Stay Healthy, Hawks: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Graduate Catalog 2020-2021

Biological Sciences M.S.

Print PDF

The graduate plan in Biological Sciences leads to the master of science (M.S.) degree. Applicants for candidacy should have a bachelor's degree in Biology, although applicants with other degrees may apply if their degrees or preparation include a significant number of plan core courses in the Biological Sciences, as well as appropriate chemistry, physics and mathematics courses.

Requirements

Students should have completed the basic requirements for the bachelor of science degree in Biological Sciences at UHCL or the following courses (including prerequisites or equivalents) before applying for admission:

Courses
BIOL 3341 Molecular Genetics
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4341 Biochemistry I
Credit Hours: 3
CHEM 2323 Organic Chemistry I
Credit Hours: 3
CHEM 2123 Laboratory for Organic Chemistry I
Credit Hours: 1
CHEM 2325 Organic Chemistry II
Credit Hours: 3
CHEM 2125 Laboratory for Organic Chemistry II
Credit Hours: 1
MATH 2413 Calculus I
Credit Hours: 4
PHYS 1301 College Physics I
Credit Hours: 3
PHYS 1101 Laboratory for College Physics I
Credit Hours: 1
PHYS 1302 College Physics II
Credit Hours: 3
PHYS 1102 Laboratory for College Physics II
Credit Hours: 1
STAT 3308 Computational Statistics
Students should have completed one of the following courses or its equivalent:
BIOL 4344 Comparative Animal Physiology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4345 Human Physiology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4343 Plant Physiology
Credit Hours: 3
Students should also have completed coursework in at least two of the following areas:
BIOL 2321 Microbiology for Science Majors
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4311 Ecology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4347 Cellular Physiology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4351 Molecular Biology
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

A maximum of six credit hours of the 4000 level courses listed above, taken as foundation required for
admission, may be applied toward the MS degree.

The GRE score (verbal + quantitative) should be a minimum of 290 points, with a minimum
quantitative score of 150, verbal score of 140 and writing score of 3.5. As a condition of admittance to the graduate program, students who do not meet School GRE and/or GPA standards will be required to meet additional performance criteria, such as past performance in critical courses, withdrawal and drop history, letters of recommendation, personal knowledge of past performance, improvement on repeated courses, work and/or life experiences and individual faculty support as a mentor in the research laboratory.

For students pursuing the Pre-Health Specialization only, MCAT or DAT scores will be considered as grounds for waiving the GRE requirement. A copy of the official MCAT/DAT test score report must be provided.

All graduate students in the Biological Sciences program must complete a Candidate Plan of Study (CPS) with their assigned faculty adviser before they complete 9 hours of graduate credit. Courses completed past the initial 9 hours that are not on the approved CPS may not be counted toward the degree.

The M.S. in Biological Science requires 36 hours of coursework in one of four Specialization Areas, of which 24 hours must be in biology courses. Students enrolling in the non-thesis option must complete 33 hours of coursework (which may include independent study research) and the capstone course, BIOL 6838 Research Project and Seminar. BIOL 6838 must be taken in the last 12 hours. Alternately, students may elect to pursue the thesis option, which requires 27 hours of coursework, plus BIOL 5530 Research Methods (three hours) and BIOL 6939 Master's Thesis (six hours). Students pursuing the master's thesis option are advised to consult with their faculty adviser early in their studies for guidance in preparation for beginning the thesis.
Information on the certificate option in Biotechnology can be found in the Undergraduate
Catalog: Biotechnology Certificate Option.

Biological Science M.S. Specializations (36 hours)

Pre-Health Specialization

The master's degree in Biological Science with a pre-health focus consists of coursework that is intended to prepare the student for medical/dental/physician assistant/allied health school curricula. The prehealth specialization coursework includes 27 hours of core courses, three hours of capstone course (BIOL 6838), and six hours of graduate electives. A thesis option is also available.

