Biology
Master's Degree

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Overview


There are three options available to students interested in obtaining a Master of Science Degree with a Major in Biology from PSU (see degree options below). Typically, master's degrees are obtained within two years of matriculation. Individual master's programs are developed by the student in consultation with his or her faculty advisor and a graduate committee. Areas of study depend on the research interests of individual faculty. A limited number of graduate teaching assistantships are available each year in the Department of Biology. These provide a small stipend and valuable teaching experience. Assignments are usually made in the laboratory sections of undergraduate courses. When students are accepted into the graduate program, they receive an application for an assistantship with the admission information packet.

Additional information


  • Degree Options
  • Admission Requirements
  • How to Apply
  • Option I - Thesis A minimum of 30 credit hours including the requirements below.
    • BIOL 800 Seminar (minimum of one hour)
    • BIOL 801 Introduction to Research
    • BIOL 890 Research and Thesis (4-6 hours)
      With the approval of the advisor and chairperson, up to nine hours may be taken outside the Department of Biology. All full-time graduate students are required to attend graduate seminar when offered.
  • Option II - Problem A minimum of 32 credit hours including the requirements below.
    • BIOL 800 Seminar (minimum of one hour)
    • BIOL 801 Introduction to Research
    • BIOL 891 Research Problems (3-6 hours)
      With the approval of the advisor and chairperson, up to nine hours may be taken outside the Department of Biology. All full-time graduate students are required to attend graduate seminar when offered.
  • Option III - Professional Masters A minimum of 36 credit hours including the requirements below.
    • BIOL 800 Seminar (one hour)
    • BIOL 801 Introduction to Research (3 hours - with a grade of B or higher)
    • BIOL 803 Biometry (3 hours)
    • BIOL 892 Professional Experience (3 hours)
      This option is intended for science professionals (e.g. in-service teachers and individuals in environmental, ecological, or biotechnological careers) who need more experience and focused preparation in areas of biological science.

Students must have completed a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with at least 25 hours of acceptable undergraduate courses in biology. These should include fundamental courses in botany, ecology, zoology, genetics, microbiology, and physiology. A cumulative total of 13 hours of chemistry, including organic chemistry is required. However, a student may count certain senior-graduate or graduate level chemistry for the degree requirements upon the recommendation of the advisor.

The application has two phases: an initial application and a final application. For the initial application, the applicant must send a letter of intent, PSU Biology Graduate Admission Application Form, and official transcripts (see below for more details).

For the final application, the applicant needs to submit other documents as required by the PSU Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies (see below). The procedures of the application are stated below.

Initial Application Procedure:

  • Step 1: Complete the PSU Biology Graduate Admission Application Form. Be sure to indicate which faculty member(s) you would be interested in working with.
  • Step 2: Write a formal letter of intent to state your area of research interest, scholarly experience, and academic and career goals. The letter should include at least 250 words and is essential and extremely important for the department to consider and process your application. The application will be processed only after the formal letter of intent is received.
  • Step 3: Send the letter of intent, PSU Biology Graduate Admission Application Form, and official transcripts together via e-mail or mail to:
    Graduate Coordinator
    Department of Biology
    Pittsburg State University
    1701 S. Broadway
    Pittsburg, KS, 66762
    biol-graduate@pittstate.edu

Note: Only when all documents including your letter of intent, PSU Biology Graduate Admission Application Form, Reference Forms, and official transcripts are received, will your application be processed. No exceptions.

Final Application Procedure:

This should only be completed after being informed by the Department of Biology that your application is complete and that a faculty member has agreed to serve as your advisor/mentor.

Application Deadlines:

  • For the initial application, applicants send letter of intent, PSU Biology Graduate Admission Application Form, and official transcripts to the Biology Graduate Coordinator.
    • Fall deadline is April 1. Spring deadline is August 15.
  • Department of Biology sends e-mails to the applicants regarding the result of initial application.
    • Fall deadline is May 1. Spring deadline is September 15.
  • For the final application, applicants submit (1) the graduate application through the PSU Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies, and (2) three references using the PSU Biology Graduate Reference Form to the Biology Graduate Coordinator. 
    • Fall deadline is June 1. Spring deadline is October 15.
  • PSU Office of Graduate and Continuing Studies announces the result of final application by e-mail and mails by:
    • Fall deadline is June 15. Spring deadline is November 1.

About Biology Department


We have undergraduate programs covering the range of modern biology including: pre-health (pre-med, pre-dentistry, pre-vet, pre-optometry, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician assistant), medical technology, cell and molecular biology, wildlife biology, fisheries and aquatic sciences, botany, ecology, and secondary education.

There are almost 400 students in the undergraduate program and about 20 in the graduate division. The Department of Biology has 13 full-time faculty with a wide range of interests. The faculty are dedicated and committed to Pittsburg State University and the department, but most importantly, to students. Most faculty are actively engaged in research activities, national professional organizations, and professional service.

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