Dec 04, 2022  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
    
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog

Master of Science - Biological Sciences


Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: UNLV Graduate Programs

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, Microbiology, and Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics. 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). 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 Graduate College Application with Official transcripts and two Letters of Recommendation.
  2. 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


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 1


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: 4


Complete 4 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 10


Complete 10 credits of advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, core, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 2 Requirements: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Total Credits Required: 30 

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 1


Didactic Courses – Credits: 9


Complete 9 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 10


Complete 10 credits advisor-approved independent study, colloquium, seminar, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 3 Requirements: Integrative Physiology


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 1


Didactic Courses – Credits: 12


Complete 12 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Seminar Courses – Credits: 4


Complete 4 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 7


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

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 4 Requirements: Microbiology


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 1


Didactic Courses – Credits: 6


Complete 6 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Seminar Courses – Credits: 4


Complete 4 credits from any combination of the following courses:

Elective Courses – Credits: 10


Complete 10 credits of independent study, colloquium, seminar, core, or didactic courses.

Thesis – Credits: 6


Subplan 5 Requirements: Quantitative Biology and Bioinformatics


Total Credits Required: 30

Course Requirements


Required Course – Credits: 1


Didactic Courses - Credits: 3


Complete 3 credits of advisor-approved didactic courses.

Elective Courses – Credits: 10


Complete 10 credits of independent study, colloquium, seminar, core, or didactic courses

Thesis – Credits: 6


Plan Degree Requirements


  1. Complete a minimum of 30 credits beyond the undergraduate degree. At least 18 of these credits 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 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.
  5. 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.

Plan Graduation Requirements


The student must submit and successfully defend their thesis by the posted deadline. The defense must be advertised and is open to the public.

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

Students may apply for graduation up to two semesters prior to completing their degree requirements. All required forms must be submitted to the graduate college via the Grad Rebel Gateway.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: UNLV Graduate Programs