Brockport / Catalogs / 2013-14 / Programs / Biology MS

Master of Science in Biology

Description

The Master of Science in Biology provides students with a solid and comprehensive background in the field of biological sciences, including molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, genetics, microbiology, human biology and developmental biology. Upon completion of the program, students are prepared to enter a PhD program, medical or dental schools; work in academic, industrial or government research laboratories; or teach biologically related courses at the community college level or at the K-12 grade level (providing the student holds the appropriate New York state teaching certificate). The small class size, and close working relationships with the advisor and advisory committee are ideal for students seeking a rigorous graduate education in a small-college atmosphere. A limited number of graduate teaching and research assistantships are available.

At The College at Brockport, a Master of Science in Biology may be obtained under one of three plans (Plan I, Plan II, or PSM). Students must select a plan by the end of their first semester.

Plan I

A traditional program requiring a thesis based on original research. Students considering further graduate study or employment in government or private laboratories are encouraged to enroll in this plan.

Plan II

A non-thesis program designed primarily for individuals who are employed full time and desire a more flexible course of study than that of Plan I. This plan requires an independent research experience. Plan I students may not switch to Plan II; however, Plan II students may switch to Plan I.

Professional Science Master's (PSM) Plan

The curriculum for the PSM is similar to the Plan II Master's in Biology. Like Plan II, the PSM is a non-thesis degree. It targets students who are interested in working in biotechnology, particular at the interface between the research scientists and management. The PSM is also an ideal degree for individuals who are currently working in industry but would like to advance their careers with this interdisciplinary degree. The major differences between the PSM and the Plan II Master's are the inclusion of courses in management and business (the Plus Courses) and an internship in a science-based business, government or non-profit organization. The Plus Courses will feature business and management topics and analytical concepts that will provide students with the background necessary to interface with research scientists and upper management in scientific organizational settings. The internship is taken in the second year, after the student has completed the Plus Courses. The knowledge obtained in these courses will be applied in a real-life setting during the internship.

Admission to the Program

Admission to the MS in Biology program is dependent not only upon the candidate's qualifications, but also on the willingness of a faculty member to act as the major advisor for the candidate. Therefore, it is important that applicants to the MS in Biology program contact potential advisors during the application process. Potential advisors should be faculty members with research or teaching interests similar to the applicant's. Applicants should list potential major advisors (including those faculty members they already have contacted) in a cover letter accompanying their application materials. Visit the program's website to find out more about the research interests and background of potential faculty advisors.

The applicant should have completed a baccalaureate degree at an accredited institution, including 18 credits of biology. The student should have a background in the natural and physical sciences appropriate to his or her research interests, both in course work and laboratory skills.

The application process is managed by the Graduate School, and application materials are available online. The application includes:

  1. A written statement of the applicant's objectives for graduate study and main area of interest within the biological sciences.
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate studies.
  3. Two letters of recommendation from persons who have knowledge of the applicant's training and aptitude for graduate study (letters from academic referees are preferred).
  4. A writing sample illustrating the applicant's technical writing skills, up to three pages long.
  5. Graduate Record Examination scores on the General Test, the Biology Subject Test or the Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Subject Test are required. In lieu of the GRE, the MCAT or DAT also will be accepted at the discretion of the department. Information on the place and time of the Graduate Record Examination may be obtained from the Educational Testing Service.

Applicants admitted to the program may be required by their Advisory Committee to take courses at the undergraduate level to remove any deficiencies. These courses must be included in the Plan of Study, but they will not be credited towards the master's degree. Such courses may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis with the consent of the instructor and the candidate's Advisory Committee.

For further information about applying to this program, please contact the Graduate School.

Additional Admission Requirement for PSM Plan Applicants

An introductory course in statistics is required. On a case-by-case basis, the faculty will allow this requirement to be fulfilled in the first semester of the program. In such cases the students would be offered conditional admission.

Plan I Program Requirements

  1. A written thesis based on original investigation.
  2. 30-39 credits constituted as follows: at least 15 credits of courses at the 600 level or above, which may include a maximum of six credits for thesis research (BIO 704) and a maximum of six credits for independent study (BIO 699); and at least one credit of graduate seminar (BIO 692).
  3. Detailed information on requirements and regulations governing comprehensive and thesis exams, etc., in the biological sciences are presented in the departmental Handbook for Graduate Students, available from the department secretary, Room 103, Lennon Hall.

Plan II Program Requirements

  1. A written report or other appropriate product based on independent research.
  2. 34-39 credits constituted as follows: at least 15 credits of courses at the 600 level or above, which may include a maximum of six credits for independent research (BIO 702) and a maximum of six credits for independent study (BIO 699); and at least one credit of graduate seminar (BIO 692).
  3. Detailed information on requirements and regulations governing comprehensive and thesis exams, etc. in biology are presented in the departmental Handbook for Graduate Students available from the department secretary, Room 103, Lennon Hall.

