Program Information

Academics

Advanced Student Status (Non-degree seeking)
Admission to the Non Degree category is restricted primarily to those who may benefit professionally from additional study at the graduate level. For example, current primary, middle grades and secondary education teachers wising to gain recertification most commonly apply as Non-Degree Seeking students. Regardless of the student’s reason for applying non-degree, in all cases the non-degree student must receive permission from the program coordinator or the department chair before enrolling in any graduate course. Please note that if you have been previously enrolled at Clemson anytime in the past six years as a Non-Degree Student in the same area you wish to apply to, then you do NOT need to complete this application. Rather, please complete the Graduate Application for Re-Entrance page.

Non-degree seeking students may complete courses in the Program Curriculum before applying to the Master of Biological Sciences non-thesis program. Students who have taken courses from the Program Curriculum before their admission to the graduate program may transfer 12 credits of those courses into the non-thesis degree program. 

Please note that the tuition rate is higher for Advanced Student Status students (See Finances below). Non-degree seeking students may benefit financially by applying to the degree-seeking program even though they do not intend to complete the program.

Degree Seeking Students (Non-Thesis for Science Educators – Bio Science)
The non-thesis option in the Biological Sciences M.S. degree for science educators requires a total of 30 semester hours of graduate course work. At least 18 of the 30 hours must be at the 800-level. Up to twelve credits of courses below the 800-level may also be transferred with the permission of the Graduate Advisory Committee. To transfer, the course content must be similar to a required course. Also, the graduate school will not accept any course used to fulfill a different degree or a course with a grade below a B or a course completed more than 5 years ago.

A research proposal and project whose results are presented in written format is also a requirement of the non-thesis Master's degree. The scope of the research project is not as extensive as the regular Master’s thesis degree option. However, it is expected that a non-thesis student will conduct original scientific research (at least one semester of data collection during BIOL 8480) and write a research report (BIOL 8490) that is of the caliber of a manuscript suitable for submission to a peer-reviewed journal. The student and student’s graduate committee will determine the research project. For example, teachers may choose a research project that involves using their students to collect and analyze data.



Curriculum

Program Delivery
This program is 100% available through online instruction with 4 courses offered each semester: January-April, May-August, and August-December. Students are limited to only two courses each semester with the exception of BIOL 8480, which may be taken at any time. However, BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry is recommended, not required, before enrolling in BIOL 8480. Anticipated course load for each 3 hour course is approximately 9 hours per week, which includes ~3 hours at lecture, ~3 hours assigned reading, and ~3 hours study/assignments.

The Program Curriculum:
BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry   This online course is designed for teachers and those who want to understand the methods and approaches to biological inquiry. It provides a broad background into the scientific methods utilized in the biological sciences and the application of inquiry-based teaching methods in the classroom.

BIOL 8410 Understanding Ecology and Ecosystems – This online course is designed for teachers and for those who want to understand ecological interactions and systems. It provides a broad background in ecology that includes populations, habitats, communities, trophic interactions, and ecosystems. It provides a foundation for understanding interactions between organisms and their environments.

BIOL 8420 Understanding Cellular Processes This online course is designed for teachers and for those who want to increase their knowledge about cell biology. Students will study how and where intracellular and extracellular molecules control cellular functions such as gene expression, secretion, motility, signaling, cell-cycle control, and differentiation.

BIOL 8430 Understanding Genetics and Evolutionary Biology – This online course is for teachers who want to increase their content knowledge in the areas of genetics and evolution. The course will focus on Mendelian genetics, molecular genetics, gene expression and regulation, population genetics, forces of evolutionary change, and the role of evolutionary change in the origin of new species and the diversity of life.

BIOL 8440 Understanding the Human Body – This online course is designed for teachers and for those who want to increase their content knowledge about the anatomy and physiology of the 11 organ systems in humans. Studies will include food processing and nutrient allocation, circulation and respiration, excretion, communication via hormones and nervous transmission, reproduction, behavior, locomotion and support.

BIOL 8450 Understanding Vertebrate Biology – This online course is designed for teachers and for those who want to increase their content knowledge about the taxonomy, morphology, adaptations, and evolution of vertebrates.

BIOL 8460 Understanding Plant Biology – This online course is designed for teachers who want to increase their content knowledge about plants and includes the study of plants from bryophytes to angiosperms, including growth, photosynthesis, nutrition, reproduction, ecology, and evolution.

BIOL 8470 Understanding Microbiology – This online course is designed for teachers and for those who want to increase their knowledge about microorganisms. Topics include prokaryotic cell structure and function, microbial growth and growth control, food microbiology, bacterial genetics, immunology, virology, microbial diseases, and epidemiology. Laboratory concepts will be emphasized.

BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research Research problems for teachers in selected areas of biological sciences to provide an introduction to research planning and techniques. Teachers will undertake either an instructor approved, individual project or participate in a group creative inquiry project involving their classroom during the academic year. Both are assisted by and under the supervision of the instructor. Instructor note: BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry is recommended before enrolling in BIOL 8480. 

BIOL 8490 Understanding Scientific Communication – This online graduate course will help teachers develop their ability to write grant proposals, scientific manuscripts, and conference presentations on biological topics, and to communicate about biological issues with public audiences.


