Type, bread, syntax error on data section 1 = '[]'
Issue:'[]'
Line:MNSU[http://www.mnsu.edu/]^[]

– Minnesota State University, Mankato
shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Type, bread, syntax error on data section 1 = '[]'
Issue:'[]'
Line:MNSU[http://www.mnsu.edu/]^[]

Page address: https://www.mnsu.edu/supersite/academics/catalogs/graduate/current/biology.html

College of Science, Engineering, & Technology
Department of Biological Sciences

242 Trafton Science Center S
507-389-2786

Biology MS

Biology Education MS (Discipline-Based)

 The Biological Sciences graduate program is designed flexibly to allow students, with their advisors, to mold and focus their program of study on professional interests and specific needs. To do this, students can draw from a broad range of graduate courses and select from a diverse and well-trained faculty for direction in research.

The Department of Biological Sciences is located in Trafton Science Center, one of the best science buildings in the state university system. Trafton Science Center presents an open, collaborative atmosphere for graduate study and research, and includes well-equipped research and classroom laboratories. Another attractive feature is Biology's proximity to other science departments, whose faculty members provide opportunities for multidisciplinary study in chemistry, mathematics, computer science, physics and electrical engineering.

The department's modern facilities provide opportunities for research and teaching, with 18 research laboratories, plus support areas. Among those are a media kitchen, environmental chambers, animal complex, greenhouse, dishwashing facility, herbarium, museum and a garage for field equipment. The department's equipment is suitable for biological investigations ranging from ecosystem analysis to subcellular physiology.

Instrumentation available includes transmission and scanning electron microscopes, ultracentrifuges, diode array spectrophotometers, graphite furnace AA, scintillation counter, gas chromatographs with FID, ECD and MSD, ultrafreezers, computer-controlled physiology data acquisition, Coulter counter, fermentation facility, freeze dryers, thermocyclers (PCR), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), UV/Vis/NIR spectrophotometers, chlorophyll fluorometers, infrared gas analyzer, flow cytometer, and other equipment necessary for modern biological research opportunities.

All members of the department's graduate faculty hold doctorates and have extensive research experience. Areas of concentration in research and teaching are Biology Education, Microbiology, Biomedical Sciences, Environmental Science, Toxicology, Ecology, Zoology, and Plant Science. Sub areas of teaching specialization include physiology, cellular biology, developmental biology, plant and animal ecology, genetics and evolutionary biology, parasitology, immunology, entomology, and aquatic biology.

Approximately 25 graduate teaching assistantships (TA) are available each year to qualified applicants. A minimum 3.0 GPA in undergraduate courses in math, chemistry, biology and physics and a 600 paper-based TOEFL (250 on the computer-based exam) are required for consideration of a TA. Research assistantships are also offered, depending on external funding. Applications should be submitted by February 3 to the Biological Sciences Department. Although the first selection of assistantships occurs in March for the following academic year, the department encourages applications year-round because periodic openings occur.

Admission

In addition to completing the minimum requirements described below, admission to the Biology program must be approved by the Biology Graduate Committee prior to completion of 16 credits of graduate coursework.   The Graduate Committee will evaluate the student’s potential for success based on additional criteria, including performance in Biology and related coursework, and correlation between the student’s research interests and faculty research interests.

Admission to the Biology MS Program requires that applicants satisfy the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. In addition, qualified applicants should satisfy the following three requirements for acceptance in the Biology MS Program.  Demonstrate proof of meeting the academic requirements for the program by satisfying ONE of the following criteria:

  1. Submit an official transcript signifying that you received a bachelor's degree in Biology or a closely related discipline with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00; OR

    a. Submit official transcripts showing that you possess a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than Biology but have satisfactorily completed one course at the 200-level or above in three of the four following areas: Genetics, Ecology, Cell Biology, and Physiology. The minimum average GPA for these classes is 3.00; OR

    b. Submit your official scores for the Biology Subject GRE with an overall ranking in the 70th percentile, as a minimum; OR

    c. The graduate committee may consider applicants, who do not meet criteria a-b, on an individual basis with the support of a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences.

