5: Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

General Information | Programs and Degrees Offered | Admission Information
Financial Assistance | Graduate Academic Regulations
Requirements for Specific Graduate Degrees | Departments and Programs | Faculty

Non-Departmental | Anthropology | Art | Asian and Middle Eastern | Asian Studies | Astronomy
Biochemistry | Biology | Biological and Physical Sciences | Biophysics | Cell and Molecular Biology
Cell Biology | Chemistry | Classics | Commerce | Drama | Economics | English | Environmental Sciences
French | German | Government and Foreign Affairs | Health Evaluation Sciences | History | Linguistics
Mathematics | Microbiology | Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics | Music | Neuroscience
Pharmacology | Philosophy | Physics | Psychology | Religious Studies | Russian and East European Studies
Slavic | Sociology | Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese | Statistics | Surgery

Master of Science in Biological and Physical Sciences

Admission Requirements   Applications will be accepted from students with a wide range of backgrounds. Admissions standards are high since M.S. candidates will compete with Ph.D. candidates for a limited number of positions. Application may be made through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the applicant must apply to one of the sponsoring departments or programs (biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, microbiology, molecular physiology and biological physics, neurosciences, and pharmacology). In general, applications must be complete by October 15 for a January admission and by April 15 for a September admission.

All applicants must:

  1. have completed an undergraduate degree program (four years or equivalent);
  2. submit results from the GRE and MCAT;
  3. provide a minimum of two letters of recommendation from someone familiar with their academic or scientific qualifications;
  4. submit a brief statement of their reasons for seeking an advanced degree and their career plans; and
  5. may need to demonstrate research experience.

Degree Requirements   Each student must complete successfully not less than 24 credits of graduate courses while regularly enrolled as a graduate student in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. No transfer or extension credits may be counted. A core of four courses (BIOC 503, 504; MICR 811; GSAS 812; and GSAS 710) is required of each degree candidate. The core is generally completed during the first semester of graduate work but may be spread over no more than two years. All candidates are expected to participate in a colloquium, seminar, or journal club series each semester during their first two years in the program (4 credits total). Seminar series and elective courses should be selected based on the student's needs and interests.

All candidates are expected to complete a written research paper and to make a satisfactory standing in a final oral presentation of that paper before an examining committee of two or more faculty members designated by the program in which the candidate is working. The results of the examination, with the names of the examiners, must be reported to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in accordance with GSAS guidelines.

All work for the master's degree must be completed within five years from the time of admission if the work is done primarily in the regular academic session, and within seven years if the work is done wholly or primarily in summer sessions. In special cases, upon approval of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, out-of-date work may be revalidated by the examining committee.

Continue to: Interdisciplinary Program in Biophysics
Return to: Chapter 5 Index