Degree

Master of Science in Biological Sciences
CAS
Department of Biology

Contact

Dr. Kathryn A. Ono
Chair, Graduate Program Committee
Department of Marine Sciences
11 Hills Beach Road
Biddeford, ME 04005
(207)602-2814
kono@une.edu

or

Dr.  A. Christine Brown
Chair, Department of Biology
11 Hills Beach Road
Biddeford, ME 04005
(207) 602-2617
sbrown@une.edu

Mission

The mission of the Department of Biology at University of New England is to enable students to understand the real-world relevance of the biological sciences, foster scientific literacy and critical thinking skills, and lay the foundation for lifelong learning and meaningful, productive contributions to society. 

The mission of the Master of Science: Biological Sciences program is to prepare outstanding graduate students for careers or further training in science, technology, and education by providing an advanced knowledge base and a working knowledge of research methods in the biological sciences. 

Program Description

The Master of Science: Biological Sciences program offers post-baccalaureate training to students interested in a wide variety of biological topics. The classroom curriculum features a broad-based exposure to advanced topics in biological subjects that may include physiology, ecology, molecular biology, and microbiology. The program also focuses on the research experience: students will conduct research and prepare a thesis on any of a variety of topics selected in consultation with our faculty.

Program Goals

  • Provide a knowledge base in the biological sciences that is deeper than the typical undergraduate experience.
  • Foster participation in the production of biological knowledge through excellence in research.
  • Instill outstanding research skills and a working knowledge of the scientific method by participating in high-quality research.
  • Develop outstanding scientific communication skills through writing and oral presentations.

Curricular Requirements

Program Required Courses Credits
BIO 503 - Research Methods 3
BIO 510 - Graduate Seminar 1
BIO 500 - Level Graduate Topics in Biological Sciences 12+*
Electives - Additional Coursework 6*

BIO 590 - Thesis/Research

12 Min

 

Minimum Total Credits 36
BIO 595 - Thesis Writing/Data Analysis (taken after 36 credits completed) 1

BIO 599 - Masters Thesis

0

*Biological Sciences M.S. students may request to substitute research credits for coursework with approval from their thesis advisor. A formal written request must be submitted to the Graduate Program Committee, including a justification for the request. If approved by the GPC, students will submit a Course Substitution Form (available on the Registrar's webpage), which requires approval by the Chair of the Department of Biology and by the CAS Dean, to the Registrar in preparation for graduation.  

Academic and Technical Standards

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in the MS: Biological Sciences program, the student's cumulative graduate GPA must be a minimum of 3.0.  A student whose GPA falls below 3.0 or who receives a grade below B- in any course taken for graduate credit will be placed on academic probation.

Program Completion Timeline

Students have a maximum of five years to complete the graduation requirements.  After two academic years (fall and spring terms), students who have completed their coursework but are still completing their theses are required to enroll in a minimum of three Thesis credit hours per semester to remain in the program.

Probation/Dismissal

A graduate student whose grade point average (GPA) for any semester falls below 3.0, or whose cumulative grade point average is below 3.0, or who receives a class grade below a B- for any class taken for graduate credit is automatically placed on probation. A student placed on academic probation will be granted one fall or spring semester to raise his/her cumulative GPA to 3.0 or above, will be required to achieve a minimum GPA of 3.0 for the semester, and cannot receive a second class grade below B-.  Any student who fails to meet these criteria will be considered for dismissal by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Academic Policy

Course Withdrawal

In normal length semesters, a matriculated student may withdraw from a course without academic penalty (a grade of W is assigned) at any time during the first two-thirds of the semester. If withdrawal occurs after that date, the grade of WP (withdrew passing) or WF (withdrew failing) will be entered, subject to determination by the instructor. The grade of WF is computed in the grade point average. 

Incomplete Grades

A student who believes she/he is unable to complete the work for a given course by the end of the term may apply for an extension by discussion with the instructor. At the time of this meeting, a plan must be agreed upon for completion of the course work, including a date of completion, not to exceed six weeks following the end date of the course. This agreement must be completed by the last day of class for the given course. Any student who does not follow the above guidelines will receive an F for the course. In exceptional circumstances (such as death in family, significant illness, accident), an additional extension may be requested. Any such request must be made in writing, reviewed and signed by the instructor and the student’s advisor.

Learning Outcomes

Program Goals

  1. Provide a knowledge base in the biological sciences that is deeper than the typical undergraduate experience.
  2. Foster participation in the production of biological knowledge through high quality research.
  3. Instill outstanding research skills and a working knowledge of the scientific method by participation in high-quality research.
  4. Develop outstanding scientific communication skills through written and oral presentations.

Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate expertise in their thesis research field
  2. Students will increase their proficiency to publication level written and professional oral communication skills
  3. Students will demonstrate mastery of the concepts and principals of the Biological Sciences
  4. Students will demonstrate an understanding of research design and have the ability to carry out a research project

Transfer Credit

TRANSFER CREDIT

  • Transfer credits are rarely awarded to students who transfer from another biological science program
  • Transfer credits will be reviewed and awarded on a case by case basis

Advanced standing

  • No advanced standing available

Experiential Learning

  • No credit awarded for experiential learning

Admissions

ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
 

APPLICATION

The University of New England Department of Biology participates in the Graduate Centralized Application Service (GradCAS). All applicants are required to apply online through this service.

