a student's degree.  Students must take a minimum of 6 hours of research (BIO 5900) and 3 hours of Thesis (BIO 5950).  Alternatively, students can take a minimum of 3 hours of research (BIO 5900) and 6 hours of Thesis (BIO 5950).  Please note that students can take more hours of BIO 5900 and BIO 5950 than stated above for various reasons (for example, to maintain full-time student status), however only a total of 9 hours (BIO 5900 + BIO 5950) will be counted toward the degree.  One Graduate Seminar course (BIO 5150) is required.  However, students are allowed to take a maximum of 2 Graduate Seminars.  Students are allowed to take no more than 12 hours of courses in BIO 4750 - 4999.  Credits earned from the following courses will not be counted: BIO 5990, BIO 5980, BIO 5970, any course numbered less than 4750, and courses taken in departments other than BIO.  All students are required to successfully complete an oral comprehensive examination prior to the completion of the graduate degree.


Two versions of the study plan and checklist are provided below (they are the same but two different formats):

Thesis Plan and Checklist (Word Doc)

Thesis Plan and Checklist (PDF)


Related Pages

Contact Information

Dr. Britto P Nathan
Professor and Graduate Coordinator

2154 Life Science Annex
Life Sciences Building
600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920

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