Biology, Ecology & Evolution Concentration (M.S.) - Graduate - 2015 University Catalog

The graduate programs in the Biology Department are designed to enable a student to develop his or her preparation for a career in biological fields requiring advanced training or for the teaching profession.

Research facilities of the Biology Department are maintained in Science Hall and include specialized equipment for molecular biology, electron microscopy, botany, microbiology, immunology, aquatic biology, tissue culture, animal behavior, and cell physiology. Additionally, the facilities at the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium, New Jersey School of Conservation, and other departments in the College of Science and Mathematics are available for cooperative graduate research. Faculty research interests include aquatic and terrestrial ecology, developmental biology, parasitology, microbiology, immunology, cell physiology, molecular biology, plant physiology, entomology and evolutionary mechanisms. The Biology Department has recently established a state-of-the-art molecular biology laboratory for teaching both introductory and advanced courses in molecular biology and biotechnology.

The Biology Department offers thesis and non-thesis students opportunity for graduate research under faculty supervision in selected areas of biology. Original research should not exceed 8 semester hours for thesis students and 5 semester hours for non-thesis students. Students must complete a minimum of 26 semester hours in biology , 9 hours of required courses, a minimum of 5 hours of research and a maximum of 18 hours of electives.

The MS in Biology with a concentration in Biology Science Education is intended for certified Biology teachers interested in enhancing and updating their content expertise, exploring and conducting research on biology learning, and expanding their insights into pedagogy. Students will complete 32 semester hours of coursework in biology, biology education, and curriculum and teaching and/or educational foundations. Students must take a minimum of 20 credits in biology and 6 credits in College of Education and Human Services and can take a maximum of 6 credits outside the department including BIOL courses taken as a non-matriculated student, courses taken in other MSU departments, and courses transferred from other institutions. Students must receive a B or better in these courses and the credits can not have counted toward another degree.

This is a non-thesis program that can include graduate research under faculty supervision. Introduction to Biological Research (BIOL 599) as well as Research in Biological Literature (BIOL 597) within this concentration will focus on science education as it applies to Biology. Original research (BIOL 599) should not exceed 4 credits.

The MS in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology addresses the needs of Biology educators, other Biology professionals and those wishing to re-tool their job skills. This program helps to meet the challenges of improving science literacy and implementing new science curriculum standards, and to meet the needs of surrounding biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Hands-on experience is emphasized and real world problems are presented to the students.  Students also get a firm grounding in molecular biology theory.

ADMISSIONS

Prior to matriculation for the Master of Science degree in biology, the student should have completed a subject matter of at least twenty-four semester hours in biology and have adequate preparation in college chemistry, mathematics and physics.

In cases where there has been a weak undergraduate program in the major and/or collateral fields, prerequisite courses, which will not count towards graduate credit, may be assigned.

The matriculation program for MS candidates is prepared in consultation with the biology Graduate Program Coordinator. Changes in the program can be made only with the written approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator. It is the responsibility of the student to keep the coordinator informed of progress in the program.

In addition to these requirements listed for the MS in Biology, candidates for admission to the Biology Science Education Concentration must have teaching certification in Biology.


BIOLOGY w/CONC:Ecology & Evolution

Complete 32 semester hours including the following 3 requirement(s):

  1. REQUIRED COURSES

    Complete the following 3 requirement(s):

    1. Complete 3 courses for 7 semester hours:

      BIOL 570 Ecology (3 hours lecture) 3
      BIOL 580 Evolutionary Mechanisms (3 hours lecture) 3
      BIOL 592 Graduate Colloquium (1 hour lecture) 1
    2. Complete 1 course from the following list

      BIOL 571 Physiological Plant Ecology (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab) 4
      BIOL 579 Physiological Ecology of Animals (3 hours lecture) 3
    3. Complete 1 course from the following list

      AQUA 551 Advanced Aquatic Biological Processes (3 hours lecture) 3
      BIOL 572 Wetland Ecology (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab) 4
      BIOL 573 Shoreline Ecology (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab) 4
  2. ELECTIVES

    Complete 10 semester hours -14 semester hours from the following list.

    BIMS 564 Benthic Ecology (1 hour lecture, 6 hours lab) 4
    BIOL 520 Plant Physiology (3 hours lecture) 3
    BIOL 521 Field Studies of Flowering Plants (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab) 4
    BIOL 532 Advanced Entomology (3 hours lecture) 3
    BIOL 547 Molecular Biology I (3 hours lecture) 3
    BIOL 548 Molecular Biology II (3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab) 4
    BIOL 574 Behavioral Ecology (3 hours lecture) 3
    BIOL 576 Biology of Extreme Habitats (3 hours lecture) 3
    BIOL 586 Selected Avanced Topics in Biology 3-4
    BIOL 595 Conservation Biology: The Preservation of Biological Diversity (3 hours lecture) 3
    EAES 545 Paleoecology (2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab) 3
    EAES 563 Natural Resource Management (3 hours lecture) 3
    STAT 541 Applied Statistics (3 hours lecture) 3
    STAT 546 Non-Parametric Statistics (3 hours lecture) 3
    STAT 547 Design and Analysis of Experiments (3 hours lecture) 3
    STAT 548 Applied Regression Analysis (3 hours lecture) 3
  3. CULMINATING EXPERIENCE

    Complete the following 2 requirement(s):

    1. RESEARCH IN BIOLOGICAL LITERATURE

      Complete for 1 semester hours.