PSM Plan Requirements

  1. A written report and oral presentation based on the internship.
  2. 34-39 credits constituted as follows: at least 15 credits of BIO courses at the 600 level or above, which may include a maximum of six credits for independent study (BIO 699); and at least one credit of graduate seminar. Included in the BIO credits are 6 credits of BIO 702 (Internship).
  3. Included in the 34 to 39 credits are 9 credits of Plus Courses, which will be taught during winter and summer sessions:
    • PSI 601 Management and Communication for Math and Science Professionals
    • PSI 602 Accounting and Finance for Math and Science Professionals
    • PSI 603 Applied Quantitative Analysis for Math and Science Professionals
  4. Detailed information on requirements and regulations governing comprehensive and thesis exams, etc. in biology are presented in the departmental Handbook for Graduate Students available from the department secretary, Room 103, Lennon Hall.

Sample two-year curriculum:

  • BIO 623
  • BIO 635
  • BIO 692
  • BIO 702
  • BIO 655
  • PSI 601
  • PSI 602
  • PSI 603

Other Information

The Major Advisor

The graduate coordinator assigns a temporary advisor to the student to guide the selection of courses in the first semester. The student must select a faculty member to act as a permanent major advisor by the middle of the first semester. The candidate and major advisor request the assistance of two faculty members to constitute the candidate's Advisory Committee to guide the student through the degree program. Upon completion of one academic year or its equivalent, the candidate's progress is reviewed by the Advisory Committee.

Candidate's Advisory Committee

It is the responsibility of the candidate's Advisory Committee to:

  1. Draw up a Plan of Study in cooperation with the candidate by the end of the first semester of matriculation;
  2. Act in an advisory capacity concerning thesis research or the independent research
  3. Determine the content of, administer and evaluate the candidate's oral comprehensive examination by the start of the third semester of matriculation;
  4. Evaluate the candidate's written thesis or product of the independent research experience and judge whether it satisfies the requirements for the degree. (Formal credit for thesis is awarded under BIO 704; formal credit for independent research experience is awarded under BIO 702.);
  5. Determine the content of, administer and evaluate the candidate's defense of thesis (Plan I) or defense of report (Plan II);
  6. Terminate the candidate's graduate student status at The College at Brockport if the student does not meet the deadlines above or the required GPA.

Graduate Dismissal Policy

"Students who are deemed as not making progress toward the degree, as defined by published departmental policy, may be dismissed from the program." (Faculty Senate Resolution #3, February 1992). The departmental Handbook for Graduate Studies available from the Department of Biology provides criteria for continuing in the biological sciences program. These criteria include:

  1. Maintenance of 3.0 cumulative grade point average as specified in The College at Brockport's graduate probation and dismissal policy.
  2. Completion of a Plan of Study by the end of the first semester of matriculation.
  3. Successful completion of an oral comprehensive exam by the start of the third semester of matriculation.
  4. Successful completion of a thesis and thesis defense, or of a Plan II report and report defense.
  5. For the PSM degree, successful completion of the required and elective courses, a paper based on the internship and an oral presentation on the internship.

Successful fulfillment of these requirements will be determined by the candidate's Advisory Committee.

Department of Biology

Department Chair: Rey Antonio Sia
Location: Lennon 103
Visit Website
Email: biodept@brockport.edu
Phone: (585) 395-2193
Fax: (585) 395-2741

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Undergraduate Programs

Faculty & Staff

Maria Cecilia Barone Ph.D
(University of Rome)
Adjunct Lecturer

William Bigham BS
(SUNY College At Brockport)
Teaching Assistant

Laurie B Cook Ph.D
(University Of Rochester)
Associate Professor

Lori L Cornell
Secretary 1

Amanda L Courtney BS
(SUNY College At Brockport)
Teaching Assistant

Huey K Hing Ph.D
(Yale University)
Associate Professor

Craig R Lending Ph.D
(University Of Wisconsin-Madison)
Associate Professor

Kanchana N Mendes Ph.D
(Oklahoma State University-Main Campus)
Lecturer/ Lab Instructor

Dawn Newman BS
(Florida Institute Of Technology-Melbourne)
Senr Lab Tech

Bernardo Ortega Ph.D
(University of Sheffield)
Assistant Professor

Michel Pelletier Ph.D
(Universite Laval)
Assistant Professor

Christopher Prevost BS
(SUNY College At Brockport)
Teaching Assistant

Noah Reger BS
(SUNY College At Brockport)
Teaching Assistant

Adam J Rich Ph.D
(SUNY At Stony Brook)
Associate Professor

Rongkun Shen Ph.D
(Oregon State University)
Assistant Professor

Rey Antonio L Sia Ph.D
(Columbia University)
Associate Professor + Chair

Stuart I Tsubota Ph.D
(University Of California-Berkeley)
Professor