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Toledo, Ohio 43606-3390

Phone: 419.530.2009
Fax: 419.530.4421

envsciences@utoledo.edu

M.S. in Biology (Ecology Track)

M.S. in Geology

Introduction

A student is admitted to the Master of Science program provided he/she meets the entrance requirements and has been accepted as an advisee by a faculty member.

Listed below are the requirements for the MS degree. The timeline outlined in this document must be followed closely to successfully complete this degree program within two years. Progress reports will be filed by the student and endorsed by the student’s thesis advisor each semester. The Graduate Affairs Committee will evaluate these reports each semester. Inadequate progress may result in dismissal.

Students may choose between thesis and non-thesis degree plans. The thesis option is more research intensive, and requires completion of a written thesis. The non-thesis option has more coursework, and requires completion of a short report (details follow).

Students admitted into MS degree plans must:

  1. Choose an advisor (normally the DES faculty member originally accepting the student) and select an advisory committee during the first semester in the program. The committee will consist of at least three members including:

    • The advisor, who must be a member of DES and who has primary responsibility for academic advising and directing the student’s research and preparation of thesis or non-thesis report.

    • At least one other full-time faculty member from DES.

    • One member may serve from outside DES.

      All members of the advisory committee should hold a Ph.D. degree or the equivalent. The advisor must be a full member of UT's Graduate Faculty and the other UT committee members must have membership in the Graduate Faculty. Non-UT committee members must also apply for membership in the Graduate Faculty. Details are provided on the UT Graduate Council website. Departures from the departmental committee membership requirements require prior approval by the department Graduate Affairs Committee.
  2. Complete a master’s program Plan of Study form (POS) by the end of the first semester. A minimum of 30 semester hours of approved graduate coursework is required for all MS degrees.

    • The thesis option for the MS Biology degree requires 24 hours of formal courses (excluding EEES 6960 Thesis Research and 6990 Independent Study) including a minimum of 19 hours in DES that must include EEES 5160, 6250, 6400, 6600, 6930-009 (1 hr. per semester) and the remaining hours of formal EEES courses (or pending approval of the student’s advisory committee, non-EEES courses) taken at the 5000 level or above (excluding EEES 6960 or 6990); all but EEES 6930 must be taken for a letter grade (A–F). Additional credit hours will include EEES 6960 (Thesis Research), of which a maximum of 6 hours may be taken for a letter grade, and may also include other EEES or non-EEES courses that need not be taken for a letter grade. The student must also prepare a thesis consisting of a written report on original independent research conducted by the student under the supervision of his or her thesis advisor (or co-advisors).

    • The non-thesis option for a master’s degree in biology differs from the thesis option (above) by requiring 27 hours of formal courses and a maximum of 3 hours of EEES 6960 Thesis Research or 6990 Independent Study; all but EEES 6930 (seminars) must be taken for a letter grade (A–F). The student also must write an original report based on library research and defend this report before his or her advisory committee.

    • The thesis option for the MS Geology degree requires 24 hours of formal courses (excluding EEES 6960 Thesis Research and 6990 Independent Study) including a minimum of 19 hours in DES that must include EEES 5200, 5240, 5410, 6100, 6930-004 (1 hr.), 6930-009 (1 hr. each semester) and the remaining hours of formal EEES courses (or pending approval of the student’s advisory committee, non-EEES courses) taken at the 5000 level or above (excluding EEES 6960 or 6990); all but EEES 6930 must be taken for a letter grade (A–F). Additional credit hours will include EEES 6960 (Thesis Research), a maximum of 6 hours of which may be taken for a letter grade, and may also include other EEES or non-EEES courses that need not be taken for a letter grade. The student must also prepare a thesis consisting of a written report on original independent research conducted by the student under the supervision of his or her thesis advisor (or co-advisors).

    • The non-thesis option for a master’s degree in geology differs from the thesis option (above) by requiring 27 hours of formal courses and a maximum of 3 hours of EEES 6960 Thesis Research or 6990 Independent Study; all but EEES 6930 (seminars) must be taken for a letter grade (A–F). The student also must write an original report based on library research and defend this report before his or her advisory committee.