  2. Submit a letter to the Department of Biological Sciences describing your interest in our Biology MS program. This letter should succinctly identify your career goals, your research interests, and identify the faculty member(s) with whom you are most interested in pursuing a thesis research project.

  3. International students from a country where English is not the primary language must submit an official IELTS score with a minimum score of 7 in speaking and in two of the other three ability categories. An internet based TOEFL (iBT) is acceptable with minimum scores of 26 in speaking, 24 in writing, and 22 in the other two categories. Similar scores from an equivalent exam can also be considered.

Applications will not be considered complete until all required items have been received.

Deficiencies

Students who do not meet the above requirements, or students that do not have an equivalency (a grade of C or better) in the core courses (listed above), have a scholastic deficiency. 

Deficiencies may be corrected by:

  1. Formal coursework or
  2. Approved examination given by the instructor in charge (with a C or better).
  3. Undergraduate courses taken to correct a deficiency will not count toward the graduate degree.
  4. Any graduate course designated as a deficiency may be applied toward the graduate degree, provided it is first approved by the student’s advisor, the Biology Graduate Committee, and the Biology Department Chairperson.

Applications will not be considered complete until all required items have been received.

Requirements

The Written Comprehensive Examination may be required at the discretion of the Examining Committee. The Oral Comprehensive Examination is required for each degree candidate and includes an open seminar on the candidate's research. The candidate distributes seminar announcements to department faculty at least one week prior to the seminar.

Biology MS

(Thesis Plan - 30 credits)
(Alternate Plan Paper - 34 credits)

Required Core (11 credits)

  • BIOL 601 – Biometrics (2)
  • BIOL 602 – Research Methods/Proposal (2)
  • BIOL 695 – Graduate Seminar (1) [3 Seminar credits required]

Required Selected Topics (4 credits)

  • BIOL 619 - Selected Topics (203)
    BIOL 605
    - Ethical Issues in Biological Research (2)
    BIOL 606
    - Paradigms in Ecology (2)
    ENVI 619
    - Selected Topics (3)

Electives (19-23 credits)

Choose any 500/600 level Biology courses in consultation with an advisor.

Required Thesis or Alternate Plan Paper

  • BIOL 694 – APP (1-2)
  • BIOL 699 – Thesis (3-6)

Note: At least half of the required graduate credits for the program must be at the 600-level, not including the thesis or alternate plan paper credits. For example,

  • The thesis track requires at least 12 credits of 600-level courses (not including BIOL 699);
  • The alternate plan paper track requires at least 16 credits of 600-level courses (not including BIOL 694).

Biology Education MS

(Discipline-based)

(Thesis Plan - 30 credits)
(Alternate Plan Paper - 34 credits)

Teaching licensure is a prerequisite to pursuing this degree for teachers interested in enrichment in a teaching area. This degree does not lead to initial teaching licensure. Students who desire initial licensure should consult the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program. Please see the section concerning the MAT program that is listed in this bulletin.

Required Core (11 credits)

  • BIOL 601 – Biometrics (2)
  • BIOL 602 – Research Methods/Proposal (2)
  • BIOL 695 – Graduate Seminar (1) [3 Seminar credits required]
  • BIOL 619 – Selected Topics (2-3) [4 Selected Topics credits required]
  • ENVR 619 – Selected Topics (3) [may be taken to satisfy 3 credits of the BIOL 619 requirement]

Required Biology Electives (7-11 credits)

Choose any 500/600 level Biology courses in consultation with an advisor.

Required Professional Education (6 credits)

Choose 6 credits of professional education courses in consultation with an advisor.

Required Related Science Electives (6)

Choose 6 credits of related science courses in consultation with an advisor.

 Required Thesis or Alternate Plan Paper

  • BIOL 694 – Alternate Plan Paper (1-2)
  • BIOL 699 – Thesis (3-6)

Note: At least half of the required graduate credits for the program must be at the 600-level, not including the thesis or alternate plan paper credits.

