2024-2025 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog

Biological Sciences: General Program M.A.

Program Rationale:

The master of arts programs provide study in the biological sciences for those graduate students desiring to major in biology. The programs are designed to fulfill the educational needs of biologists who desire further specialization and/or knowledge of recent advances in the field; students who seek a subject matter masters as an intermediate step toward preparation for work at the doctoral level; and teachers who are interested in specializing in a particular area, or updating their knowledge within the discipline of biology. Specialization may be in such areas as botany, zoology, physiology, ecology, and environmental studies. Each student will be assigned an advisor whose function will be to help the student plan a sound program.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Graduate students will:

  • demonstrate knowledge in general biology;
  • describe scientific methodology and conduct experiments;
  • demonstrate a thorough understanding of a specific area of biology;
  • be able to read and comprehend primary literature;
  • deliver effective oral presentations (poster or PowerPoint); and
  • effectively communicate on research in written format.

Admission Requirements:

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution of higher education. A minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.70 on a 4.00 point scale (where A is 4.00), or its equivalent, and good standing (3.00 GPA) in all post-baccalaureate course work is required. 

Additional Materials Required: 

• Narrative statement

In your narrative statement, please include whether you would like to pursue a thesis or non-thesis version of your degree (if applicable). If you wish to do a thesis, please identify a potential faculty member you might like to work with in our department. It may be helpful to view our faculty web pages or contact potential faculty members by phone or email to discuss your interests. You could also include in the narrative statement your interests in biology and how they developed, your career goals, and how you think a degree in the Biology Department at CCSU will further your education and prepare you for your career.

• Letters of recommendation by three college instructors familiar with your ability and record in biology and the related sciences

 The Biology Department also recommends the following items;

  • Graduate Record Examination scores for the aptitude and advanced biology tests are recommended but not required. 

The graduate application, application fee, and official transcripts are to be submitted to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office. Official transcripts must be sent directly to the Graduate Recruitment and Admissions Office from each institution attended except Central Connecticut State University.

Instructions for uploading the statement and for obtaining and submitting the recommendation letters will be found within the online application.

When an applicant’s admission folder is complete, it will be forwarded to the department chair. The Departmental Graduate Committee will make a recommendation for acceptance. Students who are accepted will be assigned an advisor at the time of acceptance. If applicable, a thesis advising committee will be assigned after the student begins the program of study.

Course and Capstone Requirements:

Note: Additional work, as described in the course syllabi, will be required for graduate credit in 400-level courses. Students may take no more than nine credits of 400-level courses.

Biological Sciences: General Program, MA

There are two options (Plan A and Plan B) leading to the Master of Arts degree, both of which require 30 credits.

Both Plan A and B require BIO 500 and BIO 540 in addition to 19-20 credits of directed electives in biology or related fields as approved by advisor.

Plan A: Thesis caption (Two Options)

BIO 599Thesis

3 OR 6




BIO 598Research in Biology



BIO 599Thesis

3 OR 6

Plan A requires thesis defense seminar for both options.

Plan A requires a minimum total of 6 credits for both options.

Plan B: Comprehensive exam capstone

BIO 590Focused Study in Advanced Biology

1 TO 4


BIO 591Independent Research Project in Advanced Biology

1 TO 4


BIO 598Research in Biology


Plan B requires a Comprehensive Exam.

Plan B requires a minimum total of 6 credits (including BIO 598).