Thesis Based Masters Program

If you have the talent, we have the opportunity.


The Thesis-based M.S. in Biology program in the Department of Biological Sciences is designed for students who wish to pursue advanced studies in professional and graduate school or various vocational opportunities in biological sciences and related areas.  The thesis track is designed for students whose career goals require formal research training.  The program provides the opportunity for broad training as well as specialization in areas of particular interest through the Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCD) concentration and the Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology (E3B) concentration.  Students should consult with their Major Advisor and Supervisory Committee when choosing a concentration and selecting a plan of study.

Early Entry Master's Program In this program up to 9 credit hours of graduate level 5000/6000 BIOL courses may taken as an undergraduate and also be credited toward the Master’s degree. In other words, graduate work will be “double-counted” for both your undergraduate and graduate degrees. See Admission Procedures and Deadlines for details.


Thesis-based M.S. program

  • Total of 30 credit hours to include 4 courses core curriculum, minimum of 1 elective course, and a minimum of 1 credit hour of research and thesis

  • Offers but does not require tracks in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental biology (MCD) and Environmental, Ecology, and Evolutionary biology (E3B).

  • Core MS curriculum includes BIOL8101 Hypothesis Testing, BIOL8102 Cellular and Molecular BiologyBIOL8140Evolutionary BiologyBIOL 8260 Careers in Bioscience: Professional Development

  • Progression through the M.S. program is consistently tracked through completion of appropriate milestones and meetings with the student’s mentor and supervisory committee. Each student matches with a tentative research mentor at the beginning of the first year. By the end of their second semester, students formalize selection of a research mentor and form a qualifying exam/supervisory committee. The oral qualifying examination is completed by the end of the third semester. The student develops a written proposal of his/her intended thesis research to be approved by the supervisory committee. Students must submit their research results to peer-reviewed publications in order to receive external review of their research contribution.

  • Each student must write, submit, publicly defend his or her thesis followed by a defense of the work to the supervisory committee.

  • Average time to completion of the Master’s degree in the program currently is 2.5 years.

  • Students have opportunity for teaching assistanships or research assistantships and need-based tuition assistance determined by FASFA filings may be made by the Graduate School.

Program Description
Degree Requirements
Progression Timelines and Milestones
Choosing a major advisor
Establishing a supervisory committee
Special Courses


Admission Requirements, Procedures and Deadlines
Early Entry Program
Living in Charlotte, NC

Financial Aid
Teaching Assistantships
North Carolina Residency

M.S. Students


Graduate Faculty

Associate/Adjunct Faculty
CMC-Cannon Research Center

For more information contact:

Christine Richardson, Ph.D

Associate Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator
Department of Biological Sciences, Woodward Hall 386B
9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte NC 28223