Academic Programs Catalog

College of Natural Science

Department of Integrative Biology

Graduate Study
Integrative Biology - Master of Science

The graduate degree programs in integrative biology are designed for students who seek a career in education and research in the biological sciences, and/or application of biological knowledge in the private and public sectors. The objectives of the programs are to train the next generation of scientists in integrative biology who will tackle some of the major issues of our time including the responses of biological systems to environmental variation and change. The programs provide students with a broad knowledge of the field through courses and seminars and prepare students for independent and original research in one of the various specialized subdisciplines of integrative biology. Faculty and staff work on a wide range of biological systems and emphasize the integration and synthesis of information from various levels of biological organization, from molecules to ecosystems. Areas of active research include genetics, cellular and developmental biology, systematics, paleontology, comparative morphology, physiology, behavior, and ecology and evolutionary biology.

Students may obtain specialized graduate training through interdepartmental graduate programs. Integrative Biology faculty are affiliated with interdepartmental graduate programs and research in genetics, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, and ecology and evolutionary biology. Additional information about the doctoral programs in genetics and neuroscience, and about the Specialization in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, may be found in other sections of this catalog. Students specializing in ecological research may take courses and carry out research at the W. K. Kellogg Biological Station located near Kalamazoo.

Faculty research interests as well as information on admission, financial aid, and the requirements for the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are available from the department Web site. Interested students are also encouraged to contact the Chairperson or the Graduate Program Director for further information.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the university and of the College of Natural Science, students must meet the requirements specified below.


Regular admission to the graduate programs in integrative biology is granted to students having a bachelor's degree, with training in the biological sciences at least equal to that required for this degree at Michigan State University; a grade–point average of 3.00 or better; and one year each of chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination General Test and approval of the department also are required. Students who do not meet the requirements for regular admission may, under certain circumstances, be admitted on a provisional basis while deficiencies are being corrected.

Requirements for the Master of Science Degree

The student must complete a total of 30 credits for the degree under either Plan A (with thesis) or Plan B (without thesis).