Dec 06, 2023  
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022 - 2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED 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 6 credits of research, as BIOL 694 - Directed Non-thesis Master’s Research , 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 may be required to complete one or more undergraduate courses to fill in any gaps in their background from their undergraduate degree that are either necessary as prerequisites for their graduate coursework or are foundational for their teaching obligations and successful completion of their degree requirements. Essential levels of mathematics and chemistry depend on what is appropriate for the individual student. Undergraduate courses 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 suspension from the program.

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