Course Descriptions

This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of stream/river ecology and the physical, chemical and biological processes that characterize running water ecosystems. Students learn principles, concepts and methods of study in a field setting, and obtain hands-on experience in the examination and characterization of stream systems. Lab (fieldwork) included. (Summer)

BIOL 503 (3) Conservation Biology
Applications of principles from ecology, genetics, behavior, demography, economics, philosophy, and other fields to the conservation and sustainable use of natural populations of plants and animals. Lectures and discussions address topics such as habitat fragmentation, parks and reserves, genetic diversity, population viability, and extinction.
(S) Prerequisite: BIOL 215 or consent

BIOL 504 (4) Wetlands
This course expands and applies the general principles of ecology to community and ecosystem ecology. This course emphasizes the primary factors that affect wetland functions and how these factors are altered by landscape changes and on-site management. Lab (fieldwork) included. (S) BIOL 505 (3) Fisheries Biology
An introduction to fish biology and fisheries management, diversity, form and function in the aquatic environment, functional physiology, evolution and speciation, identification and use of keys, ecology, and management topics. (ALT-F)

BIOL 508 (4) Vertebrate Ecology
Ecology and evolution of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fishes. Topics include energetics, behavior, mating systems, life histories, physiology, and population biology. Lab includes field sampling techniques, population modeling, and species identification
Lecture and Laboratory. (F)

BIOL 509 (4) Advanced Field Ecology
A 12-day field course focused on the function and dynamics of various North American
ecosystems. Emphases will be on natural history, observations of animal behavior, community dynamics, critical thinking, and experimental design. Students will be trained in a variety of sampling techniques for plant and animal populations. Depending on enrollment there may be additional costs (e.g. camping fees) for the course. (Summer)

BIOL 510 (3) Global Change Biology
The natural or human-induced change in climate and the effect on terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The human species' place in the biological world, effects on various communities and potential methods of correcting detrimental effects with economic and social implications.
(F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology plus one general ecology course, or consent, or consent.

BIOL 512 (4) Soil Ecology
Soil ecology will focus on the genesis and classification of soils, the physical properties of soil as they relate to habitat formation, niches, interactions that exist among soil organisms, human impact on soil systems relative to population pressures and management practices. Lab included.
(S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology plus one general ecology course, or consent or consent

BIOL 517 (3) Biology of Aging and Chronic Diseases
Emphasis is placed on the biomedical aspects of aging and chronic disease. The course is designed for students majoring in biology, gerontology programs, or other health related programs.
(S) Prerequisite: One semester of general biology

BIOL 518 (4) Macro & Microscopic Imaging
Properties and physical principles underlying biological images. The course provides a survey of
macro-imaging techniques (such as x-ray tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, positron
emission tomography, and ultrasound) and micro-imaging techniques (such as light microscopy,
transmission and scanning electron microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, and atomic force microscopy).
(F) Prerequisite: one year of physics

BIOL 519 (2-3) Special Topics in Instrumentation
Instruction in specialized biological instrumentation.
(F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology

BIOL 520 (3) Diagnostic Parasitology
Clinically important parasites. Protozoans, Flukes, Tapeworms, Roundworms, Ticks, Mites, and
Insects. Designed for Medical Technology, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Veterinary, and Biology majors.
Identification, clinical disease, epidemiology, and ecology are covered. Lab included. (S)

BIOL 521 (3) Entomology
Morphological, ecological, medical, and economic significance of insects.
Prerequisite: One year of general biology or consent.

BIOL 530 (4) Hematology/Introduction to Immunology
Collection, examination, evaluation, morphology, function, and diseases of blood cells.
Hemostasis/coagulation of blood. Immunology theory is presented. Lab included.
(S) Prerequisite: One semester of human physiology

BIOL 531 (3) Comparative Animal Physiology
A comparison of adaptation mechanisms, from cell to organ-systems, used by animals in response to "changes in" environmental conditions such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, food availability, temperature, waste, solutes, pressure and buoyancy. (F)

