Skip Site Navigation
Skip To Page Content

Master's Degree Application

I. ADMISSION TO GRADUATE STUDY

A. APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Prospective students must apply to both the University of Nevada, Reno Graduate School and the Department of Biology. Admission to the Graduate School follows the procedures outlined in the University General Catalog. Since these steps are similar to procedures within the Department of Biology, the student is advised to consult the UNR catalog, as well as the following information.

To be considered for admission to graduate study in the Department of Biology (Graduate Standing) a student must submit all necessary materials for admission prior to February 1 for the following Fall semester, or prior to 1 November for the following Spring semester. Note that some of the required materials are to be sent to both the Graduate School and to the Department of Biology.

Necessary Materials

Applying to the Graduate School:

See instructions and application at the Graduate School

Applying to the Department of Biology:
Send the following to:
Department of Biology - 314
Graduate Admissions
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557

  • A completed application for admission to the Department of Biology Graduate Program
  • Photocopies of transcripts from all post-secondary educational institutions attended
  • Photocopies of GRE test scores for general aptitude (and advanced tests, if taken)
  • Three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's academic record
  • Copies of TOEFL test results (required for international students)

The Biology Special Programs Committee will review all complete files. Applicants will be notified of admittance, denial, or placement on a waiting list within two months of the application deadline. Admitted students will have one month to indicate acceptance. Students on the waiting list will be notified of final disposition as soon as possible after acceptances have been received. Applications completed prior to the application review date will receive first and full consideration.

B. ADMISSION STANDARDS FOR MASTER'S DEGREE

The Department of Biology offers two Master Degree Programs, Plan A (research thesis program) and Plan B (non-thesis program), described in Section II below. The academic requirements for admission are the same for both programs:

To compete successfully for admission, applicants should have:

Minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00, combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of 1100 or greater, with a minimum of 400 in each test; an advanced test is recommended, course work in physical sciences (3 credits), mathematics (6 credits), biology (18 credits), and chemistry (6 credits), or equivalent, and for international students, a minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper exam) or 250 (computer exam).

Before admission into the Plan A (thesis) Masters Degree Program (see below), a full time faculty member of the Department of Biology, must be identified and agree to serve as Faculty Advisor. Potential advisors can be identified by reviewing faculty research interests or the "Peterson Guide". If a mutually satisfactory match of student and faculty interests and field of study cannot be obtained, admission into the research thesis program (Plan A) cannot be granted. Alternatively, the student may apply to the Plan B (non-thesis) Masters Program, or undertake advanced studies as a Graduate Special student. Students accepted into the Plan B Masters Program will be advised by the Special Programs Committee during the first semester of study until an Advisory Committee is established.

C. FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Acceptance into the Master's Degree program does not obligate the Department of Biology or University to provide financial support. It is the responsibility of students to provide for the expense of their studies. However, there are a number of research and teaching assistantships in the Department of Biology for which students may apply. A typical teaching assistantship includes a stipend of $14,000.00 ($1400 per month for 10 months), non-resident tuition ($8193.00), the allowable portion of course fees ($166.21 of $246.50 per credit for 9-12 credits per fall and spring semester), and medical insurance coverage ($1720.00), bringing the financial package for each recipient to more than $26,000.00. In addition, there are opportunities for supplementary income working on faculty grants and contracts, and the University administers an extensive program of financial aid services. Potential students are advised to check with the graduate school and discuss options for support with their prospective advisors. The Department of Biology does not guarantee financial support.

II. GENERAL REGULATIONS FOR MASTER'S DEGREES

A. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAMS AND DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Program Description: The Department of Biology offers two Master's Degree Programs. Plan A (thesis option) is a program culminating in a research thesis for students interested in pursuing further advanced degrees or employment in biological research. Plan B (non-thesis option) is a program leading to a non-thesis Masters Degree, and is intended as the terminal degree for students seeking careers with government agencies, or in industry, education, or other areas. Students in the Plan B program may select from one of the following three areas from which to concentrate their study: (1) Cell and Molecular Biology, (2) Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, or (3) General Biology.

Degree Requirements, Plan A (thesis): A minimum of 30 semester graduate credits in biology or related fields must be completed with an average grade of B or better, with not less than 21 credits to be earned in residence at UNR. At least 18 credits must be in 700-level courses, including six thesis credits. Course selection will be determined in consultation with the Faculty Advisor and Advisory Committee. The student is required to complete an independent research project and a written thesis suitable for publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal. At the end of the student's research program and following acceptance of the written thesis by the Faculty Advisor and Advisory Committee, the student will make a public presentation of the thesis research. Following the public presentation, the student's Advisory Committee will administer and judge a final oral examination that serves as defense of the candidate's thesis, and an examination of the student's general knowledge.

