BIOLOGY
Program Requirements

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Department's Graduate Student Requirements

The Master of Science degree in biology is a multi-disciplinary program that allows students advanced study in several traditional and non-traditional areas of biology. Students have the option of a general M.S. degree in biology or may obtain an M.S. degree in biology with a formal concentration in aquatic science, cellular and molecular biology, clinical microbiology, microbiology, nurse anesthesia, or physiology. Admission to the program is based, in part, on scores on the GRE general exam, undergraduate grade point average (GPA), letters of recommendation, and on individually prescribed undergraduate course work to meet prerequisite requirements for each concentration. Each student will choose a major adviser and an advisory committee during the first semester of residence. This committee will assist the student in drafting the student’s plan of study, which will dictate the student’s curriculum for the ensuing semesters. All students complete a capstone experience. Students obtaining the M.S. in Biology or M.S. in Biology: Concentration in Clinical Microbiology complete a thesis or seminar paper. Students obtaining the M.S. in Biology: Concentration in Aquatic Science, Concentration in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Concentration in Microbiology, or Concentration in Physiology complete a thesis. Students obtaining the M.S. Biology: Concentration in Nurse Anesthesia complete extensive clinical training.

Biology Graduate Student Requirements

All graduate students in biology must meet the following requirements:

1.  Prior to registration each semester, the student must consult with the major adviser.
2.  Submit a written thesis or seminar paper proposal to the advisory committee prior to the midterm of the second
     semester of residence. CRNA students are exempt from this requirement and are not required to complete a thesis or
     seminar paper as part of the degree program.
3.  Enroll in BIO 751 or MIC 751, Graduate Seminar, during the first four semesters of residence. Two of the semesters must
     be taken for one credit each; the other two semesters will be taken on an audit (no credit) basis. CRNA students are
     exempt from this requirement.
4.  Students who are on campus, utilizing university staff and/or facilities must enroll for a minimum of two credit hours per
     term, including fall or spring semester, and summer sessions.
5.  Students are encouraged to complete an appropriate graduate course (numbers 500 and above) from outside the
     departments of biology and microbiology. Upon approval of a student’s advisory committee, a student may be permitted
     to take a maximum of 10 graduate credits in other departments.
6.  Graduate assistants are required to enroll as full-time students during the first two semesters of residence.
7.  Pass a preliminary oral examination covering the student’s area of specialty and advanced course work.
8.  Complete at least 15 credits of 700-level course work.
9.  Consult this catalog and the department’s graduate student guidelines for additional policies pertaining to graduate
     students in a biology program.

M.S. BIOLOGY

This traditional master’s degree program is designed to provide the most beneficial learning opportunities based on career goals and the student’s area of focus. It is intended for students who do not plan to obtain one of the formal concentrations within the M.S. Biology program. Students are required to (1) complete a thesis or seminar paper in an area of biology, (2) pass an oral comprehensive exam, and (3) complete 30 credits selected by the student and the advisory committee

AQUATIC SCIENCE CONCENTRATION

This concentration requires (1) completion of a research thesis in an area of aquatic science, (2) passing an oral comprehensive exam, and (3) completion of 30 credits with at least 15 credits from the following list; remaining credits are to be selected by the student and the advisory committee.

    Credits
BIO 505 Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants 2
BIO 514 Freshwater Invertebrate Zoology 3
BIO 519 Quantitative Methods in Ecology 3
BIO 522 Ichthyology 3
MIC 534 Aquatic Microbial Ecology 3
BIO 547 Standard Methods and Quality Assurance of Water Analyses 3
BIO 548 Aquatic Toxicology 4
BIO 563 Aquatic Animal Health 3
BIO 564 Stream and Watershed Ecology 3
BIO 799 Research: Master’s Thesis 1-6
  Total Credits 30

With the approval of the student’s advisory committee, other courses may be substituted for those listed.

CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY CONCENTRATION

This concentration requires (1) completion of a research thesis in an area of cellular or molecular biology, (2) passing an oral comprehensive exam, and (3) completion of 30 credits with at least 15 credits from the following list; remaining credits are to be selected by the student and the advisory committee.

    Credits
MIC 516 Microbial Genetics 5
BIO 532 Biology of Cancer 2
BIO 535 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 536 Molecular Biology Lab 1
BIO 537 Plant Growth and Development 3
BIO 543 Molecular Mechanisms of Disease 3
BIO 563 Aquatic Animal Health 3
BIO 714 Advanced Genetics 3
BIO 799 Research: Master’s Thesis 1-6
  Total Credits 30

    Credits
MIC 516 Microbial Genetics 5
BIO 532 Biology of Cancer 2
BIO 535 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 536 Molecular Biology Lab 1
BIO 537 Plant Growth and Development 3
BIO 543 Molecular Mechanisms of Disease 3
BIO 563 Aquatic Animal Health 3
BIO 714 Advanced Genetics 3
BIO 799 Research: Master’s Thesis 1-6
  Total Credits 30

With the approval of the student’s advisory committee, other courses may be substituted for those listed.

CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY CONCENTRATION

This concentration is offered by the Department of Biology, the Department of Microbiology, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Laboratories/St. Joseph’s Hospital/Marshfield Clinic, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. This program involves on-campus coursework and clinical rotations at Gundersen-Lutheran Medical Center, Marshfield Laboratories/St. Joseph’s Hospital/Marshfield Clinic, and the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. Students who complete the Concentration in Clinical Microbiology are eligible to secure Specialist Microbiologist (SM-AAM) certification of the American Academy of Microbiology. The combination of classroom education, clinical rotations, and research experience will prepare students for a variety of employment opportunities including: 1) supervisory positions in medical centers and public health and private reference laboratories, 2) research and development positions in academia, government agencies, or industry, 3) infection control positions in clinical settings, 4) public health and epidemiology, 5) marketing and sales in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries, and 6) teaching at community or technical colleges. This concentration requires (1) completion of a research thesis (Plan A) or seminar paper (Plan B) in an area of clinical microbiology (including an oral defense of the thesis or seminar paper), (2) passing an oral comprehensive exam, and (3) completion of the core curriculum of a minimum of 32 credits.

Admission Requirements

1.  Individuals accepted into the Clinical Microbiology program must hold a Bachelor of Science degree or equivalent in
     Microbiology, Biology, or a related field with competency in Microbiology. Graduates with a Clinical Laboratory Science
     Degree from a program accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS) are
     also eligible. Minimum prerequisites for admission to the program are MIC 230 (Fundamentals of Microbiology), MIC
     406/506 (Immunology), MIC 407/507 (Pathogenic Bacteriology), or equivalent courses. A strong chemistry background
     including Biochemistry is strongly recommended. Students lacking prerequisites may be conditionally admitted to the
     concentration contingent on remediation of prerequisites. Remediated prerequisite courses do not count toward the
     M.S. degree.
2.  Cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.85.
3.  Completion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). A minimum score of 1000 for the total general test scores for
     verbal and qualitative sections is strongly recommended.
4.  Students must complete an “Application for Admission to Graduate Study” form. (Students requesting financial aid must
    also complete the “Application for Graduate Assistantship” form).
5.  Three current letters of recommendation.
6.  An application letter which details
     -- academic and professional goals
     -- previous relevant experiences
     -- reasons for selecting program
     -- intent to pursue thesis or non-thesis track or undecided
     -- research interest(s) if pursuing the thesis track
     -- possible faculty mentor(s) for research if pursuing the thesis track
     -- additional information available at http://www.uwlax.edu/clinmicro/admission.htm
7.  Completed application forms, letters of recommendation, and applicant letter must be returned to the Admissions Office
     by January 20. Early applications can be considered prior to the deadline. A review committee will assess all
     submitted materials and a letter of decision will be sent to the applicant by February 15. An interview may be required
     in some instances. Acceptance or non-acceptance is based upon a comprehensive review of all elements of the
     completed application. Late applications will be considered if enrollment objectives have not been satisfied.

Core Curriculum
Plan A -- Thesis Credits
MIC 500 Orientation to Clinical Microbiology 2
MIC 554 Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity 2
MIC 751 Graduate Seminar 2
MIC 753 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 2
MIC 755 Advanced Immunology 2
MIC 770 Clinical Microbiology - Practicum I 5
MIC 780 Clinical Microbiology - Practicum II 4
MIC 790 Clinical Microbiology - Practicum III 2
MIC 799 Research: Masters Thesis 6
    Minimum Elective Credits 5
    Total Credits 32
Core Curriculum
Plan B -- Non-thesis Credits
MIC 500 Orientation to Clinical Microbiology 2
MIC 554 Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity 2
MIC 751 Graduate Seminar 2
MIC 753 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 2
MIC 755 Advanced Immunology 2
MIC 761 Research Paper 2
MIC 770 Clinical Microbiology - Practicum I 5
MIC 780 Clinical Microbiology - Practicum II 4
MIC 790 Clinical Microbiology - Practicum III 2
    Minimum Elective Credits 9
Total Credits 32

Electives

Elective courses to complement the career goals of the student or to make up academic deficiencies will be agreed upon by the student and the student's advisory committee. Students may be required to take additional elective courses based on recommendations of their committee.

