Biological Sciences
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Henson School of Science and Technology

Department of Biological Sciences

Master of Science in Applied Biology

The MS degree in Applied Biology addresses the growing need for a technologically trained workforce with special skills in laboratory, biotechnology and environmental science. The curriculum emphasizes skills development in a research setting and relates practical experiences to a strong background in theory. An optional thesis and an accelerated “4+1” MS option for advanced undergraduates are included for those students who plan to continue their post-graduate studies.

For information please contact the Biology Graduate Program Director.


Program Requirements
The complete program consists of 33 credit hours of graduate work that will generally be completed in a two-year period. Two different program options are offered: 1) MS thesis option 2) MS non-thesis. Both versions of the program include a component of laboratory and/or field work and certification of an “Allied Professional Skill”. 

MS course checklist     MS guidelines     MS thesis guidelines

Core Courses – 9-12 hours (three of the four courses are required for the degree, all four may be taken  – one course is offered each semester in a two-year rotation):

     Biol 501: Modern Concepts in Biology (3 credits)

     Biol 502: Biology and Environment (3 credits)

     Biol 503: Contemporary Cell Biology (3 credits)

     Biol 504: Perspectives in Modern Genetics (3 credits)

a.  Thesis Option – Complete the core (9 credits) + 24 additional hours:                      

     Biol 515 Research in Biology,  (12 credit hours)

     Biol 601 Thesis Preparation, (3 credit hours)           

     Graduate Elective Courses* (9 hours)

b.  Non-Thesis Option –Complete the core (9 credits) + 24 additional hours   

     Biol 515 Research in Biology,  (6 credit hours)

     Graduate Elective Courses* (18 credit hours)

*Graduate Electives currently listed in the catalog - see courses page for descriptions:

 Biol 500 Wetland Ecology

 Biol 505 Ornithology

 Biol 507 The Biology of Fishes

 Biol 510 Estuarine Biology

 Biol 522 Vertebrate Physiology

 Biol 525 Toxicology

 Biol 530 Plant Physiology

 Biol 533 Environmental Microbiology

Biol 535 Evolutionary Biology

Biol 540 Contemporary Genetics

Biol 545 Virology

Biol 552 Advanced Human Physiology/Pathophysiology

Biol 560 Biology of Cell Membranes

Biol 565 Advanced Cell Biology

Biol 590 Special Topics in Biology

Allied Professional Skills requirement
Students completing the MS degree in Applied Biology must demonstrate their applied expertise by developing proficiency in an Allied Professional Skill. Allied Professional Skills include but are not limited to, computer programming, geospatial analysis, foreign language, technical writing, demonstrable expertise in advanced laboratory or field techniques or instrumentation, policy analysis, etc. The choice of Allied Professional Skill is left to the student in consultation with the advising committee.  Skills should be relevant to the student’s research or career goals,  should be chosen early in the student’s program of study and are subject to approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee. 

Admission to the Program
Admission to the MS in Applied Biology requires an application for graduate program admission, the application fee, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, the Residency/Domicile Information form (for those students applying for in-state tuition) and the following program-specific credentials.

    a.  An undergraduate degree (in biology or related field) with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 point scale.  In addition to their coursework in biology, student transcripts should demonstrate the completion of pre-requisite courses in Chemistry (two courses in General Chemistry and at least one semester of Organic Chemistry), at least one additional Physical Science course, a course in Statistics, and a demonstrable background in Cell Biology/Genetics.

    b.  Three letters of recommendation from individuals qualified to judge the applicant’s potential for success in a graduate program.

    c.  A personal statement relating the applicant’s goals and career objectives as well as research interests and potential graduate advisors in the department.

    d.  Scores on the General Graduate Record Exam at or above the 50th percentile.  Scores on the Biology GRE are optional but if submitted will be considered in admission decisions.

    e.  All applicants (thesis and non-thesis) must make contact with prospective graduate advisor(s) in the department prior to submission of an application for admission to the program.  M.S. thesis students will not be admitted without the endorsement of a graduate advisor for their research. A letter from the graduate advisor must accompany the application.  

    f. International students are referred to additional guidelines described in the current Salisbury University catalog.

Application materials must be received by the Director of the Biology Graduate Program by March 1, and October 1 for full consideration for admission into the Fall and Spring semesters, respectively. For further information please contact the Biology Graduate Program Director.