May 06, 2021  
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
2020 - 2021 Graduate Catalog

Biology, M.A.


In addition to Biology graduate requirements stated here, students must also satisfy all other Arts & Sciences Graduate Requirements  in order to earn the M.A. degree.

Course Requirements


M.A. students must complete 32 semester hours of courses at least 20 of which must be numbered in the 600s.

Required Courses

M.A. students may take up to 3 credits of research, as BIOL 690 - Problems in Biology , toward their M.A. degree.

M.A. students may seek permission from the Graduate Committee to take a limited number of courses in other departments for up to a maximum of 12 semester hours.

In addition, students must have at least one semester of organic chemistry and complete a balanced program of study consistent with the requirements we have established for W&M undergraduate biology majors. Most of our students fulfill this requirement as part of their undergraduate degree, but a graduate student may be required to take one or more undergraduate courses to fill in any gaps. Credits taken to fulfill this requirement cannot be applied toward credit hours of graduate courses required for the master’s degree.

Thesis Requirement


There is no thesis requirement for the M.A. in Biology.

Comprehensive Exam Requirement


Each student must pass a Graduate Student Comprehensive Examination covering basic and advanced principles of biology. The exam is given in the student’s second semester, and must be passed or passed conditionally before the beginning of the third semester. Details of the examination and other procedures are provided in the Biology Department Graduate Handbook.

Foreign Language Requirement


There is no foreign language requirement.

Residence Requirement


A minimum residency period of one year is required.

Satisfactory Progress


Each student must achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale in all courses undertaken for graduate credit at William and Mary after admission to the graduate program.  A student who receives a grade of C+ (2.3) or lower in a course may repeat that course one time for credit, upon approval of both the instructor of the course and the graduate director for the student’s program.When such a repeat attempt is approved, the grades for both attempts will count in the cumulative GPA, but only the most recent attempt will count toward the degree.  No credit toward a degree will be allowed for a course in which a student receives a grade below a C (grade point=2.0).

Regular students who drop below a 3.0 average will be given a one-semester probationary period to bring up their average. Failure to attain a 3.0 cumulative average, with a course load of at least 6 credits, by the end of the following semester will result in dismissal from the program.

For additional information regarding requirements, consult the Department of Biology Graduate Handbook.