The Department of Biological Sciences offers a combined degree program leading to a Bachelor of Science (BS) and Master of Science (MS) degree within a five-year plan of study. Students can focus their studies in health professions (e.g., medicine, dentistry, optometry), molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, conservation biology, and ecology. Students additionally have the option of choosing a program concentration: Cell and Molecular Biology; Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology; Enviromental Biology; and Science Education. The program allows 9 credit hours of courses counting towards both the undergraduate (UG) and graduate (GR) level.
- A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 based on a minimum of 90 credit hours of complete undergraduate coursework (including transfer credits).
- A program of study (POS) for the Biological Sciences MS program
- A two-page research proposal (required for applicants interested in a thesis-based MS degree)
- Agreement of a Biological Sciences Faculty member to serve as a Graduate Advisor.
- Admission to combined program by the graduate committee
Students admitted to a combined degree program will be admitted as provisional graduate students to the Graduate School, pending completion of the requirements for their bachelor’s degree. Students admitted into an approved combined degree program do not have to formally apply to the master’s program in question.
If students have studies in progress at the time they apply to a combined degree program, any approval of the application is provisional and may be revoked if the student fails to meet all required standards at the end of the term.
Program Learning Objectives
Students in the combined program in Biological Sciences will learn:
- To master essential concepts of biology at molecular, organismal, and ecosystem scales, through lectures, interactive exercises, and hands-on experience with scientific research.
- Concepts in chemistry and physics and apply those concepts to biology.
- To use mathematics and statistics to solve biological problems.
- To interpret quantitative biological data from graphs and tables.
- To construct graphical representations and quantitative summaries of biological data.
- To read and interpret scientific literature and other sources to make observations, formulate testable hypotheses, and design experiments with appropriate controls and variables.
- To engage in scientific research and lab exercises to build problem solving skills and to trouble-shoot procedures.
- To design and deliver oral presentations and write scientific reports to communicate biological concepts and interpretations of data.
- To examine the ethical implications of acquiring biological understanding and discoveries.
- To write a literature review or background information for a research paper that synthesizes the primary literature within a particular field of biology.
- In addition, students pursuing a thesis-based M.S. will learn to design and carry out a scientific study, analyze and interpret data, relate the results to broader scientific knowledge, and communicate the study orally and in writing.
Program Learning Outcomes
As a result of their learning experiences, students who complete the combined program in Biological Sciences can:
- Demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge of essential concepts of biology at molecular, organismal, and ecosystem scales.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the knowledge of concepts in chemistry and physics necessary to understand the foundations of biology.
- Utilize mathematics and statistics to apply quantitative reasoning to biological concepts.
- Evaluate data using quantitative analysis and graphical representation.
- Apply observational strategies, formulate testable hypotheses, and design experiments with appropriate controls and variables.
- Exhibit problem solving skills and trouble-shoot procedures.
- Effectively communicate biological concepts and interpretations to varied audiences orally and in writing.
- Discuss the ethical implications of biological understanding and discoveries.
- Read and synthesize primary literature within the field of biology.
- Demonstrate expertise within a particular field of biology.
- In addition, students completing an M.S. thesis can demonstrate the ability to design and carry out a scientific study and analyze, interpret, and communicate results of experiments.
For More Information
College of Science and Mathematics Advising Center
106 Oelman Hall
Department Chair: Dr. Lynn Hartzler
Biological Sciences, BS Program Requirements:
Note: For graduation credit, all CoSM courses require a grade of C or better.
l. Wright State Core: 43 Hours
Element 1: Communication: 6 Hours
Element 2: Mathematics: 4 Hours
Element 3: Global Traditions: 6 Hours
Element 4: Arts and Humanities: 3 Hours
Element 5: Social Sciences: 6 Hours
Element 6: Natural Sciences: 8 Hours
Additional Core Courses: 10 Hours
II. Departmental Core Requirements: 17 Hours
III. Departmental Requirements and Electives: 31 Hours
Select 31 credits from approved 3000- and 4000- level courses. Among those selected:
- At least two courses must include a lab component.
- At least 21 credits must have a BIO or MLB prefix. (Up to 5 credit hours of Independent Study can be used. Independent Study is to be arranged by the student and the professor and can include BIO 4880 - Indpendent Reading, BIO 4900 - Internship, BIO 4990 - Research, BIO 4950 - Honors Research. Up to 8 hours of Honors Research can be used. Up to 3 hours of BIO 3990 - Undergrad Teaching Assistant can be used. 3.0 required for BIO 3990.)
- At most 10 credits may have a prefix of ANT, BMB, EES, PPH, CHM, MI, MTH, NEU, STT, PHY, PSY.
- Maximum of 10 cr hrs of online courses
- Maximum of 5 cr hrs of MLB course
- Must include 1 of the following capstone or department approved courses: BIO 3920 ( Honors only), 4020, 4110, 4240, 4460, 4730, 4800, 4880, 4920.
- During their senior year, students may take up to nine (9) credit hours of approved 6000-level graduate courses that will apply toward completion of both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. (see approved 6000-level graduate courses)
- Following completion of their undergraduate degree, students will take additional graduate course work (6000-level or above) to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate courses, including all required courses for the Biological Sciences MS program.
IV. Related Course Requirements: 24 Hours
V. General Electives: 5 Hours
Graduate Requirements - 30 credit hours
Following completion of the undergraduate degree, additional graduate course work (6000-level or above) up to the minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate courses, including all required courses for the Biological Sciences MS program, must be taken. This can be either the thesis-based or a non-thesis Biological Sciences MS degree.
- One course in scientific/technical writing: BIO6080 or ENG5610
- Once course in scientific design: BIO6200 or BIO7020
- Complete 3 graduate seminars, 2 must be offered in the Biology Department: BIO6920.
Combined Program Total: 141 Hours
Graduation Planning Strategy
The Graduation Planning Strategy (GPS) has been created to illustrate one option to complete degree requirements within a particular time frame. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to adjust this plan based on credit already earned, individual needs or curricular changes that may not be reflected in this year’s catalog.