2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
    Jul 15, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Biology, M.S.

Prior to admission into the program, students must complete the following:


The following courses must be completed before starting the program:

Accelerated Masters Program Details and Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Students applying for admission to a master’s program through the Accelerated Option submit an Accelerated Master’s Program Application, which must be approved by the graduate program director, department chair, and college dean. Application can be made as early as the first semester of the junior year, but typically in the third semester prior to completion of the undergraduate degree and with at least one full semester remaining at the time of application. Students must have completed at least 12 credit hours in the undergraduate major by the time they are admitted into an Accelerated Path. Undergraduate students admitted to a master’s program through an Accelerated Path must maintain

  • a cumulative GPA of 2.5 and
  • a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher in all of their BIO/ONE courses

Degree and Tuition Policies

Once admitted to a master’s program through the Accelerated Path, students may take up to a maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate coursework (as outlined) and have those hours count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Students will be charged at the undergraduate rate and retain eligibility for undergraduate scholarships. For each semester in which they take courses for both undergraduate and graduate credit, students must complete a “mixed credit” registration form that is approved by the graduate program director, department chair and college dean. Students taking courses for graduate credit must adhere to all relevant graduate policies.

Students admitted to an Accelerated Path Master’s Program must meet all graduate program admission requirements at the time they complete the baccalaureate degree and must meet all degree completion requirements of the graduate program. 

Students applying to an Accelerated Path Master’s Program must:

  • Be a currently enrolled Fontbonne University student
  • Have completed at least 60 credit hours (including the BIO 132/134 sequence and BIO 204, with a grade of B- or higher in each of these courses.)
  • Have at least one full semester an undergraduate remaining
  • Possess a minimum Fontbonne cumulative GPA of 2.5

Additionally, before beginning the Accelerated Master’s Program in Biology, students must:

  • Formally be accepted into the Program
  • Complete BIO 397 (on Peoples Exploited in Science) and the BIO 201/202 sequence
  • Select and receive Faculty Approval to join a research lab

Student and Program Expectations

Teaching Assistantships - Students will be expected to participate as Teaching Assistants for lab portions of specific undergraduate courses (eg BIO108, BIO 245, CHM 106) throughout their fifth year. Students will need to have passed the course they TA as an undergraduate and will work closely with the Course Coordinator to learn best practices in science pedagogy, including but not limited to: inquiry-based learning, experimental design within labs, and resource allocation as well as more general best practices in pedagogy: inclusive teaching practices, universal design, and equitable grading practices. Additionally, these TA positions will serve as a community of practice wherein TAs mentor undergraduates students, especially working to support students of color, in our research pipeline and success in science. Students will receive compensation, with funds used to offset tuition payments (default) or received as funds (with application).

Principal Investigator - Students may complete their research in any qualified laboratory at Fontbonne or at a partner institution, including the Saint Louis Zoo, the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Botanical Garden. PIs must approve of the applicant’s joining their research group and agree to mentor the student in advance of acceptance into the program.

Research Support - Scientific research is exceedingly expensive. While it will be expected that both the student and the supporting faculty member routinely apply for external funding for the support of the student, each student may apply to receive up to $1500, remitted to the department, for the express support of Master student’s research expenses. This amount will be reviewed every 5 years to ensure program success in response to rising publication costs. These expenses can include supplies and consumables, small equipment, publication costs, and expenses incurred as a result of the presentation at conferences, including registration fees and travel expenses. All expenditures must be approved by the PI, with unusual expenses requiring approval by the Deptartment Chair.

Thesis and Formatting - In response to the ever-growing recognition of the importance of publication, it is increasingly accepted that dissertations and theses in the sciences are formatted in accordance with the journal guidelines, if under review or in press, even if the resulting thesis chapters are not uniformly formatted across the document.


Learning Outcomes

  • Objective 1: Upon completion of the MS in Biology degree, graduates will be able to demonstrate organized and clear experimental design and data analysis skills.
  • Objective 2: Upon completion of the MS in Biology degree, graduates will be scholars of scientific literature, as demonstrated by their having successfully written a literature review and presented their evidence-driven research findings.
  • Objective 3: Upon completion of the MS in Biology degree, graduates will be able to have furthered their field in biology by contributing to the scientific discourse via independent biological research.