  3. The thesis option for both the MS Biology and MS Geology degrees requires the student to write a thesis proposal and pass an oral defense of it by the end of the second semester in the program. MS students who don't complete their proposal defense by the end of their second academic semester will be automatically transferred to a non-thesis MS at the start of the third academic semester and not provided additional TA support beyond the fourth academic semester.  Students who subsequently complete a proposal defense during their third semester can be reinstated as thesis-MS students based on agreement between the student’s advisor, research committee and the GAC.

    The proposal should focus on the student's research area and clearly present the hypothesis being tested, along with an appropriate discussion of background, significance and a detailed description of experimental design. It should be no more than 15 pages long, including figures and tables but not references. The defense of the proposal will include, but not be restricted to, questions about the proposal and the student's area of specialization and will be administered by the student's advisory committee. The defense may be attempted twice but must be passed by the end of student's second semester in the program. The results of the proposal defense must be reported to the departmental Graduate Advisor.

  4. All students must meet with his or her advisor at least once a semester and advisory committee (resident UT faculty members need only attend) at least once every academic year until graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate these meetings, the results of which must be reported to the departmental Graduate Advisor.

  5. All students must file an approved Graduate Research Advisory (GRAD) Committee Approval and Assurances form with the College of Graduate Studies before thesis research commences.

  6. All MS degrees require a written scholarly report of a research topic. Each thesis or non-thesis report should contain a title page listing the student's advisory committee with the signatures of all committee members to certify the acceptability of it as partial fulfillment of the degree requirements.

    • The thesis option of both the MS Biology and MS Geology degrees requires the student to prepare a thesis reporting an original independent research project conducted by the student under the supervision of his or her advisory committee. It should be prepared in accordance with the format determined by the committee and consistent with the guidelines issued by the College of Graduate Studies.

    • The report requirement for the non-thesis option of the MS Biology and MS Geology degrees should follow the format specified by the student's advisory committee and not to exceed the effort commensurate with 3 hours of credit taken for either EEES 6960 Thesis Research or 6990 Independent Study.

  7. All students must successfully pass an oral defense of the thesis or non-thesis report. In order for a defense to be scheduled, the student must complete the MS Thesis & PhD Dissertation Defense Request Form at least one week prior to the defense date. This form requires the signed approval of all members of the advisory committee as well as the departmental graduate advisor. Off campus members may indicate their approval by email. By signing the form, committee members affirm that they have had an opportunity to read and comment upon the thesis or non-thesis report, and were provided with a copy of the version that will be defended. Notice of the defense must be posted at least one week prior to its scheduled time. The student must present and successfully defend the thesis or non-thesis report before the advisory committee. Faculty members and students are encouraged to attend, and the proceedings are open to the university community. The advisory committee by majority vote must approve the student's thesis and defense.

  8. Students must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average (on a 0–4.0 scale) for both the overall coursework as well as for courses taken within DES.

  9. Apply for graduation before the deadline specified by the College of Graduate Studies.

  10. Submit one unbound copy of the thesis or non-thesis report signed by all committee members and a pdf file to DES by the last day of the semester in which the student wishes to graduate. The student must also submit an electronic copy of a thesis via Ohio Link (see the College of Graduate Studies for instructions).

Additional Information

All students with a graduate assistantship and pursuing either MS degree plan are encouraged to obtain at least one semester of formal teaching experience as an instructor in a laboratory course.

Work for the master's degree will generally require two years of full-time study beyond the bachelor's degree. Additional time may be taken but the credit hours applied toward the degree must have been earned within the period of six years preceding the time the degree is awarded.

In addition to the above departmental requirements and forms, there are others specific to the College of Graduate Studies (for pre-graduation checklist click here).

Changes or waivers of these requirements may be recommended at any time by the thesis committee. Such recommendations must be approved by the departmental Graduate Affairs Committee unless they are of a substantive nature in which case their approval requires a majority vote of the departmental faculty.            

 

Last Updated: 9/5/17