BIOL 532 (4) Lake Ecology
This course is an introduction to the physical, chemical and biological characteristics and interactions of inland freshwater lakes. Labs will emphasize field work; including data collection, analysis and discussion from five local lakes. (ALT-F)

BIOL 533 (3) Cardiovascular Physiology
This course is a functional study of the heart and circulation, with a medical and pathological emphasis. (F)

BIOL 534 (3) Development & Human Embryology
Understanding the process of cell differentiation and development. These principles are then applied to the descriptive study of human embryology including the basis of congenital malformations.
(F) Prerequisite: One semester of general biology

BIOL 535 (4) Histology
Study of types, arrangements, and special adaptations of human tissues. Lab included.
(S) Prerequisite: One semester of human anatomy

BIOL 536 (4) Animal Behavior
An exploration of behavioral strategy, communication, learning, and social systems of animals, with emphases placed on the causes, evolution, ecological implications, and function of behavior at the individual and population level. Lab included.
(S) One year of general biology and one general ecology course, or consent

BIOL 538 (3) General Endocrinology
This course provides the basis for understanding hormones and the mechanisms of their actions in both the normal and pathological states. Sample topics to be included are diabetes, osteoporosis, hormones of reproduction, and current social and medical issues related to the course.

(S) Prerequisite: One semester of general biology

BIOL 541 (4) Plant Physiology
Plant functions such as water relations, mineral nutrition, translocation, metabolisms, photosynthesis, photorespiration, fat and protein metabolisms, respiration, growth and development, phytohormones, reproduction and environmental physiology. Lab included.
(S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology plus a plant science course. Recommended: one semester of organic chemistry.

BIOL 542 (4) Flora of Minnesota
Field identification of plants with emphasis on local flora. History of systematics, techniques, plant biogeography, methods of plant collection, preservation, preparation of herbarium specimens are covered. Lab and field trips included
(ALT-F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, or consent. Plant Science strongly recommended.

BIOL 543 (4) Plant Ecology
Expands upon general principles of ecology and focuses on the factors that affect the distribution and abundance of plants, analysis of plant populations, and dynamics of plant communities. Lecture and lab (field work) included.
(F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology plus one general ecology course, or consent. Plant Science strongly recommended.

BIOL 545 (4) Economic Botany
We interact with plants every day and they've had a profound effect on human history and society. This course surveys the roles of plants in foods, beverages, medicines, drugs, poisons, fibers, fuels, building materials, ceremony, landscape, and more. Lecture, discussion, lab, and field trip. Open to non-science majors.
(ALT-F) Prerequisite: One semester of general biology, or consent

BIOL 551 (4) Plant Biotechnology
Lecture/laboratory course that presents an integrated view of plant biology, crop science, and current issues in biotechnology. Course focuses on issues of global concern such as sustainable food production, biofuels, genetically modified crops, molecular pharming, and tissue culture.
(F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, or consent. Plant Science recommended.

BIOL 552 (3) Biological Instrumentation
The principle and operation of instruments and their application to biological research. Types of
instrumentation examined include spectroscopic, chromatographic, electroanalytic, radiographic, and imaging. Laboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) will also be examined. Emphasis is placed on GLP, GMP, and ISO9000 practices.
(S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, or consent

BIOL 553 (4) Biological Engineering Analysis I
The application of engineering principles and skills as applied to fermentation and to biological
product recovery.
(F) Prerequisite: One semester of general microbiology and one semester each of calculus, physics, and organic chemistry

BIOL 554 (4) Biological Engineering Analysis II
Continuation of Biological Engineering Analysis I. The application of engineering principles and
skills as applied to fermentation and to biological product recovery.
(S) Prerequisite: BIOL 553

BIOL 556 (3) Biotechnology Project/Laboratory I
Practical laboratory experience in biotechnology through the selection and development of a research project. Students are expected to spend an average of 12 hours per week on the project.
(S) Prerequisite: concurrent enrollment in BIOL 553

BIOL 557 (3) Biotechnology Project/Laboratory II
Continuation of Biotechnology Project/Laboratory I. Practical laboratory experience in biotechnology through the selection and development of a research project. Students are expected to spend an average of 12 hours per week on the project.
(S) Prerequisite: BIOL 556, concurrent enrollment in BIOL 554

