Biology Lab

The graduate faculty, in cooperation with the biology graduate faculty of Alabama A&M University, offers an M.S. in Biological Sciences with emphasis in cell biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, microbiology, molecular biology and physiology. A minimum of 25 percent of biological sciences course requirements must be met at the cooperating institution. A minimum of 50 percent of the graduate program must be taken at the 600-level. The graduate program of study cannot include more than 4 credit hours each of BYS 691 or BYS 692. Three credit hours of graduate seminar (BYS 690) can be counted toward fulfillment of the graduate program, although it is expected that students will be enrolled in BYS 690 every semester. Titled BYS 691 courses offered on an ad hoc basis and instructed as part of the didactic curriculum are exempt from the 4 credit hour maximum.

Plan I – Master of Science with Thesis

Students will complete coursework (24 credit hours) and perform original research (a minimum of 6 thesis research credit hours) that will be described in their thesis. Students will complete a written preliminary examination in the form of an introductory chapter to the thesis and final oral and written examination (seminar presentation and committee examination of thesis work).

Plan II – Master of Science without Thesis

Students will complete an approved program of coursework (minimum of 33 credit hours), complete a written comprehensive final examination, and write and present a Master's report for the supervisory committee. The report is usually in the form of a literature review, or survey about some topic agreed upon with the student's advisor.

Plan III – Master of Science with Education (Two Choices)
  1. Traditional Program - Students with Alabama Class B certification will complete coursework without specialization in the Department of Biological Sciences (24 credit hours), and in the College of Education (12 credit hours), complete a written comprehensive final examination, write and present a Master's report for the supervisory committee. Graduates will be recommended for Alabama Class A teaching certification.
  2. Nontraditional Fifth Year Program - Students with an accredited baccalaureate degree other than teacher education, seeking initial certification (those that do not have a Class B – baccalaureate level teaching certification) will complete coursework in the College of Education (26 hours, including an internship) and the Department of Biological Sciences (24 credit hours) as well as complete a written comprehensive final examination and write a Master's report. Students will also be required to take a one-hour course, "Introduction to Education," prior to admission to the Teacher Education Program. Graduates will be recommended for Alabama Class A teaching certification.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to fulfilling admission requirements set by Graduate School, applicants must also:

  • Taken the general GRE exam and TOEFL when applicable
  • Biology degree or related course work.
  • At least one of either an advanced (upper division): biochemistry, cell biology, ecology, evolution, genetics, molecular biology or physiology course.
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 as well as in the major area of concentration

Applicants demonstrating potential for graduate study in the biological sciences but having some deficiencies in their previous academic work may be admitted on a conditional basis.

Application Process

In order to complete the application process for the Department of Biological Sciences you must complete the Secondary Departmental Graduate Program application as well as have two letters of recommendation submitted on your behalf. This is in addition to the application that you have filled out from Graduate School. If you are interested in being considered for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) please submit the Graduate Assistantship application form along with your other documents to Graduate School.


Cover letter and application checklist
Secondary Departmental Graduate Program Application
Letter of Recommendation
Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) Application

For full consideration for a GTA please submit all your material before February 15th for Fall semester admittance or August 15th for Spring semester admittance.

We would like you to be as informed as possible about our department and faculty. If you are applying for the Plan I track (MS with Thesis), we strongly recommend that you contact a perspective advisor prior to applying.


We look forward to receiving your completed application and we will give you full consideration for admissions into the UAH Department of Biological Sciences. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 256.824.6992 or at

Dr. Bruce Stallsmith

Director of the Graduate Program, Biological Sciences

Dr. Matthew Niemiller

Chairman of Graduate Admissions Committee, Biological Sciences