Aug 12, 2022  
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog 
2014-2015 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Master of Arts in Biology

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Department of Biological Sciences
375 Dodge Hall   (map)
(248) 370-3550 • Fax (248) 370-4225

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Graduate Coordinator:
Douglas L. Wendell
316 Dodge Hall
(248) 370-4457


Program description

The Master of Arts in biology is a non-thesis master’s program that has a larger and broader course component, but a lesser research component, than the Master of Science in biology. The Master of Arts in biology is designed for those students who wish to teach at the secondary or community college level and students who hold full-time jobs.

Admission terms and application deadlines

Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.

  • March 1 for fall semester
  • November 1 for winter semester
  • International applicants: March 1 for fall semester and September 1 for winter semester

Applications for fall semester that are received after the program due date, but before university deadlines, may be reviewed, subject to space availability.

Application requirements

To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:

  2. Additional department application requirements
  • Applicants should have earned a bachelor’s degree in biology or related subject (e.g., biochemistry, molecular biology, botany or zoology) from a regionally accredited institution or proof of a U.S. equivalent degree for foreign educated applicants.
  • Applicants with an earned bachelor’s degree is in another discipline must have completed 20 credits in biology, 8 credits in mathematics, 8 credits in physics and 15 credits in chemistry. Applicants with undergraduate prerequisite course deficiencies in these areas must complete the preparatory course work before being admitted to the program.
  • Applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
  • Biographical sketch stating career goals
  • Applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and arrange for their official GRE scores to be submitted to Oakland University. The institution code for Oakland University is 1497.
  • International applicants must take both the general and subject Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and arrange for their official GRE scores to be submitted to Oakland University. The institution code for Oakland University is 1497.

Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 with the appropriate academic background and evidence of the capacity for graduate study may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a specified number of graduate credits, with a GPA of 3.0 or above within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission.

Admission review and assessment

Admission to graduate study at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.

Related links

Transfer credits

Official transcripts must be on file in Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning. The credits earned must be from a regionally accredited institution and must carry a grade of 3.0 (B) or better. Courses graded Pass/Fail or Credit/Non-Credit are not transferable. Credit must be earned within six years of the time the degree will be conferred and may not have been used toward another degree. Only courses labeled “graduate” (numbered 500 and above) may be transferred. The total number of credits transferred may not exceed 9, and no more than 1 credit will be awarded per week of instruction (i.e., a 4-credit course must meet a minimum of 14 hours per week for four weeks - a minimum total of 56 class hours or 47 clock hours of instruction).

Degree requirements

The candidate for the Master of Arts in biology degree must complete 32 credits, including 28 credits of biology graduate-level lecture courses with a minimum of three courses from the cell/molecular track and a minimum of three courses from the ecology, evolution, behavior track. In addition, M.A. students must complete 4 credits of BIO 590.

Course requirements

a. General requirements

1. Cellular/molecular biology track (12 credits)

Students must choose a minimum of three courses from the following (or equivalents as approved by the chair of the Graduate Committee):

2. Ecology, Evolution, Behavior Track (9 credits)

Students must choose a minimum of three courses from the following (or equivalents as approved by the chair of the Graduate Committee):

b. Exit (4 credits)

M.A. students will earn their 4 credits of BIO 590 by working with one or more faculty members on a research project. The student will be required to write a report on their BIO 590 research. The departmental Graduate Committee will determine if students have met the degree requirements for the awarding of the M.A. in biology.

Satisfactory academic progress

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.

Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.

Good academic standing

All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.

Good academic standing is a requirement for:

  • Holding a Graduate Assistantship
  • Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
  • Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
  • Going on a leave of absence
  • Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.

Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.

Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.

Related program information

Plan of study

All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.

Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility  section of this catalog.)

Note:  Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.



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