Integrative biology is an emerging scientific paradigm that assembles concepts and information from different disciplines (e.g. genetics, physiology, and behavior) and from different scales (e.g. molecules, cells, populations, ecosystems) to produce a more complete understanding of biological systems and to better answer some of the great scientific questions of our day. The Master of Science with a major in Integrative Biology (MSIB) is a 36 credit hour graduate program requiring that each graduate student generate a thesis based on original research. While students center their research within a particular area of biology based on faculty expertise, students are trained in an integrative paradigm through required coursework and by the structure of thesis committees where at least one of the three members is from outside the supervising professor’s subdiscipline.
In addition to a thesis generated by original research, the degree will require 36 credit hours total: 10-14 credit hours of thesis research (9-13 credit hours of BIOL 7990 Research for Master’s Thesis plus one credit hour of BIOL 7999 Master’s Thesis Defense), 11 credit hours of required graduate courses and another 11-15 credit hours of graduate-level electives (maximum of 12 credits of 6000-level courses, which can include no more than two credits of BIOL 6399 seminar). Graduate courses may be taken at other Commission of Colleges (COC) regionally accredited institutions; justification must be provided for taking courses with similar content to those offered at KSU. All transfer courses must be approved by the student’s thesis advisor and evaluated and approved by the MSIB Program Coordinator in order to satisfy degree requirements at KSU (minimum grade of B will be accepted for transfer courses, and a maximum of 6 transfer credits will be allowed). Courses used for transfer credit must have been finished within five years of completion of MSIB and cannot reduce residency requirements. Transfer grades are not used in calculating semester, summer term, or cumulative grade-point averages. Maximum credit as “Research for Master’s Thesis” applicable toward degree is 13 credit hours. One credit hour of “Master’s Thesis Defense” is also required. The student’s thesis committee may require additional remedial course work (these will not count toward the degree, nor will they be counted as hours needed to qualify for teaching assistantships).
The following are requirements beyond the general KSU Graduate Admissions requirements.
Successful candidates will typically have completed requirements for the bachelor degree at an institution accredited in a manner accepted by Kennesaw State University. Adequately prepared applicants should demonstrate core competency as reflected by the record of undergraduate coursework in biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics, with a degree focus in one of these areas. An applicant who is deemed deficient by the admissions committee may be admitted into the program under the condition that the missing undergraduate courses be taken in addition to the graduate program requirements.
Successful candidates will typically have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).
Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s potential to complete successful graduate work.
Applicants must submit a cover letter (Statement of Interest) indicating research area of interest, KSU faculty that could potentially supervise within the area of interest, career goals, and background information that may be relevant to succeeding in the MSIB program.
Prior to final submission of materials for application, successful candidates will typically have conversed with (via email, telephone, or in person) at least one tenure-track faculty member in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology or the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology concerning potential thesis research projects and the willingness of the faculty member to accept graduate students. Faculty members in other departments can serve as MSIB thesis advisors with permission of the MSIB coordinator.
Admission Criteria for Unique Cases
Currently, there are no exceptions to the admission requirements.
No credit from outside institutions is accepted for this degree program.
Petition to Graduate
Candidates of the MSIB program must petition to graduate at least one semester prior to completion of their degree requirements. For more information, please view the corresponding section of Academic Policies .
Program of Study