Degree Requirements, Plan B (non-thesis): A minimum of 32 semester graduate credits in biology or a related discipline must be completed with an average grade of B or better, with not less than 23 credits to be earned in residence at UNR. At least 15 credits must be in 700-level courses. Course selection will be determined in consultation with the Faculty Advisor and Advisory Committee. A research thesis is not required, but a scholarly paper must be prepared. The paper may be in the form of a scholarly review, analysis, and synthesis of a current topic in biology, or may be presented as a grant proposal in a format appropriate to a specific funding agency. Following an oral presentation of a written paper to the student's Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee will administer an oral examination, which covers both general knowledge of the candidate's field and a more in-depth analysis of the topic of the candidate's study. Passing the oral examination is determined by the Advisory Committee, and is necessary to complete the degree requirements.

It is strongly recommended that the required course work for either Plan A or Plan B degree be completed within the first two years of residency. It is possible to transfer from one of these programs into the other. All requirements for either degree must be satisfied within the period of 4 calendar years immediately proceeding the granting of the degree.

III. SUGGESTED SCHEDULE OF CLASSES FOR Plan B MASTER'S PROGRAMS

A. Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB)

Year 1: 18 credits

Semester 1

  • BCH 705 (4) Molecular Genetics
  • BCH 606 (3) Molecular Biology Laboratory
  • BIOL 694 (1) Seminar

Semester 2

  • CMB 710 (4) Molecular Cell Biology
  • BIOL 691 (2) Independent Study (Lab in Genetics and Cell Biology)
  • BIOL 694 (1) Seminar

Summer 1

  • BIOL792 (3) Special Problems (directed study or research). An independent study course resulting in a paper consisting of a scholarly review and synthesis of a current topic in biology or a grant proposal in a format appropriate to a major funding agency.

Year 2: 14 credits:

  • BIOL 792 (3) A continuation of an independent study course resulting in a paper consisting of a scholarly review and synthesis of a current topic in biology or a Grant Proposal in a format appropriate to a major funding agency.
  • BIOL or BCH electives (11) with at least 1 credit at 700 level. Available Electives
    • ANSC 628 (3) Stem Cell Biology
    • ANSC 670 (3) Genomics and Proteomics
    • ANSC 729 (3) Biotechniques/Advanced Biotechniques
    • ANSC793 (3) Pharmacogenomics
    • ANSC 794 (3) Comparative Genomics
    • BCH/BIOL 605 (3) Molecular Biology
    • BCH/BIOL 606 (3) Molecular Biology Laboratory
    • BCH 610 (3) Plant Physiology
    • BCH 613 (3) Molecular Biophysics
    • BCH 617 (3) Metabolic Regulation
    • BCH 701 (3) Experimental Biochemistry I
    • BCH 704 (3) Biochemistry
    • BCH 706 (3) Functional Genomics
    • BCH 718 (3) Plant Molecular Biology & Biotechnology
    • BCH 740 (3) Enzymology
    • BCH 793 (1-3) Independent Study
    • BCH 794 (1) Colloquium
    • BIOL 604 (3) Population Genetics
    • BIOL 610 (3) Plant Physiology
    • BIOL 615 (4) Evolution
    • BIOL 650 (1-3) Special Topics
    • BIOL 653 (3) Immunology
    • BIOL 654 (3) Genomic Conflict, Epigenetic & Human Disease
    • BIOL 656 (3) Molecular Basis of Epigenetics
    • BIOL 666 (3) Developmental Biology
    • BIOL 675 (3) Neurobiology
    • BIOL 677 (3) Genes, Brain & Behavior
    • BIOL 682 (3) Cell Biology of Disease
    • BIOL 705 (3) Current Topics in Cell & Molecular Biology
    • BIOL 711 (3) Advanced Cellular Biology
    • BME 601 (3) Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
    • BME 626 (3) Biomedical Engineering
    • BME 725 (3) Ethics and Scientific Research
    • BME/PHAR 730 (3) Introduction to Images & Optics
    • CMB 710 (4) Molecular Cell Biology
    • CMB 790 (1) Graduate Seminar
    • CMB 794 (1) Colloquium
    • CMPP 740 (3) Neuroeffector Mechanisms
    • CMPP/PHAR 750 (3) Molecular Mechanisms of Excitability
    • MICR 670 (3) Cellular Microbiology
    • MICR 676 (3) Cancer Immunobiology
    • MICR 700 (2) Biotechnology Today & Tomorrow
    • MICR 780 (3) Introductory Cellular Immunology
    • MICR 784 (3) Molecular Mechanisms of Viruses
    • PCB 710 (3) Medical Cell Biology
    • PCB 711 (7) Systems Physiology
    • PHAR 600 (3) Introduction to Human Pharmacology
    • PHAR 710 (3) Molecular Pharmacology

Upon agreement of the Faculty Advisor and individual Advisory and Examining Committee, prepared students may substitute specialized electives for certain required courses. The course work can and should be completed in 2 calendar years.

B. Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology (EECB)

Year 1: 18 credits

Semester 1

  • BIOL 750 (3) Research Design in Ecology
  • BIOL 694/BIOL 794 (1) Seminar or Colloquium
  • BIOL (3) elective

Semester 2

  • BIOL 615 (4) Evolution
  • BIOL 694/BIOL 794 (1) Seminar or Colloquium
  • BIOL (3) elective

Summer 1

  • BIOL 792 (3) Special Problems (directed study or research). An independent study course resulting in a paper consisting of a scholarly review and synthesis of a current topic in biology or a Grant Proposal in a format appropriate to a major funding agency.

Year 2: 14 credits:

  • EECB 752 (3) Topics in Evolution or EECB 753 (3) Topics in Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 792 (3) -A continuation of an independent study course resulting in a paper consisting of a scholarly review and synthesis of a current topic in biology or a Grant Proposal in a format appropriate to a major funding agency.
  • EECB and BIOL (8) electives, with at least 3 credits at 700 level. Available Biology and EECB Electives
    • BIOL 604 (3) Population Genetics
    • BIOL 620 (3) Aquatic Ecology
    • BIOL 621 (3) Conservation Biology
    • BIOL 629 (3) Biological Diversity
    • BIOL 630 (1) Field Ornithology
    • BIOL 631 (2) Ichthyology
    • BIOL 632 (4) Herpetology
    • BIOL 633 (3) Ornithology
    • BIOL 634 (4) Mammalogy
    • BIOL 637 (3) Entomology
    • BIOL 646 (3) Desert & Montane Ecosystems
    • BIOL 650 (1-3) Special Topics
    • BIOL 654 (3) Genomic Conflict, Epigenetic & Human Disease
    • BIOL 666 (3) Developmental Biology
    • BIOL 677 (3) Genes, Brain & Behavior
    • BIOL 681 (3) Principles of Animal Behavior
    • BIOL 684 (4) Population and Community Ecology
    • BIOL 688 (3) Behavioral Ecology
    • BIOL 690 (3) Biogeography
    • BIOL 712 (3) Mathematical Modeling in Ecology
    • BIOL 717 (3) Seminar in Arid Lands Ecology
    • BIOL 721 (2) Molecular Ecology I. Theory and Application
    • BIOL 722 (2) Molecular Ecology II. Techniques and Analysis
    • EECB 751 (2 or 3) Topics in Ecology
    • EECB 752 (2 or 3) Topics in Evolution
    • EECB 753 (2 or 3) Topics in Conservation Biology
    • NRES 710 (3) Life History Evolution
    • NRES 750 (3) Ecological Theory and Restoration
    • NRES 775 (3) Landscape Ecology
    • NRES 777 (4) Microbial Ecology
    • NRES 780 (3) Analysis & Modeling of Animal Populations

Upon agreement of the Faculty Advisor and individual Advisory and Examining Committee, prepared students may substitute specialized electives for certain required courses. The course work can and should be completed in 2 calendar years.

C. General Biology

Year 1: 20 credits

Semester 1

  • BCH/BIOL 605 (4) Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 615 (4) Evolution
  • BIOL 694 (1) Seminar

Semester 2

  • CMB 710 (4) Molecular Cell Biology
  • BIOL 685 (3) Population and Community Ecology
  • BIOL 694 (1) Seminar

Summer 1

  • BIOL792 (3) Special Problems (directed study or research). An independent study course resulting in a paper consisting of a scholarly review and synthesis of a current topic in biology or a Grant Proposal in a format appropriate to a major funding agency.

Year 2: 12 credits:

  • BIOL 792 (3) A continuation of an independent study course resulting in a paper consisting of a scholarly review and synthesis of a current topic in biology or a Grant Proposal in a format appropriate to a major funding agency.
  • BIOL, EECB, BCH, or CMB electives (9) at least 5 credits at 700 level. Available Electives: See Electives for CMB and EECB programs

Upon agreement of the Faculty Advisor and individual Advisory and Examining Committee, prepared students may substitute specialized electives for certain required courses. The course work can and should be completed in 2 calendar years.

University Block N Logo

University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno,  NV  89557-

(775) 784-1110
Website Help
Contact Us

Copyright
Privacy
Accessibility Tools

Emergency Information
Emergency Alerts
Doing business with us