DEGREE REQUIREMENT

Completion of Bachelor’s Degree in Biology (or other related area) from a U.S. regionally accredited institution, or international equivalent, prior to matriculation.

  • All applicants are required to submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Official transcripts should be sent directly to GradCAS. Please see GradCAS application for additional information and instructions.

GPA REQUIREMENT

  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (inclusive of all coursework taken with no forgiveness for retakes).
  • All applicants must meet minimum GPA requirements to be considered for admission.

STANDARDIZED TESTS

  • Satisfactory completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within 5 years of application.
  • Official GRE score reports should be submitted directly to GradCAS. Please refer to GradCAS application for program GRE code and submission instructions.

RESUME

  • A current resume is required and should be uploaded directly to your GradCAs application.

LETTERS OF REFERENCE

Three (3) letters of reference are required* – submitted via GradCAS

  • Letters should come from a person of your choice who can speak to your academic and/or professional experience.
    *Letters from friends or family members are not acceptable

INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS

International applicants and those with foreign degrees and coursework are required to satisfy the following additional requirements:

  • Official credential evaluation by World Education Service (WES), confirming degree and grade equivalency to that of a U.S. bachelor’s degree. The completed credential evaluation should be sent directly to GradCAS. Please refer to the International Admissions section of the UNE website for more information on the type of credential evaluation required for admission review.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate written and spoken fluency through the successful completion of a UNE approved English language proficiency test.
  • Applicants should refer to the English Language Proficiency page on the UNE website for specific information on acceptable tests and minimum score requirements.
  • Please refer to the GradCAS application for test score submission instructions.

OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES

  • Prior to or early in the application process, applicants are strongly advised to communicate with UNE faculty with whom they would like to work.
  • Meeting with faculty during the application process does not in any way negate the need to fully complete the application and admissions process.
  • Candidates are reviewed by program faculty and are admitted based on academics and experiences that might be the best fit with the department’s open research opportunities.
  • Applications completed after the posted deadline will be reviewed on a space-available basis.
  • Applicants offered admission will be expected to pay a non-refundable deposit to secure a seat in the program.
  • The non-refundable deposit is applied toward fees not covered by the assistantship or grant received upon acceptance.
  • Should the candidate decide not to matriculate in the program, the deposit will be forfeited.

Note: All materials submitted as part of the application become the property of UNE and will not be returned or released to anyone, including the applicant. This policy includes letters of reference, primary and secondary applications, personal statements, transcripts, and other supporting materials.

Due to continuing developments with the COVID-19 pandemic, some application requirements and processes may change during the cycle for the health and safety of the university, its employees, and prospective students/applicants. We appreciate your flexibility and consideration.

POLICY EXCEPTIONS

  • Policies have been established to ensure fair and consistent admissions practice for all applicants.
  • All criteria presented in this summary are subject to change per professional accreditation requirements, changes in curriculum or other institutional standards, and clinical affiliation requirements.
  • Exceptions to existing admission policies are rare and made on a case by case basis, only when it is deemed necessary and appropriate to maintain fair and consistent practice for all candidates, individual candidates.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees

Tuition and fees for subsequent years may vary. Other expenses include books and housing. For more information regarding tuition and fees, please consult the Financial Information section of this catalog.

Continued Enrollment

After two academic years, a student who has completed all coursework except his/her thesis will be required to pay for a minimum of three Thesis credit hours plus mandatory fees each semester to remain in the program. 

Other Expenses

Housing is arranged by and financed at the expense of the student. Currently, there is no on-campus housing available for graduate students.

Financial Aid

Detailed information and applications are available on request from the Financial Aid Office at the Biddeford Campus. Call (207) 602-2342 or by visiting the Financial Aid website. Information on tuition remission, Research Assistantships, and Teaching Assistantships can be found on the Department of Biology graduate programs website.

Notice and Responsibilities Regarding this Catalog

This Catalog documents the academic programs, policies, and activities of the University of New England for the 2020-2021 academic year. The information contained herein is accurate as of date of publication May 1, 2020.

The University of New England reserves the right in its sole judgment to make changes of any nature in its programs, calendar, or academic schedule whenever it is deemed necessary or desirable, including changes in course content, the rescheduling of classes with or without extending the academic term, canceling of scheduled classes or other academic activities, in any such case giving such notice thereof as is reasonably practicable under the circumstances.

While each student may work closely with an academic advisor, he or she must retain individual responsibility for meeting requirements in this catalog and for being aware of any changes in provisions or requirements.

This website uses cookies to understand how you use the website and to improve your experience. By continuing to use the website, you accept the University of New England’s use of cookies and similar technologies. To learn more about our use of cookies and how to manage your browser cookie settings, please review our Privacy Notice.