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Online M.S. in Biological Science for Science Educators (MS-BIOS-1-AAC)

Registering for Courses: Register for classes using this registration portal.

Program Curriculum: The curriculum consists of 10 required courses. Seven of the 10 required courses are science content courses. The other three courses cover how to design an experiment and statistically analyze data, how to write publications and grant proposals, and how to conduct research, respectively. Lectures and assignments are available via Clemson's online student information platform, Canvas, and are available 24/7.

Course Schedule: Our courses are offered on a fixed schedule. 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. The program can be completed in six semesters (two years); 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

BIOL 8710: The only other course we offer is for students whose financial aid requires five or six credit hours minimum and they have only one required course to take during a semester. BIOL 8710 Special Topics in Biology is offered for two or three credit hours. The course requires a research paper on recent advances in biology. You would pick your topic and have it approved by the course instructor. The final paper has a 2,500 (two credit) or 3,500 (three credit) word minimum (not including cover page or references) and should demonstrate a thorough understanding of a particular topic. The paper must be 90 percent or above original. A student should be prepared to review a minimum of eight relevant references that relate specifically to his or her topic. We will give you a Guide for Citing Resources and the assessment rubric for the paper. A student would have to pay tuition for the two or three credit hours. This course does not replace a course listed on your GS2.

Transfer Courses: Degree- and non-degree-seeking students may transfer up to 12 credits of graduate courses into the degree program from accredited degree-granting institutions whose scholastic reputation is acceptable to Clemson University. To transfer, the graduate course content must be similar to one of our required courses with a grade of B or above. Transfer credits must not have been used to satisfy the requirements for any other degree and must have been completed within the six-year period preceding the date the graduate degree will be awarded. Transfer courses cannot be revalidated for graduate credit. There are no exceptions to this requirement.

Plan of StudyThe GS2 is online and accessible through iROAR. Submitting a GS2 is a two-step process that includes:

      • Faculty Advisor selection, and
      • Plan of Study

Below are the steps to navigate the GS2 online. Degree-seeking master’s students must submit the GS2 by the middle of their second semester. The final version of the student’s GS2 must be on file by the date specified by Enrolled Services (graduation deadlines can be found on the deadlines page), or a late fee of $25 for the first day and $5 for every additional day will be charged.

      1. Go to the iRoar portal and select the Current students, faculty and staff option (login required).
      2. On the next screen click the iRoar button, located under the "Current and Future Terms" heading.
      3. From here, click the Student button.
      4. Select the Registration tab that appears just below the student button, and you should now see several options including the GS2 links.

From here you have access to both the GS2 Faculty Advisor Selection and to the GS2 Plan of Study.

Timeline: A student must select his/her faculty advisor and get approval prior to the submitting of the actual plan of study. Degree-seeking master’s students must submit the GS2 by the middle of their second semester. 

GS2 Faculty Advisor Selection and Plan of Study: This is a two-step process, as follows:

      • Step 1 is the Faculty Advisor Selection
      • Step 2 is the Plan of Study
      • Helpful Hints

Faculty Advisor Selection: Non-thesis MS degrees do NOT require a committee: however, they do require a faculty advisor. The faculty advisor for the online M.S. degree in Biological Sciences (MS-BIOS-G-AAC) is Dr. Robert Ballard, C88357337. Once Dr. Ballard is selected, click the submit button to trigger the approval process. You will receive an email when the process has been completed. DO NOT submit a Plan of Study until your faculty advisor is approved.

Once the faculty advisor is selected, click the submit button to trigger the approval process. You will receive an email when the process has been completed. DO NOT submit a Plan of Study until your committee is approved.

GS2 Plan of Study: The Plan of Study must be filed near the beginning of each student's program of study. Students must submit the curriculum by the middle of their second semester following matriculation.

