Integrated Biology, MS

This is the first version of the 2024–25 General Catalog. Please check back regularly for changes. The final edition and the historical PDF will be published during the fall semester.

The Department of Biology's graduate programs in integrated biology (iBio) emphasize original research and developing the skills essential for publishing and communicating research findings to the scientific community. Research programs in the department cover many areas of the biological sciences: cell biology, developmental biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, and neurobiology. Graduate study in the department provides students with a broad understanding of these basic areas.

Newly admitted graduate students choose a faculty research advisor and together they discuss the student's educational background to formulate a first-semester study plan before registration. The programs allow each student to tailor coursework to their own research interests. Students may be advised to take specific coursework in order to enhance their background in certain areas.

During the first year, students whose preparation in chemistry, genetics, mathematics, or physics is insufficient may need to remedy deficiencies by taking appropriate coursework.

Entering students typically will have taken the following courses: organic chemistry, biochemistry, calculus or physics, and 20 s.h. of coursework in biology including a fundamental genetics course.

Students with bachelor's degrees outside the biological sciences may request modification of certain area requirements. The Graduate Affairs Committee decides whether portions of the requirements may be waived.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates will:

  • master the skill of reading, understanding, and summarizing primary literature across a variety of biology subdisciplines, demonstrating effective scholarly communication in the process;
  • explain in writing the experimental rationale, articulate the central hypothesis, and outline the major investigative steps that will be undertaken in a student's primary area of research;
  • orally communicate established scientific concepts as well as ongoing research hypotheses, experimental design, and results to a wide array of audiences using established scientific communication norms;
  • master in-depth pedagogical concepts through advanced lecture courses and engage in a vertically integrated critical analysis of a single topic over many levels of basic biology;
  • learn and implement field-specific experimental processes, techniques, and data analyses in a responsible manner consistent with current bioethical protocols; and
  • establish networking connections within the scientific profession, from peers to established, independent researchers.