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The Department of Biological Sciences offers the Master of Science in General Biology for secondary school teachers, also known as the Teachers in Biology (TIB) Program. This program is designed for high school teachers and for those who combine biology with education such as ecology, microbiology, evolutionary biology and biotechnology.

Program highlights:

  • Successful completion of the program enables teachers from most states to obtain a higher certification or pay scale and/or an endorsement.
  • This M.S. degree is 33 semester hours and can be earned in two years.
  • The final Capstone course is hosted on the campus of Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS.
What are some potential careers?

Careers may include teaching dual enrollment classes with a current teaching license or instructing at the community college level.

Who should pursue this degree?

If you want to earn a science endorsement to specialize as a biology teacher or pursue other biology-related careers such as community college instructor, and more, then this program is for you.

Graduate Handbook Download

Mississippi Residents may be eligible for an Application Fee Waiver

Transfer Credit

The Department of Biological Sciences does not accept prior credit for the Master of Science in General Biology Program courses. Due to the nature of this program, coursework taken from other schools will not be accepted in lieu of any of the courses offered in this program.


Program Structure

Master of Science in General Biology courses are offered only during the semester under which they are listed. Fall admission is preferred; however, Spring and Summer applicants will be considered.

Admission Deadlines:
Fall - August 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 15

Check the Academic Calendar for information regarding class start and end dates.

First Year

FALL SPRING SUMMER
BIO 6013
Genetics & Molecular Biology
BIO 6023
Principles of Evolutionary Biology
BIO 6033
Fundamentals of Biotechnology
BIO 8023
Modern Microbiology
BIO 8033
Advanced Cell Biology
BIO 8043
Ecology & the Environment

Second Year

FALL SPRING SUMMER
BIO 6043
Developmental & Reproductive Biology
BIO 8063
Comprehensive Study of Plants
BIO 8183
Capstone in Modern Biology
BIO 8053
Comprehensive Study of Animals
BIO 8093
Experimental Biology & Biostatistics
 

A student may enroll in selected courses or complete the entire program for a Master of Science degree in General Biology. The M.S. degree requires 33 semester hours and can be earned in 2 years.

The Master of Science in General Biology program consists of 11 three-credit-hour courses. All courses are offered on the semester system. The Fall semester is from early August to early December. The Spring semester is from early January to early May, and the Summer semester is from early June to early August.

Capstone Course

During the final capstone course, BIO 8183 Capstone in Modern Biology, students come to the Mississippi State University campus for ten days to work closely with biologists and fellow classmates, participating in "hands-on" experiences to apply biological principles learned during your program of study. This course enables MSU faculty to assess the student's proficiency in biology. While on campus for this course, students will also take a proctored, written comprehensive exam.


Comprehensive Exam

MSU policy requires that all M.S. degree students successfully pass a Written Comprehensive final exam.

The Written Comprehensive Exam is given to all students at the start of the summer BIO 8183 Capstone in Modern Biology course. The exam is proctored and contains questions pertaining to all of the MSGB courses. More details are given to students in the spring term before taking the exam.

Admission Requirements

The Master of Science in General Biology program only allows degree-seeking students who are fully admitted to the MSGB program to take online classes. No unclassified students are allowed to enroll in online biology courses without prior permission of the graduate coordinator.

Fall admission is preferred; however, Spring and Summer applicants will be considered.

Admission Deadlines:
Fall - August 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 15

Admission to the MSGB program is open to students who have earned at least a "B" average in the last 60 hours in a relevant undergraduate major as part of a bachelor's degree earned at an accredited academic institution. A minimum of 15 hours in Biology from an accredited university is preferred, with at least a "B" grade and an overall GPA of at least 2.75.

Applicants must submit a statement of purpose and three (3) letters of recommendation from persons qualified to evaluate their undergraduate scholastic performance (or quality of administrative service), and suitability for graduate study in this program. The GRE is not required for admission purposes.

All applicants are reviewed for admission into the MSGB program on an individual basis. MSGB applications are screened on a variety of factors including, but not limited to, a combination of grades, level of difficulty of the courses, prior BIO hours, overall GPA, letters of recommendation, work experience, and statement of purpose/reason for wanting to complete the degree program.

For international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 477 PBT (Paper-Based Test) or 153 CBT (Computer-Based Test) or 53 IBT (Internet-Based Test) is required for admission to Mississippi State University. The required IELTS score is 4.5.

Students who do not meet regular admission requirements may be considered for provisional admission at the discretion of the Mississippi State University Department of Biological Sciences graduate faculty.

Admissions Process

Admissions

Master of Science in General Biology courses are offered only during the semester under which they are listed. Fall admission is preferred; however, Spring and Summer applicants will be considered.
Admission Deadlines:
Fall - August 1
Spring - December 1
Summer - May 15
Check the Academic Calendar for information regarding class start and end dates.

Follow the guide below to ensure that you complete all that is necessary for taking courses in the Master of Science in General Biology (MSGB) program at Mississippi State University.

Mississippi State University
Office of the Graduate School
P. O. Box G
Mississippi State, MS 39762-5507

Official transcripts being sent electronically (eScripted) should be sent to gradapps@grad.msstate.edu

  1. Fill out the online Application for Admission selecting the "General Biology" degree option. (Selecting "Biological Sciences" will result in your application being reviewed for our on campus degree program, necessitating the submission of a new application and application fee.) The application requires a Statement of Purpose and the names and email addresses of 3 individuals submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf. A form will be provided to your recommenders via email for completion.
  2. Submit a $60.00 or $80.00 international (non-refundable) application fee, payable online.
  3. Submit one official transcript from the awarding institution of your undergraduate degree either electronically or by mail to:
  4. You will receive an email of acceptance when you are officially admitted to MSU.
  5. Contact Dr. Donna Gordon, Graduate Coordination, Department of Biological Sciences, MSGB@biology.msstate.edu or 662.325.9337, who will release you for registration and will also provide continuing support to you as a graduate student throughout the program.
  6. Register for the Online@State Orientation course which will prepare you for online learning at MSU
  7. Textbooks are available 2 to 3 weeks prior to the start of classes and can be ordered through Barnes and Noble at MSU.
  8. You will be able to access Canvas on the first day of the semester. To access your courses, enter your NetID and NetPassword and click the Classroom tab.

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.
Delivery Method: Online, or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


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.
Delivery Method: Online, Internet or Web-based


BIO 8183 Capstone in Modern Biology
Two hours lecture, 3 hours lab. Hands-on laboratory and field experiences which demonstrate the major techniques of molecular, cellular, organismal and ecological biology.
Delivery Method: Face-to-face


BIO 8191 Seminar in General Biology
(Prerequisites: 33 hours of BIO graduate work and consent of instructor) One hour seminar. Conduit for interactions with faculty members to assist students in preparing for the comprehensive exam in the MS in General Biology degree program.

 

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Academic Advising

After gaining admission to the university, you must contact one of your advisors to determine the courses that are most appropriate for you to take. Approximately two months prior to the upcoming semester, your advisor will send an email to your MSU email account, making course recommendations based on your program of study.

Mississippi State University uses email as its official means of communication with all MSU students. Please check your MSU email account (NetID@msstate.edu) daily. Information on setting up your MSU email can be found at the link for student services.

Photo of Donna Gordon

Dr. Donna Gordon

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Graduate Coordinator

Contact Information

Photo of Joy Bailey

Joy Bailey

Online Education

  • Coordinator
Photo of Donna Gordon

Dr. Donna Gordon

Department of Biological Sciences

  • Graduate Coordinator