Biological Science Core coursework (28 hours)
BIOL 4342 Biochemistry II
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5132 Cell Signaling
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5332 Toxicology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5417 Lab for Human Gross Anatomy
Credit Hours: 1
BIOL 5432 Principles of Pharmacology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5435 Advanced Immunology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5437 Human Gross Anatomy
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5635 Neuroscience
BIOL 5736 Bioethics
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5436 Physiological Basis of Disease
Credit Hours: 3
Designated electives (6 hours)
BIOL 4332 Histology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4347 Cellular Physiology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4348 Developmental Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 4351 Molecular Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5131 Membrane Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5433 Enzymology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5731 Advanced Cancer Biology
BIOL 5734 Oncogenes
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5939 Independent Study in Biological Science
Credit Hours: 3

Cell/Molecular Specialization

The master's degree in Biology with a cell/molecular biology focus consists of coursework that is intended to prepare the student for a career in biomedical research. The cell/molecular specialization includes coursework selected from the list below, in consultation with the faculty adviser, and a three-hour capstone course (BIOL 6838). A thesis option is also available.

Core coursework (select 33 hours)
BIOL 5131 Membrane Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5132 Cell Signaling
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5433 Enzymology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5435 Advanced Immunology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5634 Apoptosis
BIOL 5731 Advanced Cancer Biology
BIOL 5732 Advances in Molecular Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5733 Epigenetics and miRNA
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5734 Oncogenes
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5738 Gene Therapy
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5931 Research Topics in Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5939 Independent Study in Biological Science
Credit Hours: 3
BIOT 5031 Applied Biotechnology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOT 5021 Methods of Biotechnology
Credit Hours: 2
BIOT 5011 Methods of Biotechnology Discussions
Credit Hours: 1
BIOT 5121 Advanced Methods of Biotechnology I
Credit Hours: 2
BIOT 5111 Advanced Methods of Biotechnology I Discussions
Credit Hours: 1
BIOT 5122 Advanced Methods of Biotechnology II
Credit Hours: 2
BIOT 5112 Advanced Methods of Biotechnology II Discussions
Credit Hours: 1

Ecology/Microbiology/Aquatic and Marine Biology Specialization

The master's degree in Biological Science with an ecology/microbiology/aquatic and marine biology focus consists of coursework that is intended to prepare the student for a career in environmental biology research, consulting, or in the government/regulatory sector. The ecology/microbiology/aquatic and marine biology specialization includes coursework selected from the list below, in consultation with the faculty adviser and a three-hour capstone course (BIOL 6838). A thesis option is also available.

Core coursework (select 33 hours)
BIOL 5235 Ichthyology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5215 Laboratory for Ichthyology
Credit Hours: 1
BIOL 5233 Ecotoxicology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5234 Population and Community Dynamics
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5332 Toxicology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5334 Microbial Ecology
BIOL 5517 Limnology and Aquatic Biology
Credit Hours: 1
BIOL 5531 Aquatic Toxicity Testing
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5532 Coastal and Estuarine Ecology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5512 Laboratory for Coastal and Estuarine Ecology
Credit Hours: 1
BIOL 5533 Ecological Methods
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5534 Conservation Biology
BIOL 5535 Neotropical Rainforest Ecology
BIOL 5537 Limnology and Aquatic Biology
BIOL 5931 Research Topics in Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5939 Independent Study in Biological Science
Credit Hours: 3
ENSC 5331 Wetlands
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

  • The following courses are co-requisites and must be taken concurrently: 
  • BIOL 5235/BIOL 5215
  • BIOL 5532/BIOL 5512
  • BIOL 5537/BIOL 5517

 

 

 Plant Biology Specialization

The master's degree in Biological Science with a plant biology focus consists of coursework that is intended to prepare the student for a career in plant biochemistry and genetics, nutritional biochemistry and biomedical research. The plant biology specialization includes coursework selected from the list below in consultation with the faculty adviser and a three-hour capstone course (BIOL 6838). A thesis option is also available.

Core coursework (select 33 hours)
BIOL 5131 Membrane Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5132 Cell Signaling
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5433 Enzymology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5533 Ecological Methods
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5534 Conservation Biology
BIOL 5732 Advances in Molecular Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5931 Research Topics in Biology
Credit Hours: 3
BIOL 5939 Independent Study in Biological Science
Credit Hours: 3
BIOT 5031 Applied Biotechnology
Credit Hours: 3

Additional Information

  • Students may select any BIOL 5x3x course including BIOT 5x3x Plant Genomic Analysis to fulfill this requirement.