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Biological Sciences, MS

Faculty

The Department of Biological Sciences is comprised of dedicated and well‑prepared faculty with diverse educational backgrounds and areas of research specialization. Small class sizes for graduate courses ensure that students interact closely with faculty in the learning experience. All faculty have published in their respective fields, and they maintain active research involvement.  Scholarly involvement and continuous professional development in research keeps the faculty current and able to offer exciting research opportunities to the students in a variety of areas.  The Department’s faculty are involved not only with individual research projects but also participate in joint collaborative research themes, for example in neuroscience.  The students have the opportunity to select their projects from these various arenas.

Current Faculty

  • Harbinder Dhillon Ph.D.
  • Vincent Fondong Ph.D. 
  • Melissa Harrington Ph.D.
  • Y. Hwan Kim Ph.D. 
  • Karl Miletti-Gonzalez Ph.D. 
  • Murali Temburni Ph.D. 
  • Michael Gitcho Ph.D. 
  • Hakeem Lawal Ph.D. 
  • Anthea Aikins Ph.D.
  • Derrick Scott Ph.D. 
  • LaTIa Scott Ph.D.
  • Miki Ii Ph.D
  • Brian McNaughton Ph.D

Facilities

The Department of Biological Sciences is housed in the Science Center (original) and the Mishoe Science Center.  The Department consists of 11 active research laboratories, a common biotechnology-equipped laboratory, six laboratory classrooms with prep rooms, faculty offices, a science reading room, an animal room, and a research greenhouse.  These facilities provide strong support capabilities in teaching and research areas of modern Biology.  The faculty have active research programs that are funded by research grants in various areas of biology but especially in plant biotechnology, cancer, and neuroscience.

The Department of Biological Sciences has a dedicated and well-prepared faculty with diverse backgrounds and areas of specialization. All faculty have published in their respective fields, and they maintain active research involvement. The faculty are serious and talented teachers. The small class size insures that students interact closely with faculty in the learning experience. Scholarly involvement in research keeps the faculty current and able to offer exciting research opportunities to the students in a variety of areas.

Admission Requirements

Admission is considered for applicants who have submitted a complete application, and who meet all admission criteria as outlined below. Considering that there are a limited number of seats, will be evaluated on a competitive basis by the Graduate Program Committee based on the following:

  • Personal Statement 
    The personal statement must demonstrate research experience, scientific writing capacity, scientific reasoning and critical thinking, and goal-oriented and progressive thinking that links previous experience with both short-term and long-term academic and professional goals.
  • Transcript
    Minimum transcript criteria include a 3.0 overall GPA, Bachelor’s Degree conferred in Biology or similar field. Pre-requisite courses include General Biology, General Chemistry, General Physics, Cell Biology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Statistics, Biochemistry.
  • GREs
    GRE Scores for the General Test must reflect an overall percentile score of 100, with a minimum percentile score of 25 within the three content areas (Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing). Discipline-specific GREs (e.g. biology) are not considered for evaluation.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    Three letters of recommendation are those that indicate the reviewer’s support of the applicant in terms of their academic strength, personal character, and academic potential of the applicant.

Financial Support

The department admits a limited number of students to the graduate programs so that they can be supported with tuition scholarships and research stipends from grants; however, funding is not guaranteed upon admission. Admission without funding is not usually a viable option, unless the student has a formal financial commitment letter from a faculty sponsor from the Biology department.

The program is considered a career endeavor. In some cases, students will be partially supported by teaching assistantships. In all cases students are expected to focus full-time on their studies and research. No student enrolled in either of the MS program and supported financially through DSU will be allowed to take up employment elsewhere without permission from advisor, GPC and department chair.

Degree Requirements

The MS Degree Program in Biological Sciences is designed to prepare students for further advanced study in biology.  Faculty with expertise in various areas (ranging from molecular and cellular biology to systemic biology and to ecological systems) have expanded the breadth of scientific backgrounds of students desiring to advance their careers in industry and government or to prepare themselves for other professional endeavors. The degree requirements include, and emphasize, a thesis based on mentored research that is conducted in an individual laboratory in the department, or an approved research laboratory. The program requires 30 DSU graduate credits and is designed for completion by full-time students within two years.

Required Courses

View the course curriculum

View the course descriptions