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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017


Biology (BIO)

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Master of Science (M.S.)
CIP Code: 26.0101
College of Arts and Sciences (AS)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 30

Contact Information:
College of Arts and Sciences
CMMB or IB Department (BIO)
4202 E. Fowler Avenue
Tampa FL  33620

Program Director or Coordinator:
Refer to Individual Biology Concentrations
Phone: 813-974-2804
Email:

Website: http://www.cas.usf.edu/biology/


Faculty Search: Arts and Sciences Faculty List


Program Information


The Department of Biology was expanded into the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (CMMB) and the Department of Integrated Biology (IB) in 2009. Each Department has its own Chair and Graduate Director and offers students a Master of Science in Biology with a specific concentration associated with either CMMB or IB. There is no general Biology M.S. degree program. The CMMB and IB Departments are located in modern, well-equipped buildings. Research in the CMMB Department is done by faculty housed in the Interdisciplinary Science Building and the Bio-Science Facility building (BSF), and most of the research within the IB Department is conducted by faculty housed in the Science Center building (SCA). Because of the interdisciplinary aspect of most research projects, faculty and graduate students often work together on broad training research projects that bring together many of the traditionally separate areas of biology. Many of the faculty within CMMB and IB are involved in cooperative research with their colleagues in Chemistry, Public Health, Nursing, Medicine, Geology, Psychology, Geography, Marine Science, and Environmental Science. Often CMMB and IB graduate students have faculty members from these other areas of USF as members of their graduate committees.

Because of the many undergraduate courses that require hands-on experimental laboratories, both CMMB and IB support many graduate students as Teaching Assistants. CMMB and IB values high quality teaching at all levels of instruction. Research Assistant positions also are available to support research with specific faculty members depending on an individual faculty members funding. Numerous scholarship opportunities are also offered on a competitive basis through the USF Graduate School.

Application to the Biology Program is through one of the two departments, with students selecting a formal Concentration. Refer to the Concentration listing in the Catalog for specific information and requirements.

Major Research Areas

Cell Biology, Molecular Biology; Signal Transduction and Gene Regulation; Cancer Biology; Developmental Biology; Microbiology; Ecology and Evolution; Environmental and Ecological Microbiology; Physiology and Morphology.

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.

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Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: See Concentrations
Spring: See Concentrations
Summer: See Concentrations

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: See Concentrations
Spring: See Concentrations
Summer: See Concentrations

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.


Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Applying to the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology

Students interested in attending graduate school within the CMMB Department should visit the CMMB website that can be accessed from the main USF site and review the current CMMB faculty. It is recommended that potential students consider at least 2-3 CMMB faculty that they would be interested in working with and communicate this information in their letter of application. It is also recommended that potential students contact the CMMB Graduate Director as well as the individual faculty members they are interested in working with via email. Such communication will facilitate the assignment of the laboratory rotations that CMMB students will participate in during their first semester of residency and also allow the applicant to determine whether the desired faculty member has positions available in the laboratory. All students admitted to the Masters concentration in Cell Biology and Molecular Biology must establish a supervisory committee. The supervisory committee shall constitute the major professor and at least two additional credentialed faculty. At least one of the committee members must be a faculty member at USF. Supervisory committee must be formed within two semesters after matriculation.

The CMMB Graduate Director, CMMB Chair, and the College Associate Dean (or designee) must approve the Supervisory Committee. Once a major professor has been assigned and/or a student occupies or utilizes significant space or facilities for research or analogous scholarly activity directly pertinent to the generation of a thesis, the student shall enroll for two (2) hours of research credit each semester (other than summer semester), until eligible to enroll in thesis credits.

Applying to the Department of Integrative Biology

Students interested in attending graduate school within the IB Department should contact potential major professors to communicate their research ideas and establish that the professor will consider the student's application. The IB Department requires that all students admitted into the MS program have the approval of a major professor. Applicants should contact faculty conducting research in the student's area of interest well in advance of the application deadline. For all master's students, the major professor and at least two additional faculty constitute the student's supervisory committee, the major professor and at least one of the committee members must be from the Integrative Biology Department. Graduate Supervisory Committees must be established within two semesters after matriculation. Failure to do so will be cause for dismissal.

The IB Graduate Director, IB Chair, and the College Associate Dean (or designee) must approve the Graduate Supervisory Committee. Once a major professor has been assigned and/or a student occupies or utilizes significant space or facilities for research or analogous scholarly activity directly pertinent to the generation of a thesis, the student shall enroll for a minimum of two (2) hours of research credit each semester (other than summer semester), until eligible to enroll in thesis credits.