    Credits
MIC 506 Immunology 4
MIC 507 Pathogenic Bacteriology 4
BIO 506 Parasitology 4
BIO 512 Mycology 4
BIO 513 Medical Mycology 3
MIC 516 Microbial Genetics 5
MIC 520 Introductory Virology 3
MIC 521 Virology Laboratory 2
MIC 525 Bacterial Physiology 5
MIC 527 Industrial and Fermentation Microbiology 3
MIC 528 Fermentation Microbiology Laboratory 2
MIC 534 Aquatic Microbial Ecology 3
BIO 535 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 536 Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
MIC 540 Bioinformatics 2
CLI  540 Clinical Parasitology 1
MIC 542 Plant Microbe Interactions 3
MIC 554 Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity 2
MIC 555 Methods in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Disease Research 3
MIC 560 Symposium in Microbiology 1-4
BIO 563 Aquatic Animal Health 3
BIO 701 Communications in the Biological Sciences 4
MIC 714 Advanced Genetics 3
MIC 721 Directed Studies 1-2
MIC 730 Biodegradation and Bioremediation 2
MIC 753 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 2
MIC 755 Advanced Immunology 2
MIC 799 Research: Master’s Thesis 1-6
  Total Credits 30

MICROBIOLOGY CONCENTRATION

Admission to the microbiology concentration requires a minimum of one introductory microbiology course (MIC 230; Fundamentals of Microbiology or equivalent). Students lacking an introductory microbiology course may be conditionally admitted to the concentration contingent on remediation of this prerequisite. This concentration requires completion of a research thesis (MIC 799, 2-6 credits) in an area of microbiology (including an oral defense of the thesis), passing an oral comprehensive exam, and completion of 30 credits of graduate course work with at least 20 credits from the following list. The remaining credits are selected by the student and the advisory committee.

    Credits
MIC 506 Immunology 4
MIC 507 Pathogenic Bacteriology 4
BIO 506 Parasitology 4
BIO 512 Mycology 4
BIO 513 Medical Mycology         3
MIC 516 Microbial Genetics        5
MIC 520 Introductory Virology 3
MIC 521 Virology Laboratory 2
MIC525 Bacterial Physiology 5
MIC 527 Industrial and Fermentation Microbiology 3
MIC 528 Fermentation Microbiology Laboratory 2
MIC 534 Aquatic Microbial Ecology 3
BIO 535 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 536 Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
MIC 540 Bioinformatics 2
CLI 540 Clinical Parasitology 1
MIC 542 Plant Microbe Interactions 3
MIC 554 Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenicity 2
MIC 555 Methods in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Disease Research 3
MIC 560 Symposium in Microbiology 1-4
BIO 563 Aquatic Animal Health 3
BIO 701 Communications in the Biological Sciences 4
MIC 714 Advanced Genetics 3
MIC 721 Directed Studies 1-2
MIC 730 Biodegradation and Bioremediation 2
MIC 753 Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases 2
MIC 755 Advanced Immunology 2
MIC 799 Research: Master’s Thesis 1-6
  Total Credits 30

NURSE ANESTHESIA CONCENTRATION

This concentration is jointly offered by the department of biology and Franciscan Skemp Healthcare, La Crosse, Wis.  Students simultaneously complete requirements for the Master of Science degree in biology and educational requirements to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). Candidates for this concentration must apply separately and be accepted into the Franciscan Skemp Healthcare School of Anesthesia. This concentration requires:  (1) passing an oral comprehensive exam, (2) completion of the core curriculum of 31 credits, and (3) completion of a research project.

CRNA Core Curriculum Credits 
BIO 511 Human Gross Anatomy 6
BIO 524 Endocrinology 3
BIO 715 Pathophysiology I 3
BIO 717 Pathophysiology II       3
BIO 718 Advanced Human Physiology I 4
BIO 719 Advanced Human Physiology II 4
BIO 720  Research in Anesthesia 2
CHM 530 Chemistry in Health Sciences 3
ESS 782 Electrocardiography 3
  Total Credits 31

PHYSIOLOGY CONCENTRATION

This concentration requires (1) completion of a research thesis in an area of animal physiology, (2) passing an oral comprehensive exam, and (3) completion of 30 credits with at least 15 credits from the following list; remaining credits are to be selected by the student and the advisory committee.

    Credits
BIO 524 Endocrinology 3
BIO 528 Animal Metabolism, Nutrition and Disease 3
BIO 532 Biology of Cancer 2
BIO 535 Molecular Biology 3
BIO 536 Molecular Biology Laboratory 1
BIO 565 Neurophysiology 3
BIO 756 Neurobiology Laboratory Techniques 2
BIO 718 Advanced Human Physiology I 4
BIO 719 Advanced Human Physiology II 4
BIO 799 Research: Master’s Thesis 1-6
  Total Credits 30

With the approval of the student's advisory committee, other courses may be substituted for those listed.