Biological Sciences

If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them. Isaac Asimov

Biological Sciences—MS, PhD

Fast Facts

  • The Department of Biological Sciences is located in the $44-million Dow Environmental Sciences and Engineering Building.
  • The Dow building features a flowthrough lake-water system for aquatic and limnology studies as well as a research greenhouse.
  • Students conducting aquatic field research gain experience on the thirty-six-foot Research Vessel Agassiz and on other small vessels.
  • Our student-faculty ratio is 3:1.

Learn more about the Biological Sciences programs.

Graduate Programs in Biological Sciences

Michigan Tech offers both Master of Science and PhD degrees in Biological Sciences, as well as an option in clinical laboratory management for those pursuing the MS degree. Research focuses on two areas: biochemistry and molecular biology, including bioinformatics and exercise science; and ecology and environmental biology, including evolutionary studies, invasive species, and fish biology. Medical technologists may pursue a master’s degree in biological sciences with an option in clinical laboratory management. The clinical lab management option within the MS program balances science and business.

Graduate students perform chemical analysis by GC-mass spectroscopy, HPLCs, various chromatographies, and DNA sequencing, plus other technologies that support nanotech research. A variety of instrumentation and techniques support the physiological monitoring of human and environmental processes.

Learn more about the Biological Sciences programs.

Master's Degree: Thesis Option

This option requires a research thesis prepared under the supervision of the advisor.  The thesis describes a research investigation and its results. The scope of the research topic for the thesis should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

The minimum requirements are as follows:

Course work (minimum)20 credits
Thesis research6–10 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

Master's Degree: Report Option

This option requires a report describing the results of an independent study project. The scope of the research topic should be defined in such a way that a full-time student could complete the requirements for a master’s degree in twelve months or three semesters following the completion of course work by regularly scheduling graduate research credits. 

Of the minimum total of 30 credits, at least 24 must be earned in course work other than the project:

Course work24 credits
Report2–6 credits
Total (minimum)30 credits
Distribution of course work credit 
5000–6000 series (minimum)12 credits
3000–4000 level (maximum)12 credits

 

Programs may have stricter requirements and may require more than the minimum numbers of credits listed here.

PhD Requirements

To complete a doctoral degree, students must complete the following milestones:

  • Complete all course work and research credits (see credit requirements below)
  • Pass Qualifying Examination
  • Pass Research Proposal Examination
  • Prepare and Submit Approved Dissertation
  • Pass Final Oral Defense

The minimum credit requirements are as follows:

Total Credit Requirements 
MS–PhD (minimum)30 credits
BS–PhD (minimum)60 credits

 

Individual programs may have higher standards and students are expected to know their program's requirements. See the Doctor of Philosophy Requirements website for more information about PhD milestones and related timelines.