Department of Biological and Health Sciences

The Department of Biological and Health Sciences offers a Master of Science degree in Biology.

A variety of research projects are available: a student can select a field or a laboratory oriented project. Fiscal support for qualified graduate students is available through scholarships, research assistantships and teaching assistantships. Many research projects are funded through federal and private sources.

Information on the Dietetic Internship can be found in the program information page. 

Graduate Faculty

Bohm, Rudolf Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., The University of Texas at Austin; Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin.

Deyhim, Farzad Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., California State University; M.S., California State University; Ph.D., Colorado State University; Ph.D., Oklahoma State University.

Massa, Enrique Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; Chair; B.S., Pan American University; M.S., University of Michigan; Ph.D., University of Michigan.

Perez-Ballestero, Rafael Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; M.S., University of Michigan; Ph.D., University of Michigan.

Powell, Randy Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Logan College of Chiropractic; D.C., Logan College of Chiropractic; B.S., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; M.S., Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; Ph.D., The University of Texas at El Paso.

Sung, Chang K Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Yeungnam University (South Korea); M.S., Illinois Institute of Technology; Ph.D., University of Illinois.

Associate Member

He, Fang Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Jiangxi Institute of Education (China); M.S., Nanjing University (China); Ph.D., Louisiana State University.

Kim, Haeyoung Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.A., Chonnam National University (South Korea); M.A., Chonnam National University (South Korea).

Laughlin, Richard Associate Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Stetson University; Ph.D., Clemson University.

Velez-Hernandez, Maria Assistant Professor, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; Associate Dean, College of Arts & Sciences; B.S., University of Puerto Rico at Mayaquez (Puerto Rico); Ph.D., University of Puerto Rico at Mayaquez (Puerto Rico).

Emeritus

Peacock, J. Talmer Professor of Biology, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Maryville College; M.S., University of Alabama; Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin.

Perez, John Professor of Biological and Health Sciences, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; Regents Professor; B.S., University of Utah; M.A., Mankato State College; Ph.D., Utah State University.

Wood, Carl Professor of Biology, Department of Biological and Health Sciences; B.S., Texas A&M University; M.S., Texas A&M University; Ph.D., Texas A&M University.

Biology (BIOL)

BIOL 5102  Research Problems I  1 SCH  (0-1)  

Individual problems assigned, defined and supervised by a Biology graduate faculty member with permission of the department chair. Provides experience in individual design, execution and reporting of small units of research of professional caliber. The Research Problems I, II and III courses may be repeated in any combination for a total maximum of 6 semester credit hours applied towards the graduate degree.

BIOL 5104  Graduate Seminar  1 SCH  (0-1)  

An advanced study of biological literature and research with critical class reports. Must be taken four times for credit.

BIOL 5202  Research Problems II  2 SCH  (0-2)  

Individual problems assigned, defined and supervised by a biology graduate faculty member with permission of the department chair. Provides experience in individual design, execution and reporting of small units of research of professional caliber. The Research Problems I, II and III courses may be repeated in any combination for a total maximum of 6 semester credit hours applied towards the graduate degree.

BIOL 5302  Advanced Topics in Biology  3 SCH  (3-0)  

Lectures in selected topics. May be repeated for credit once under a different topic. Prerequisites: 12 semester hours of biology or equivalent.

BIOL 5305  Graduate Research Project  3 SCH  (3)  

Designed for project option students and requires completion of research project. Prerequisite: departmental approval. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 semester hours.

BIOL 5306  Thesis  3 SCH  (3)  

Designed for thesis option students. The course requires completion of thesis research. Prerequisite: departmental approval. May be repeated for maximum of 6 semester hours.

BIOL 5308  Advanced Molecular Genetics  3 SCH  (3-0)  

This course will familiarize students with fundamental concepts of molecular genetics, including gene structure and diversity, transcription and advanced concepts in cellular and molecular genetics.