      BIOL 597 Research in Biological Literature 1
    2. THESIS OR NON-THESIS OPTION

      Complete 1 of the following options:

      1. THESIS

        1. Complete for 6 semester hours.

          BIOL 698 Master's Thesis 4-6
        2. Submit the completed Thesis original and one copy to the Graduate Office. See Thesis Guidelines for details.

      2. RESEARCH AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAM

        1. Complete the following for 4 semester hours:

          BIOL 599 Introduction to Biological Research 4
        2. COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION

          In the term that you will sit for exam, register for - which matches your major & advisor. Successfully pass exam.

          GRAD CMP Comprehensive Examination 0

Course Descriptions:

AQUA551: Advanced Aquatic Biological Processes (3 hours lecture)

Advanced Aquatic Biological Processes is a graduate course which builds upon the fundamental biological systems associated with marine and fresh water communities and serves as the culminating core aquatic biological course for the BS/MS program in Aquatic and Coastal Sciences. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: AQUA 351, EAES 230, EAES 322 or departmental approval.

BIMS564: Benthic Ecology (1 hour lecture, 6 hours lab)

Community structure, trophic dynamics, species diversity and distribution of bottom dwelling organisms in relationship to their environment; lectures, laboratory work and field investigations of the marine benthos. Also offered at NJ Marine Sciences Consortium. 4 sh.

BIOL520: Plant Physiology (3 hours lecture)

Investigation of physiology of plants. Plant growth, development and reproduction as well as the new advances in plant physiology. Water relations of plants, mineral nutrition, physiological significance of soil and soil moisture, photosynthesis, respiration, plant biosynthesis and dynamics of growth. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.

BIOL521: Field Studies of Flowering Plants (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab)

The taxonomy, evolutionary trends and ecological adaptations of the gymnosperms and angiosperms. A variety of habitats will be visited and analyzed. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Botany and field course in biology.

BIOL532: Advanced Entomology (3 hours lecture)

Examination of insects as model systems for biological inquiry. Topics include an integrative treatment of insect molecular biology, genetics, physiology, behavior, evolution and ecology. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Matriculation in M.S. Biology program or permission of instructor.

BIOL547: Molecular Biology I (3 hours lecture)

Central concepts at the cellular level will be emphasized. Contemporary viewpoints in the areas of biomolecules, energy yielding and energy requiring processes and transfer of genetic information. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Cell biology, and one year organic chemistry.

BIOL548: Molecular Biology II (3 hours lecture, 3 hours lab)

Central concepts at the cellular level will be emphasized. Contemporary viewpoints in the areas of biomolecules, energy yielding and energy requiring processes and transfer of genetic information. The laboratory will deal with up-to-date investigative procedures via selected experiments. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: BIOL 547.

BIOL570: Ecology (3 hours lecture)

Basic ecological principles and concepts. Habitat approach to field exercises in fresh water and terrestrial ecology. Intra and interspecific relationships with all living members of the ecosystem, problems in plant and animal biology. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Botany and zoology.

BIOL571: Physiological Plant Ecology (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab)

The effects of soil, light, and water on plant growth, as well as, toxic effects of metals and salinity are measured using growth chamber and greenhouse facilities. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Botany and one course in field biology.

BIOL572: Wetland Ecology (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab)

Important biotic, chemical and physical parameters of New Jersey's estuaries. Evolution and successional trends of estuarine communities. Ecology of individual communities studied by field trips to Delaware Bay shore and to some Atlantic coast bays, marshes and offshore barrier islands. Also offered at the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Botany, and zoology, and field biology.

BIOL573: Shoreline Ecology (2 hours lecture, 4 hours lab)

Community structure, trophic dynamics, species diversity and distribution of bottom dwelling organisms in relationship to their environment; lectures, laboratory work and field investigations of the marine benthos. Also offered at NJ Marine Sciences Consortium. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Botany, and zoology, and field biology.

BIOL574: Behavioral Ecology (3 hours lecture)

This seminar course explains the ecological consequences of animal behavior, viewed within the context of how behavior evolves and how populations adapt to their environments. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Field biology and zoology.

BIOL576: Biology of Extreme Habitats (3 hours lecture)

The course will describe the adaptations that allow the survival of plants and animals, as well as microorganisms, in a variety of extreme habitats. Some of these habitats include: deserts, arctic, grassland, estuaries. 3 sh.

BIOL579: Physiological Ecology of Animals (3 hours lecture)

A variety of different animals, ranging from protists to mammals, will be examined and compared to demonstrate the physiological adaptations they have evolved to successfully survive and reproduce. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Graduate standing in Biology or permission of instructor.

