What is the General Biology Certificate Program?

This program leads to a graduate certificate in General Biology. Students complete 18 credit hours and can apply for admission for any semester.

Teachers with a master's degree who need 18 credit hours of graduate-level courses in Biology to teach dual enrollment courses at the high school level or biology-based courses at the community college level will find this certificate program meets their needs.

Graduate students in online degree programs needing coursework to fulfill elective requirements may find that this meets those requirements.

Requirements can be met by students enrolled in the M.S. in General Biology degree program or completed as the electives for students enrolled in the M.A. Teaching Community College Education program.

A maximum of six related graduate-level credit hours may be transferred into the certificate program at the discretion of the graduate coordinator/committee.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact their appropriate administrators prior to applying as program coursework may not fulfill credentialing needs for higher education teaching without additional qualifications.

Program Structure

With successful completion of program requirements, students can apply to receive the ‘General Biology Certificate’ notation on their transcript by sending the completed General Biology Certificate Application to Dr. Donna M. Gordon at gordon@biology.msstate.edu. For those students enrolled in a graduate degree program, the application should be submitted during the final semester of coursework or earlier, if certificate requirements have been met.

Curriculum

  • 18 credit hour certificate program; equivalent to 6 courses
  • At least half the hours must be at the 8000 level; no more than 9 credit hours of coursework can come from 6000 level courses
  • All courses are completed completely online
  • Complete two courses per semester to earn the certificate in one year
  • A 3.0 cumulative GPA is required to earn the certificate

Curriculum Prerequisites

Students interested in pursuing this certificate should have completed a minimum of 12-15 credit hours of undergraduate Biology-based coursework as part of their bachelor's degree program.

Program of Study

Required coursework to include:

Course Number Course Title Semester
BIO 8053 Comprehensive Study of Animals Fall
BIO 8063 Comprehensive Study of Plants Spring

Remaining 12 credit hours may be selected from:

Course Number Course Title Semester
BIO 6013 Genetics & Molecular Biology Fall
BIO 6023 Principles of Evolutionary Biology Spring
BIO 6033 Fundamentals of Biotechnology Summer
BIO 6043 Developmental & Reproductive Biology Fall
BIO 8023 Modern Microbiology Fall
BIO 8033 Advanced Cell Biology Spring
BIO 8043 Ecology & the Environment Summer
BIO 8093 Experimental Biology & Biostatistics Spring

Admissions Process

New Admissions

Students may be admitted in any Mississippi State University online graduate degree program (e.g. M.S. in General Biology, M.A. Teaching Community College Education) or as an unclassified graduate student.

Applicants to the MS in General Biology or the MA Teaching Community College Education programs need to meet the admission requirements for that respective program:

A student interested in earning the certificate does not have to be admitted to a specific graduate degree program at MSU.

Students not currently admitted to an online graduate degree program at MSU should apply as an Unclassified Graduate student as follows:

  • Complete the Application for Unclassified Graduate Admission by accessing the Online Application
  • You may pay the $60 application fee online or by contacting the Office of the Graduate School at 662.325.7400

Courses

BIO 6013 - Genetic & Molecular Biology
Three hours video and online. Analysis of the transmission of genetic information from molecular to organismal levels; examination of ways in which genotype determines phenotype.


BIO 6023 - Principles of Evolutionary Biology
Three hours video and online. Current concepts in genetic variation, natural selection, and adaptation of populations; speciation, extinction, and phylogenetics; patterns of human evolution.


BIO 6033 - Fundamentals of Biotechnology
Three hours video and online. Fundamental principles of animal and plant biotechnology including recombinant DNA technology, gene-based diagnostics, genetically modified organisms and transgenics.


BIO 6043 - Developmental & Reproductive Biology
Three hours video and online. Study of reproduction and development from gametes through birth in mammals; focusing on stages, anatomy, physiology, mechanisms, and genetics.


BIO 8023 - Modern Microbiology
Three hours video and online. Fundamental principles of microbiology, including microbial structure, replication, and diversity; role of microorganisms in human health and the environment.


BIO 8033 - Advanced Cell Biology
Three hours video and online. Study of eukaryotic cellular and sub-cellular structure and function; integration of cellular processes to understand the cell as a whole.


BIO 8043 - Ecology & the Environment
Three hours video and online. Investigation of biodiversity, ecological hierarchies, and interactions between biota and the environment. Includes an introduction to contemporary environmental science issues.


BIO 8053 - Comprehensive Study of Animals
Three hours video and online. Study of invertebrate and vertebrate animals, including reproduction, development, physiology, behavior, ecology, and evolution.


BIO 8063 - Comprehensive Study of Plants
Three hours video and online. Study of plants from bryophytes to angiosperms, including growth, photosynthesis, respiration, nutrition, reproduction, ecology, and evolution.


BIO 8093 - Experimental Biology & Biostatistics
Three hours video and online. Experimental design and methods for statistical analysis of biological data, with an emphasis on inquiry using the scientific method.

See More


Contact Information

Photo of Joy Bailey

Joy Bailey

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Photo of Donna Gordon

Dr. Donna Gordon

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Graduate Coordinator