BIOL 560 (3) Introduction to Toxicology
A lecture course covering basic principles of toxicity evaluation in living organisms, mechanisms of responses to chemicals or physical agents within an overview of practical medical, environmental and science policy implications. Presentation of comparisons of specific organ and tissue reactions to toxins in a variety of species follow these introductory concepts.
(Alt-F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, and one year of general chemistry

BIOL 561 (4) Environmental Toxicology
A lecture/laboratory course that focuses on anthropogenic and natural toxicants, mathematical
modeling of the dispersion of chemical and physical agents in the environment, and effects on species and ecosystems with a special section on aquatic risk assessment. The laboratory includes techniques in environmental toxicity and a genuine research project.
(ALT-S) Prerequisite: BIOL 460/560

BIOL 562 (1) Toxicology Seminar
A seminar course that involves critical evaluation of published studies in toxicology, student
presentations of a selected published manuscript, and requires students to write a paper on one aspect of the course's topic area that semester. Topic areas vary each time the course is offered.
(ALT-F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, and general chemistry

BIOL 564 (3) Methods of Applied Toxicology
A lecture/laboratory course focusing on the steps necessary to start a research project from project definition through methods testing and evaluation, and a final report that includes a project flow chart. Third year students will have senior and/or graduate mentors.
(ALT-F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, and general chemistry

BIOL 565 (3) Applied Toxicology Project
A lecture/laboratory course where students perform all aspects of their own designed research topic in toxicology while critically evaluating the progress of other projects as well. Students will be expected to keep timelines or develop modified timelines as necessary. The inverted triangle approach of project design will be examined and then included in all designs.
(ALT-S) Prerequisite: BIOL 464/564

BIOL 566 (3) Principles of Pharmacology
A lecture course that examines mechanisms of drug action, physiological responses and adverse
reactions from sensitivities or allergies through overdose.
(ALT-S, and ALT-Summer) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, one semester of human physiology, and one year of general chemistry

BIOL 567 (3) Industrial Hygiene
A lecture course that examines Minnesota State University as your own work place to develop reports on a selected group of chemical and physical hazards of the workplace. Evaluation methods and solutions to existing problems are developed with concise reporting skills.
(ALT-F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, and one year of general chemistry

BIOL 572 (4) Microbial Ecology & Bioremediation
Role of microorganisms in soil, air, water, and sewage processes as well as methods of measurement and detection. Special emphasis on the role of microorganisms in bioremediation. Lab included.
(ALT-S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, plus one semester of general microbiology

BIOL 574 (4) Immunology
Fundamental principles of humoral and cell mediated immunity and the application of these
principles. Current experimental work in the different areas of immunology will be discussed. Lab included.
(F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, plus one semester of general microbiology

BIOL 575 (4) Medical Microbiology
This course will cover bacterial, fungal, and viral human pathogens: what diseases they cause, how they cause disease, and how humans defend against and prevent those diseases. In the laboratory, the student will isolate and identify pathogenic microorganisms using microbiological, biochemical, and immunological techniques.
(F) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, plus one semester of general microbiology, or consent

BIOL 576 (5) Microbial Physiology & Genetics
This course presents the physiology and genetics of microorganisms emphasizing those aspects
unique to bacteria and archea. Topics include: energy production; biosynthesis of small molecules and DNA, RNA, and proteins; the formation of cell walls and membranes; microbial differentiation and behavior; and the genetic and biochemical regulation of these processes.
(S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, plus one semester of general microbiology

BIOL 578 (4) Food Microbiology & Sanitation
The role microbes play in production and spoilage of food products, as prepared for mass market. Topics include food-borne pathogens, epidemiology and control, and essential principles in sanitation including Hazard Analysis/Critical Control Point and ISO 9000 requirements. Lab included.
(S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, plus one semester of general microbiology.