BIOL580: Evolutionary Mechanisms (3 hours lecture)

This course will provide students the opportunity to read primary resource material and interpret the findings of the data. This course will also teach students how to read, critique and present scientific data to a peer group. Students will analyze, discuss and present primary research articles with respect to scientific content, accuracy of the data and significance of the experiments. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Matriculation in the biology master's program or permission of the instructor.

BIOL586: Selected Avanced Topics in Biology

This course is designed to provide advanced biology graduate students with a literature intensive exploration of current developments and specialized content in the biological sciences. Topics will cover specific research areas in ecology, physiology, molecular biology, embryology and bioinformatics. This course is designed to fulfill elective requirements of the biology masters degree. This course may be repeated once for a maximum of 8.0 credits. 3 - 4 sh.

Prerequisites: BIOL 520 or BIOL 540 or BIOL 547 or BIOL 570.

BIOL592: Graduate Colloquium (1 hour lecture)

Students in this course will read primary resource material and interpret the data. This course will also teach students how to read, critique and present scientific data to a peer group. Students will analyze, discuss and present primary research articles with respect to scientific content, accuracy of the data and significance of the experiments. 1 sh.

Prerequisites: Matriculation in the biology master's program or permission of the professor.

BIOL595: Conservation Biology: The Preservation of Biological Diversity (3 hours lecture)

This course addresses concerns about the loss of biological diversity and genetic resources through species extinctions. Students will learn about the importance of maintaining biological diversity, the problems involved in monitoring and protecting sensitive and crucial habitat, the impact of human societies on biodiversity, the alternatives to the destruction of habitat/species, the prospects of restoration, and the policies needed to prevent the loss of biological diversity. Students will also learn about population processes that are directly related to species survival. This course is cross listed with CNFS 595. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Botany, and zoology, and field biology.

BIOL597: Research in Biological Literature

To allow the student to investigate and evaluate a specific topic in biology under the supervision of a faculty member and to develop the student's skills in presenting current research in both the written and oral modes. 1 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.

BIOL599: Introduction to Biological Research

A research experience in which students will be exposed to current biologic techniques by working with scientific investigators in industry, or within the department. Students will work on projects involving research techniques, data collection and the analysis and interpretation of the data. 4 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.

BIOL698: Master's Thesis

Independent research project done under faculty advisement. Students must follow the MSU Thesis Guidelines, which may be obtained from the Graduate School. Students should take BIOL 699 if they don't complete BIOL 698 within the semester. 4 - 6 sh.

Prerequisites: Departmental approval.

EAES545: Paleoecology (2 hours lecture, 2 hours lab)

Distribution and association of fossils as interpreted from the evidence presented in the geologic record. Detailed paleoecological field study made of selected faunal assemblages. Previous course GEOS 530 effective through Spring 2012. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: Matriculation in a CSAM graduate program or departmental approval.

EAES563: Natural Resource Management (3 hours lecture)

Provide background in natural resource management; wildlife, fisheries, forests, water and related components. Includes field trips. Previous course ENVR 551 effective through Spring 2012. 3 sh.

GRADCMP: Comprehensive Examination

This course is a placeholder for matriculated master's students planning to take the departmental Comprehensive Examination. Successful completion of the Comprehensive Examination will result in a grade of P, unsuccessful students will receive a grade of NC. Students who do not successfully complete the Comprehensive Examination will be required to register for this placeholder course in each term for which they plan to take the examination (limited to three). 0 sh.

Prerequisites: Matriculation in Master's degree program required.

STAT541: Applied Statistics (3 hours lecture)

Review of estimation and hypothesis testing for one sample and two sample problems; introduction to non-parametric statistics and linear regression; fundamental principles of design, completely randomized design, randomized block design, latin square, and 2 factor design. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: STAT 330 or STAT 443 and permission of graduate program coordinator.

STAT546: Non-Parametric Statistics (3 hours lecture)

Selected distribution-free tests and estimation techniques including sign, Kolmogorov-Smirnov, Wilcoxon signed rank, Mann-Whitney, Chi-square, rank correlation, Kendall's Tau, Kruskal-Wallace, Friedman, McNemar, and others. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: STAT 330 and permission of graduate program coordinator.

STAT547: Design and Analysis of Experiments (3 hours lecture)

Fundamental principles of design; fixed, random and mixed models; factorial designs; designs with restricted randomization; split-plot design; confounding; fractional replication; experimental and sampling errors. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: STAT 541 or STAT 548, and permission of graduate program coordinator.

STAT548: Applied Regression Analysis (3 hours lecture)

Fitting equations to data; matrices, linear regression; correlation; analysis of residuals; multiple regression; polynomial regression; partial correlation; stepwise regression; regression and model building; regression applied to analysis of variance problems; introduction to nonlinear regression. 3 sh.

Prerequisites: STAT 330 or STAT 443, and permission of graduate program coordinator.