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Department of Biology College of Natural and Social Sciences University of Nebraska at Kearney

  • Kearney, NE
  • Public
  • Small
  • 64%36%
    student ratio
  • 276
    total students
  • $3,898 | $8,060
    in-state tuition | out-of-state tuition
  • June 15
    fall application deadline
  • 74%
    acceptance rate
  • 2 Degrees
    degrees/awards offered


University of Nebraska Kearney

The University of Nebraska Kearney is a mid-sized public university located in Kearney, Nebraska. It has one of the lowest tuition rates in the country and is one of the top ranked schools in the Midwest. "U.S. News and World Report" has ranked the University of Nebraska Kearney among the Top 15 Public Midwest Regional Universities. "U.S. News and World Report" also ranks UNK's online graduate programs as 8th in the nation.

An Online Leader in Graduate Biology Studies

The Department of Biology at the University of Nebraska Kearney is a leader in distance graduate education,. With 18 graduate faculty members, the department is able to offer courses that span the wide range of subfields from molecular biology, microbiology, genetics, and molecular evolution to physiology, botany, mammalogy, and ecology. The graduate program emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to solving the biological challenges of today.

The department offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology degree program with a non-thesis option that is ideal for non-resident students who have or are seeking careers in which an advanced biology degree is desirable. The degree program can be completed entirely online.

The Online M.S. in Biology Non-Thesis Track

The non-thesis M.S. in Biology degree program at the University of Nebraska Kearney is a 36-hour program that can be completed entirely online. Most students complete the degree within 2 to 3 years, but students may take up to 10 years to complete the program without having to repeat courses. Students must maintain grade point average of 3.0 or above.

Students may transfer up to 9 hours from other graduate programs or institutions.

The M.S. in Biology Curriculum

Students complete 18 hours of required courses that cover topics such as organic evolution, statistics, and current issues in biology. Students also devote 6 hours to research.

Students take an additional 18 hours of elective courses, choosing from subjects in physiology, genetics, cellular and molecular biology, ecology, and biological techniques.

Course offerings range from microbiology, immunology, plant physiology or pathology, molecular biotechnology, and human genetics to insect biology, range and wildlife management, herpetology, functional morphology, and conservation of birds and mammals. Electives are also available in scientific illustration, freshwater management techniques, infectious disease, bioethics, and other research methods and applied topics.

A Versatile, Accomplish Faculty

The Department of Biology at UNK is home to highly accomplished faculty members. Professor Kim Carlson, for example, has published extensively in the fields of aging, HIV, and the Nora virus. She holds 2 patents. Professor Casey Schoenebeck has published extensively on fisheries management and ecology. He is an active member of the American Fisheries Society and the Great Plains Natural Science Society. Professor Marc Albrecht has pioneered the use of GPS technology to monitor cattle movements and the development of robotic animals to investigate basic movement patterns.

Professor Janet Steele researches cardiovascular and renal physiology and oxidative stress. Professor Dawn Simon has published widely in the fields of molecular evolution, phylogenetics, and ribozymes. She and other instructors such as Professor Julie Shaffer are members of the National Association of Biology Teachers.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to the M.S. in Biology degree program should have graduated with Bachelor of Science (B.S.) or Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Biology, or have an undergraduate degree in another discipline with 24 hours of biology coursework. Students must have an undergraduate grade point average of 2.75. If below this minimum, you must take the GRE for a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 800 if taken prior to Aug 2011 or 290 if taken after Aug 2011. International students must earn an 80 on the online TOEFL exam or a minimum of 550 on the paper exam.

Location & Contact

Department of Biology

College of Natural and Social Sciences
University of Nebraska at Kearney

2401 11th Avenue
Kearney, NE 68849
United States

Julie Shaffer

Graduate Program Chair

Phone: 308-865-8661
Fax: 308-865-8045

Brian Peterson

Graduate Studies and Research Director

Phone: 308-865-1589

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Science/Math Education Master of Arts in Education (MA Ed)
    • Biology Master of Science (MS)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 61
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Yes
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Yes
    • Distance learning programs available? Yes
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


74% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 112
    • Accepted 83
    • Acceptance Rate 74
    • Enrolled 56
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $45
    • Application Fee - International $45
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline June 15th May 15th Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 15th October 15th Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE (for thesis option and for online program applicants if undergraduate GPA is below 2.75), letter of interest
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based, TOEFL iBT

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$3,898
    • Out-of-state tuition *$8,060
    • International student tuitionNot Reported
    • *Typical tuition for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year fees$950.00
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • *Typical fees for this institution for full-time graduate students per academic year
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsMarch 1
    • Types of financial support availableResearch Assitantships, Teaching Assistantships, Career or Field-Related Internships, Financial Support for Part-time Students, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students276
    • Female Percentage64%
    • Male Percentage36%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students276
    • Part-time Percentage94%
    • Full-time Percentage6%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino3%
    • Black / African American1%
    • White / Caucasian85%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native1%
    • Asian2%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races2%
    • Unknown6%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty21
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage43%
    • Male Percentage57%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchPollution injury, molecular biology-viral gene expression, prairie range condition modeling, evolution of symbiotic nitrogen fixation
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last yearNot Reported




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