BIOL 579 (4) Molecular Biology
This course will cover both eukaryotic and prokaryotic molecular biology including: DNA and RNA structure, transcription, regulation of gene expression, RNA processing, protein synthesis, DNA replication, mutagenesis and repair, recombination, and insertion elements. A number of important techniques used in recombinant DNA technology will be discussed and practiced.
(S) Prerequisite: One year of general biology, plus one semester of general microbiology and one semester of cell biology or genetics.

BIOL 580 (3) Biological Laboratory Experiences for Elementary
Provides experience with a wide variety of biological laboratory exercises to prepare prospective
elementary teachers. Emphasis is on building knowledge, skills, and confidence. The course will
cover major biological concepts and environmental education through classroom-ready examples
selected to illustrate each concept. (F, S)

BIOL 585 (4) Biology Teaching Methods & Materials
A basic science methods course designed to prepare prospective junior and senior high life science teachers. Course will cover science teaching methods and support materials as they apply to life science teaching situations.
(F) Prerequisite: 16 credits BIOL and KSP 608

BIOL 586 (3) Field-Based Teaching Methods & Materials
A lecture/laboratory course that provides opportunity for prospective junior and senior high life
science teachers to observe, practice, and refine their teaching skills. Students will work in a school setting and experience actual classroom.
Prerequisite: BIOL 485/585

BIOL 590 (1-4) Workshop
A variable topic course designed for a selected topic in Biology. Workshops provide an intensive
learning experience on a new topic in the biological sciences and/or hands-on experiences in a current area not covered by other course offerings. The course involves background reading, demonstrations, and laboratory or field experiences. (F,S)

BIOL 591 (1-4) In-Service
(F, S)

BIOL 601 (2) Biometrics
Principles of statistical methods applied to the planning and
analysis of biological research. This course helps graduate students plan their research and make statistical inferences in data analysis. (F)

BIOL 602 (2) Research Methods
The design, planning, and writing of a biological research proposal will be discussed in terms of
scientific method application, problem selection, methods, and assessments. The students will apply information from the class to prepare their research/thesis proposals and other professional
communications. (S)

BIOL 603 (2) Research in the Biological Sciences I

BIOL 604 (2) Research in the Biological Sciences II

BIOL 605 (2) Ethical Issues in Biological Research
What does it mean to do biological research ethically? This course will discuss scientific integrity and misconduct, human and animal research, conflicts of interest and the ethical dimension of other topics in modern biological and biomedical research. (ALT-F)

BIOL 606 (2) Paradigms in Ecology
How does contemporary dogma influence the development of hypotheses and
theory? Using primary literature, this course explores paradigms on topics such as equilibria in community ecology, information flow in molecular biology, the naturalist and mechanistic schools, and levels of natural selection. (Alt-S)

BIOL 612 (3) Practicum in Electron Microscopy
A laboratory course of basic training in the instrumentation and methodology use in scanning and transmission electron microscopy. With a hands-on approach, students will learn instrument operation and techniques necessary to process and examine a variety of samples, and whenever possible, to examine specimens related to their own research interests.
(S) Prerequisite: BIOL 418/518

BIOL 618 (2) Biological Monitoring

BIOL 619 (2-3) Selected Topics in Biology
Selected study of graduate level topics. Course may be repeated for topics of different titles. (F,S)

BIOL 677 (1-5) Individual Study
Prerequisite: consent

BIOL 681 (1-2) Laboratory Supervision
Practical experience in preparing and teaching laboratory courses.
(F,S) Prerequisite: consent

BIOL 685 (2) Teaching Assistant Methods
This course is design to provide teaching assistants (TAs) with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare and teach college-level science courses. Special emphasis will be placed on the attainment of skills that maximize the effectiveness of material that will be presented to students. (F)

BIOL 691 (1-5) In-Service
(F,S)

BIOL 694 (1-2) Alternate Plan Paper
(F,S)

BIOL 695 (1) Seminar
Students will attend and critique seminars presented by other students, faculty, and by people from external agencies and institutions.
Prerequisite: none (F,S)

BIOL 697 (1-12) Internship
(F, S)

BIOL 699 (1-6) Thesis
(F,S)