Jun 17, 2024  
2008-2009 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2014 
2008-2009 General/Graduate Catalog - Expires August 2014 [Archived Catalog]

Biology (MS)

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Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences
Degree Offered: Master of Science


The Biology MS degree program is designed to provide students with practical training in biological research and advanced knowledge within a chosen specialty area. Through graduate coursework and a thesis research project, students learn to identify important research problems, to design and conduct experiments for the critical testing of hypotheses, to carry out specific research methodologies, and to develop expertise in communicating scientific information. The goal of the biology graduate program at Truman is to provide the additional knowledge, maturity, and experience necessary for graduating students to be actively recruited by the nation’s foremost institutions granting doctoral level graduate and professional degrees and by private companies and governmental agencies for challenging and meaningful positions.


The Accelerated Track is designed to provide high ability undergraduate students the opportunity to begin their graduate studies during the senior year. Such students are expected to have engaged in significant research activity with a member of the graduate faculty. Students currently enrolled at Truman may apply for admission to the Accelerated Track in the fall or spring of their junior year following regular graduate school procedure. Application materials are available in the Graduate Office. Submission of GRE scores is part of this process. In addition to the application materials required of all MS Biology applicants, students applying for the Accelerated Track must have a 3.25 GPA.

Students accepted into the Accelerated Track of the MS Biology program will begin their graduate coursework in the senior year by taking 5-6 hours of graduate credit recommended by the prospective thesis advisor. The courses taken for graduate credit may not be counted toward the bachelor’s degree and must be paid for as graduate credit hours at the time of enrollment. Participation in the Accelerated Track allows the student to qualify for a summer research stipend and tuition waivers for each of two summers following graduation with the bachelor’s degree. The academic year following the first summer may be supported with a standard GTRA. The purpose of the Accelerated Track MS Biology is to 1) recognize outstanding research at the undergraduate level by allowing its incorporation as part of the development of a master’s research thesis, and 2) enable high-quality students to complete both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in biology in approximately a five-year period.


The Biology Discipline, along with Chemistry, is housed in Magruder Hall. Facilities in Magruder Hall include a live-animal room, a greenhouse, an herbarium, a research grade mammal collection, a computer lab, controlled-environment growth chambers, and several instrument rooms. Most graduate students have office and work space in the faculty advisor’s laboratory. Many teaching and research labs in Magruder Hall have been recently renovated.

Some of the instruments available to MS degree students:

IR and NMR instrumentation
P3E X-Ray diffractometer
UV/Visible scanning spectrophotometers
scanning and transmission electron microscopes
vapor pressure osmometer
Gilson respirometer
low speed centrifuges
high speed refrigerated centrifuges
microplate fluorometer
automated electrolyte analyzer
Beckman liquid scintillation counter
electrophoresis and electroblotting equipment
sequencing gel apparatuses
PCR thermal cyclers
polaroid electrophoresis documentation system
digital electrophoresis documentation system
research grade microscopes
fluorescence microscopes
camera attachments for microscopes
computerized densitometer
carbon dioxide incubator
laminar flow hoods
water potential meter
leaf area meter
stomatal resistance meter
oxygen electrodes
selective ion electrodes
console freeze dry system
ultrasound equipment
radiotelemetry equipment
aquatic sampling equipment
jon boats


Graduate Record Exam percentile rankings corresponding to mean scaled scores for incoming Biology students, fiscal year 2007:

Analytical Writing: 78.25%
Quantitative: 65.00%
Verbal: 66.25%

Average GPA of incoming Biology students, fiscal year 2007: 3.70. 


Core Courses: 14 Credit Hours

Electives (as approved by graduate committee) 22 Credit Hours

Total: 36 credit hours

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