The GS2 should list the following 10 three-credit-hour courses required to complete the 30-credit hour program:

      • BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological
      • BIOL 8410 Understanding Ecology and Ecosystems
      • BIOL 8420 Understanding Cellular Processes
      • BIOL 8430 Understanding Genetics and Evolutionary Biology
      • BIOL 8440 Understanding the Human Body 
      • BIOL 8450 Understanding Animal Biology
      • BIOL 8460 Understanding Plant Biology
      • BIOL 8470 Understanding Microbiology 
      • BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research
      • BIOL 8490 Understanding Scientific Communication

Although not necessary, you may want to add the tentative dates for completion of each course.

GS2 Plan of Study instructions

      • To ADD courses, click on the Course Selection link at the bottom of the page.
      • To REMOVE courses, click on the check box to the left side of the course(s), and then click the Remove button.
      • The ADD TO PLAN button will add the courses to the Plan of Study.
      • To submit for APPROVAL, click on the Submit for Approval button (this will only show if you have courses in your plan).
      • Your plan will remain LOCKED until the approval process completes. Once the process of approval is completed you will be notified by email as to the final decision, either Approved or Denied. After the final decision has been made, you will have the option to UNLOCK the plan and re-submit a new one if so desired.

The date or term to be completed is not required.

GS2 Document Flow

      1. Faculty Adviser
      2. Program Coordinator
      3. Departmental Chair
      4. Associate Dean
      5. Enrollment Services

The GS7 form is not required.

Transfer courses are listed on the GS2 by selecting BIOL courses numbered 6999, 7999 or 8999 (number determined by the course number of the course approved for transfer), then adding an explanation in the Transfer Block, i.e., the institution that offered the course, the course title and the title of the course to be substituted. Submit the course transcripts to the Office of Enrolled Student Services, 104D Sikes Hall.

Do not add anything to the Professional Development Comments/Academic Integrity Activities block.

Remember, once you hit submit, you will not be able to alter your GS2 until everyone has approved or someone has denied your plan.

Legal Presence

In accordance with section 59-101-430 of the SC Code of Laws, also known as the South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act, those unlawfully present in the United States are prohibited from attending a public institution of higher education in South Carolina. Those unlawfully present in the United States are also prohibited from receiving a public higher education benefit including scholarships, financial aid, grants or resident tuition.

What documents will be accepted as proof of U.S. citizenship?

      • SC driver's license if you were born after Jan. 1, 1987.
      • U.S. Passport.
      • U.S. or U.S. Territory birth certificate.
      • Certificate of Naturalization.
      • U.S. Government Issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
      • Certificate of Citizenship.
      • Social Security approval via Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA).

I am taking all coursework online and will not be in South Carolina before I need to register for the subsequent term. What can I do? You may e-mail a scanned copy of one of the approved documents above to Registration Services.

Using email

Email communications for the university go through your Clemson email address. You'll need to contact CCIT to set up your email once you've been accepted. If you do not use your Clemson email address, you may miss out on important information.

Tuition and deadlines

The following links will give you information about paying tuition and the deadlines for payments to be made:  


Canvas is Clemson University’s learning management system that instructors can use to deliver course content, communicate with students, enable student interaction, and provide on-line assignments and assessments. Whether the course is taught face-to-face, fully online or as a hybrid, instructors can use Canvas to more fully engage students in learning activities while reducing some of the administrative overhead of managing a class.

Using Canvas

      • Go to the Clemson home page
      • Click on the Students button just below the banner on the left side of the Clemson homepage. 
      • Once loaded, look for the link in the vertical list on the right side of the page; click the Canvas link.
      • Enter your Clemson username and password, and click enter
      • The next page that loads will be in Dashboard and you will see a list of your courses.
      • On the right side of the page, you will see links for Courses, Canvas Help and Canvas Resources.

Canvas FAQ —


Ensemble is a lecture capture system. The system enables faculty to record audio, course visuals and optional video for students to review in digital format. This provides students with powerful tools that can be used to provide instruction that is entirely web based. Students will have the ability to seek forward or back in a presentation to particular segments of the captured session. The captures can be viewed via a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari) and/or be downloaded to a computer or mobile device.

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