BIOL 5309  Epigenetics  3 SCH  (3-0)  

This course will introduce fundamental concepts of epigenetics, including chromatin structure, DNA and histone modifications, and non-coding RNAs, and advanced concepts in gene expression regulation. Furthermore, this course will discuss up-to-date research articles to correlate concepts in epigenetics to practical examples.

BIOL 5310  Systems Neurobiology  3 SCH  (3-0)  

This course covers the fundamental concepts of systems neurobiology, including neuronal physiology, sensory and motor systems and complex brain functions like addiction and memory.

BIOL 5311  Advanced Immunology  3 SCH  (3-0)  

The fundamentals of immunology, including the anatomical, physiological, cellular and molecular aspects of both innate and adaptive immunity will be covered. Basic diagnostic tools, counter measures against infections, and provide an overview of human and animal immunity will also be discussed.

BIOL 5312  Advanced Bacteriology  3 SCH  (3-0)  

A showcase of current topics in microbiology including antibiotic resistance, mircobiome, metabolism, or any other topic agreed upon. Students will be expected to read, understand, and analyze published literature, present these papers in front of the class, and dissect the strengths and weaknesses of the published work.

BIOL 5320  Research Problems III  3 SCH  (0-3)  

Individual problems assigned, defined and supervised by a biology graduate faculty member with permission of the department chair. Provides experience in individual design, execution and reporting of small units of research of professional caliber. The Research Problems I, II and III courses may be repeated in any combination for a total maximum of 6 semester credit hours applied towards the graduate degree.

BIOL 5402  Advanced Topics in Biology  4 SCH  (3-3)  

Lectures, literature, investigation and research at the graduate level in selected advanced topics. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

Fee: $6.00

Biology, M.S.

The Thesis option is research-oriented and requires completion of a thesis. This program is for students who plan to pursue a Ph.D. or who want research experience. The Research Project option is content-oriented, and a shorter research problem is required. This program is for those needing more background in formal course work. The coursework-only option is for students who are interested in earning an MS degree but do not intend to complete a thesis or project. The prerequisites for full admission are a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and a Graduate Record Examination (quantitative plus verbal) score of 294. Additional information is provided in the Biology Graduate Handbook, which may be obtained form the Graduate Coordinator or Department Chair. 

Master of Science in Biology (Thesis Degree; 30 credit hours)

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1Semester Credit Hours
BIOL 5104 Graduate Seminar 1
Prescribed Elective Courses 1 7
Free Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours14
Year 2
BIOL 5104 Graduate Seminar 1
BIOL 5306 Thesis 3
BIOL 5306 Thesis 3
Prescribed Elective Courses 1 3
Free Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours Required: 30

Students may take a maximum of 6 credit hours of the Research Programs courses including BIOL 5102, BIOL 5202 and BIOL 5320 (these courses are repeatable). 

Master of Science in Biology (Research Projects Degree Plan; 36 Credit hours)

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1Semester Credit Hours
BIOL 5104 Graduate Seminar 1
Prescribed Elective Courses 1 11
Free Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours18
Year 2
BIOL 5104 Graduate Seminar 1
BIOL 5305 Graduate Research Project 3
Prescribed Elective Courses 1 8
Free Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours18
 Total Credit Hours Required: 36

Students may take a maximum of 6 credit hours of the Research Problems courses, including BIOL 5102, BIOL 5202, and BIOL 5320 (these courses are repeatable). 

Master of Science in Biology (Course-Work Only Degree Plan; 36 credit hours)

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1Semester Credit Hours
BIOL 5104 Graduate Seminar 1
Prescribed Elective Courses 1 11
Free Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours18
Year 2
BIOL 5104 Graduate Seminar 1
Prescribed Elective Courses 1 11
Free Elective Courses 2 6
 Semester Credit Hours18
 Total Credit Hours Required: 36

Students may take a maximum of 6 credit hours of the Research Programs courses, includingBIOL 5102,BIOL 5202 and BIOL 5320 (these courses are repeatable).