The Master of Science in Biology Graduate Program at Wichita State University Provides Multiple Paths to a Degree
The Department of Biological Sciences at Wichita State University is committed to incorporating professional training through laboratory and field work, close interaction with faculty members, interdisciplinary course work, and internship opportunities to create a comprehensive Master of Science in Biology program
. Students may choose to pursue a research-intensive thesis-track or a coursework- and internship-focused non-thesis-track to the Master of Science degree.
For the thesis option, several fields of concentration are available
, including microbiology, cellular biology, molecular biology, endocrinology, reproductive biology, systematics, animal behavior and ecology. Students select a thesis adviser and committee, who help in designing a plan of study and a research project that will meet the individual's goals and needs. The student then conducts the original research under the mentorship of the thesis adviser. A total of 30 credit hours of coursework, in addition to the defense of the proposed thesis and research results, are required. Students who earn an MS degree on the thesis-track often pursue doctoral degrees, are employed in research positions in industry and government or pursue teaching opportunities.
For the non-thesis option, a total of 33 graduate credit hours are required and students must defend a written summary of a professional internship experience. Students choosing the non-thesis option often already are employed in the medical or education fields. They may plan to advance their current positions to a higher level in these fields.
Some of the graduate courses
available to students pursuing a master's degree in biological sciences at Wichita State University cover topics in immunobiology, cancer biology, physiology, anatomy, neurobiology, developmental biology, avian biology, entomology, plant ecology, conservation biology, restoration ecology and statistical applications in biology.
To apply to the program, prospective students must provide all prior academic transcripts, three letters of recommendation from science faculty members and a one-page statement of purpose that describes the student's interests in Biology. Application deadlines are March 1 (both domestic and international students) for fall semester admission and October 1 (domestic) and August 1 (international) for spring semester admission.
Financial Support Is Available Through Assistantships and Fellowships
Graduate assistantships are awarded and commonly used as sources of reliable financial aid during a student's graduate program. These assistantships require 8 to 10 hours of teaching per week, and enable a student's eligibility for tuition waivers. Applications for graduate teaching assistantships are reviewed in March and October. Research fellowships are also a viable option for living and tuition support.
Research Facilities Include the WSU Biological Field Station to Study Natural Ecosystems at Work
Graduate students at WSU can take advantage of a wide range of laboratory and field research opportunities that complement their classes and professional internship experiences. Modern facilities on and off campus
allow students to conduct research for thesis purposes as well as career and work-oriented experiences.
On-campus facilities include an animal care facility, microscopic imaging and protein chemistry core facilities, a herbarium and greenhouses. Recent and on-going student research that makes use of these facilities addresses the role of epigenetics in ovarian cancer tumor cell growth, conformational changes in human reproductive hormones associated with aging, bioengineering applications related to therapies for spinal cord injury and hormonal regulation of crop -- soil pathogen interactions.
The WSU Biological Field Station
provides ideal locations for field experiments in ecology, evolutionary biology and animal behavior by both students and faculty. The Biological Field Station consists of four natural areas within easy driving distance of Wichita. The Ninnescah Reserve, located 35 miles from campus, is 330 acres of prairie and woodlands and has a lab/classroom building to facilitate ecological research and teaching. The Gerber and Sellers Reserves, nearby the Ninnescah Reserve, provide access to stream, riparian and sand prairie habitats. The Youngmeyer Reserve, the most recent addition to the WSU Biological Field Station, is a working ranch in the Kansas Flint Hills, the largest contiguous example of tallgrass prairie ecosystem remaining. Examples of student research at the field station include evolution of winter fat-storage strategies in birds, microbial communities of bird wings, species coexistence mechanisms in grassland plant communities, effects of soil fertility on small mammal and grasshopper communities, insect herbivore effects on plant fitness and population growth and plant-mediated indirect interactions between phytophagous insects.
Wichita Offers WSU Students Access to a Wide Range of Internship Employment and Diverse Extracurricular Activities
Located in Kansas's largest city, Wichita State University offers a quality education in proximity to real-world career and internship opportunities in the surrounding community. Students enjoy a diverse population and traditional experience through intramural and NCAA sports teams, student-focused dining and extracurricular activities, and a wide range of student organizations catering to a variety of interests and hobbies.
Named as one of the "Top 10 Best Big Cities" by "Money" magazine and the "Number One Place to Live the Good Life Cheaply" by "Forbes" magazine, Wichita offers both affordability and major metropolitan conveniences in one location. Annual festivals, far-reaching arts communities, designer shopping, fine dining, a unique downtown residence and entertainment district (Old Town) and several industry opportunities for postgraduate and summer employment make Wichita the ideal location for pursuing a graduate degree. Outside of this big city, the entire state of Kansas offers residents and visitors the opportunity to pursue water sports, enjoy outdoor adventures, and explore historical landmarks during breaks from normal studies.