Jun 26, 2022  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog ARCHIVED CATALOG: CONTENT MAY NOT BE CURRENT. USE THE DROP DOWN ABOVE TO ACCESS THE CURRENT CATALOG.

Master of Science - Biological Sciences


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Plan Description


The School of Life Sciences offers an M.S. program with concentrations in Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Integrative Physiology, and Microbiology. This degree is less research intensive than the Ph.D. and is designed to prepare students for a diverse set of science-related careers.

For more information about your program, including your graduate program handbook and learning outcomes please visit the Degree Directory.

Plan Admission Requirements


Application deadlines

Applications available on the UNLV Graduate College website.

Applications for fall admission that are completed by the posted deadline will be given priority for state-funded graduate assistantships. Admission is based on a combination of criteria that may differ from one year to another, however, most successful applicants have a minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average (junior and senior years) and score in the upper 50th percentile on all sections of the GRE. Decisions for fall applicants will be made by April 1 if not sooner.

Please note that the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the School of Life Sciences (SoLS) are research degrees. Applicants must look through the faculty web pages to identify one or more potential mentors as part of their application. They are required to contact these faculty directly regarding the possibility of joining their lab.

Applications are not considered complete unless they contain:

  1. A completed SoLS application form.
  2. A completed Graduate College Application with Official transcripts and two Letters of Recommendation.
  3. Official GRE score report; subject GREs are not required.
  4. A two-page personal statement describing why the applicant wishes to obtain the MS degree.

All domestic and international applicants must review and follow the Graduate College Admission and Registration Requirements.

Students are accepted into a degree program as described in the Graduate Catalog. The faculty and corresponding sub-disciplines and sub-plans within the described programs are subject to change at any time.

Subplan 1 Requirements: Cellular and Molecular Biology Track


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 2


Core Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits from the following list of courses:

Didactic Course – Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of an advisor-approved didactic course.

Seminar Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 7


Complete 7 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, core, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 2 Requirements: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Track


Total Credits Required: 30 

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 2


Didactic Courses – Credits: 9


Complete 9 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Seminar Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 7


Complete 7 credits advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 3 Requirements: Integrative Physiology Track


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 2


Didactic Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Seminar Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 4


Complete 4 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 4 Requirements: Microbiology Track


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 2


Didactic Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Seminar Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 7


Complete 7 credits of independent study, colloquium, seminar, core, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Plan Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 30 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 18 of these hours must be completed at the 700-level.
  2. Students may request a maximum of 15 graduate credits taken at UNLV prior to admission into SoLS’s Graduate Program to be counted towards the 30 credit hour minimum graduation requirement, provided that those credits were not used to fulfill undergraduate requirements and that a minimum grade of “B” (3.00) was earned in each course.
  3. At least 50 percent of the total credits required to complete the Master’s degree must be earned at UNLV after admission into the Graduate Program.
  4. Students should register for at least nine (9) credits each semester if they are receiving financial support from SoLS; otherwise they must register for at least six (6) credits each semester. Students working on their thesis must register for at least three (3) credits each semester (excluding summer) until the Master’s Thesis is completed and given final approval.
  5. Students must confer with their Thesis Advisor prior to enrollment in their first semester. The Advisor will assist with designing an initial graduate degree program (i.e., an outline of the courses that the student will complete for the degree), engage in discussions about possible research directions, and introduce the student to the personnel and resources of the School of Life Sciences.
  6. Students must form an Advisory Committee before the department’s posted deadline. This Committee will be composed by the Thesis Advisor (who will serve as the Committee Chair), two members of SoLS’s Graduate Faculty, and a Graduate Faculty Representative from UNLV (but outside of SoLS). An additional committee member may be added at the student and department’s discretion. Please see Graduate College policy for committee appointment guidelines.
  7. Students must meet with their Advisory Committee at least once every year (i.e., from January to October), and a written report of this meeting must be submitted to SoLS’s Graduate Operations Committee by November 1.
  8. The Advisory Committee will review the student’s past academic background and, taking into consideration the student’s research interests, determine his/her definitive graduate degree program.
  9. Students must comply with the deadlines indicated in SoLS’s Graduate Student Handbook (available on the Degrees Directory program page) for submitting required paperwork to the Graduate College.
  10. A student will be placed on academic probation if a minimum 3.00 grade point average is not maintained in all work taken as part of the graduate degree program. A grade of “C+” or less in two graduate-level classes will cause a student to be placed on academic probation.
  11. The M.S. candidate will present a seminar on his/her thesis work that is open to all interested parties, including the general public. This public seminar will be widely advertised at least seven (7) days before it takes place, and will be followed by an oral defense of the thesis research before the Advisory Committee and any other Graduate Faculty member who wishes to attend.
  12. Students are expected to complete all the requirements for the Master’s degree in 2-3 years.

Plan Graduation Requirements


  1. The student must submit all required forms to the Graduate College and then apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing his/her degree requirements.
  2. The student must submit and successfully defend his/her thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.
  3. After the thesis defense, the student must electronically submit a properly formatted pdf copy of their thesis to the Graduate College for format check. Once the thesis format has been approved by the Graduate College, the student will submit the approved electronic version to ProQuest. Deadlines for thesis defenses, format check submissions, and the final ProQuest submission can be found here

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