Course Schedule (beginning spring 2014)
Our courses are offered on a fixed schedule that will facilitate planning your program of study. Typically students are limited to only two courses each fall and spring semesters with the exception of BIOL 8480, which may be taken at any time. However, BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry is recommended, not required, before enrolling in BIOL 8480. Our program can be completed in 6 semesters (2 years) if you enroll in two courses each term; however, a master's student has six years to complete this degree.

Fall Semester
BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry 

BIOL 8420 Understanding Cellular Processes 

BIOL 8440 Understanding the Human Body 

BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research

Spring Semester
BIOL 8430 Understanding Genetics and Evolutionary Biology

BIOL 8450 Understanding Vertebrate Biology 

BIOL 8470 Understanding Microbiology 

BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research

Summer Semester
BIOL 8410 Understanding Ecology and the Environment

BIOL 8460 Understanding Plant Biology

BIOL 8490 Understanding Scientific Communication 

BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research

 Admission


Advanced Student Status (Non-degree seeking)
This status is designed for applicants who are not immediately interested in seeking a degree, but who wish to enroll in graduate-level courses. No letters of recommendation are required of those seeking Advanced Student Status. If you are interested in applying for this status, you must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. Students do not need an undergraduate degree in biology to be considered for admission. Apply under the ND-AFLN-1 code. There is a $60 nonrefundable application fee for non-degree seeking students.

Should you decide to pursue a degree, you will need to submit a new, degree-seeking application and be accepted into the program. There is a required $80 application fee for domestic applicants and a $90 fee for international applicants. Fees are nonrefundable.

Up to 12 credits from your non-degree studies may apply toward your degree, pending department approval.

Degree Seeking Students wishing to pursue a graduate degree at Clemson University should apply for admission using the Degree Seeking application for admission. This includes all applicants seeking a Masters, Doctoral, or any professional degree. In general, degree-seeking applications should be received no later than 5 weeks prior to the first day of class. However, some programs have earlier deadlines. Degree seeking applicants are encouraged to contact the program coordinator for specific program application deadlines and further support materials.


Degree Seeking Students
Admission to the graduate program requires a suitable undergraduate education, two letters of recommendation, a resume, and suitable GRE scores (GRE scores are not required for teachers with 1 or more years of teaching experience.) Students do not need an undergraduate degree in biology to be considered for admission. A satisfactory TOEFL score (550 from paper exam, or 213 from online exam, or 80 from internet exam, or 6.5 or higher on the IELTS test) is required for international students whose native language is not English. There is a required $80 nonrefundable application fee for domestic applicants and a $90 fee for international applicants. Apply for Non-Thesis for Science Educators – Bio Science, code MS-BIOS-1-AAC.

Transfer Courses
To transfer, the course content must be similar to a required course. Also, the graduate school will not accept any course used to fulfill a different degree or a course with a grade below a B or a course completed more than 5 years ago.


Registration

Please send Course Applications to Terrie Jarrett (tjarret@clemson.edu.)


Finances

The Non-thesis Master of Science in Biological Sciences (MS-BIOS-1-AAC) is offered online with no residency requirement. All courses cost $378 per credit hour (both in-state and out-of-state) plus an estimated $65 in fees, or approximately $1199 per course. All courses for non-degree seeking students (ND-AFLN-1) are $430 (in-state) or $862 (out-of-state) per credit hour plus fees, or approximately $1355 or $2651 per course, respectively. Textbooks are an additional cost.

Please note that the tuition rate is higher for Advanced Student Status students. Non-degree seeking students may benefit financially by applying to the degree-seeking program even though they do not intend to complete the program.

Information about financial assistance is at http://www.grad.clemson.edu/financial/FinancialAssistance.php


 Accreditation

Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award the bachelor's, master's, educational specialist and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Clemson University.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

When Do I Apply?
You may apply at any time. There is no application deadline.

How Do I Apply?
Online applications for graduate degree programs are on the Graduate Admissions website (http://www.grad.clemson.edu/Welcome.php). For information about the program, click the List of Degree Programs link and select Non-Thesis for Science Educators – Bio Science, Program Code MS-BIOS-1-AAC.

What Do I Need to Apply?
Admission to the program requires the following:

  • A suitable undergraduate education (you do not need an undergraduate degree in biology to be considered for admission)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • Suitable GRE scores (GRE scores are not required for teachers with 1 or more   years teaching experience)
  • A satisfactory TOEFL score (550 from paper exam or 213 from online exam, or 80 from the internet exam, or 6.5 or higher on the IELTS test) is required for international students whose native language is not English.
  • $80 fee for MS-BIOS-1-AAC applicants, $60 fee for ND-AFLN-1 applicants, or a $90 fee for international applicants. Application fees are nonrefundable.

What Happens After I Apply?
Once all application materials have been received by Graduate Admissions, your file will be forwarded to the Department of Biological Sciences. The Online Graduate Advisory Committee will determine whether candidates are competitive for admission into the Biological Sciences Online M.S. program. The entire process takes from 2-3 weeks.

Who Do I Contact if I Have Questions?

BIOL ONLINE Program Coordinator:
Name: Robert Ballard
Mailing Address: 132 Long Hall

Phone: 864-656-3579

Email: ballard@clemson.edu



BIOL ONLINE Program Assistant:
Name: Terrie Jarret
Mailing Address: 132 Long Hall

Phone: 864-656-2153

Email: tjarret@clemson.edu

Graduate Admissions Information and Submission of Application Materials:
Campus Address: E 209 Martin Hall 

Phone: 864-656-2287