Major Research Areas

Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Signal Transduction and Gene Regulation, Cancer Biology, Developmental Biology, Microbiology, Ecology and Evolution, Environmental and Ecological Microbiology, Physiology and Morphology

Program Admission Requirements

  • Prospective students must apply to a specific Biology M.S. program concentration via the online application process through the USF Graduate School (web site).
  • Must have 3.00 GPA last 60 hours of B.S. degree.
  • GRE: Preferred scores of 500V, 600Q, 4.5AW prior to August 1, 2011; GRE: Preferred scores of 153V, 148Q, 4.5AW for GRE revised general test taken after August 1, 2011.
  • All international students are required to submit the TOEFL test. Non-native English speaking graduate students must score at least 570 on the TOEFL and at least 50 on the TSE to be eligible for a teaching assistantship.
  • For acceptance into the IB Department, acceptance by a faculty member in IB is MANDATORY. IB encourages applicants to contact faculty via email to indicate an interest in the research being conducted in their laboratory. IB will make every effort to pair potential graduate students with appropriate faculty, however, it is recommended that applicants make direct contact with individual faculty. The Graduate Director can assist student in selecting a potential Major Professor.
  • It is expected that candidates for the M.S. degrees will have completed courses equivalent to those required for the B.S. in Biology at USF.

Materials necessary for a complete application are listed below.

The following items should be submitted in the envelope provided to:

CMMB Graduate Office
Attention: CMMB Graduate Director
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave ISA 2015
Tampa, FL 33620-5150

Integrative Biology Graduate Office
Attention: IB Graduate Director
University of South Florida
4202 E. Fowler Ave SCA110
Tampa, FL 33620-5150

  • Transcripts. Two official transcripts in a sealed envelope from each post-secondary institution. Transcripts of work completed at USF will be secured by the Office of Admissions. Thus, applicants need only to secure transcripts from other institutions for your application packet.

  • Letters of Recommendation. Three letters of recommendation from faculty in sealed envelopes (on their university letterhead) with the envelope seal signed by the recommender. Students shall complete a Letter of Recommendation Request Form and submit it to the recommenders.

  • Essay. A brief essay stating your intended field of research and professional goals. Please indicate your specific research interests, in order that we may refer your application to appropriate CMMB faculty members. In the essay please list 2-3 CMMB faculty members that you would like to have review your file. Acceptance into the IB graduate program requires the identification of specific faculty who are willing to direct your research. This final requirement does not apply to students wishing to study in the CMMB Department.

  • TA Application. Applicant must complete the Application for Teaching Assistantship (TA) Form that can be found on the CMMB or IB web sites if they wish to be considered for a TA position. Applicants who do not return this form will not be considered for a teaching position. Applicants should attach a resume to the Application for Teaching Assistantship (TA) Form that highlights any previous teaching experience.

  • GRE Scores. Official GRE scores. This exam must have been taken within the last five years. OFFICIAL test scores must be sent to USF directly from the testing agency.
    The University of South Florida's 4-Digit Institution Code is: 5828

Admissions Status: See Concentration Areas

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Program Degree Requirements

The thesis based M.S. degree requires successful completion of the following:

  • structured coursework
  • an oral qualifying exam
  • research thesis
  • defense of thesis

The Master's Degree Requirements should be completed in two to three years. The CMMB and IB Departments require all graduate work applied toward the completion of degree requirements be completed within a five year period after matriculation. Thesis research should be publishable and students are encouraged to publish their findings. Students must choose a specific concentration in the MS degree that will be completed within either the CMMB or IB Department. The specific requirements for the Master of Science (M.S.) and the specific concentrations are provided below.

Degree Progress
A student must be registered for an appropriate load (in no case fewer than two [2] graduate hours) in the college for the semester in which all degree requirements are satisfactorily completed. A student who receives three grades below “B” in structured courses required by the advisory committee will be dropped from the program. Registration in courses entitled Directed Research, Thesis must be with the approval of the major professor and must be commensurate with each student‘s research plan. Students may not register in Thesis: Master's until a Supervisory Committee has been formed and completed the oral qualifying examination. A student who enrolls in courses entitled “Thesis: Master's” but does not submit a thesis will not be certified for graduation.

 

REQUIRED COURSES

 

Credits

BSC6910
BSC6971
BSC6935

Directed Research
Thesis: Master's
Graduate Seminar in Biology

varies
8
varies

Note: Students admitted to the CMMB Department must complete three laboratory rotations during their first semester of residency.

CMMB Department students must successfully complete the comprehensive qualifying examination. The exam should be taken at the end of the first year, or early in the second year of study. The examination is administered and evaluated by the student's graduate committee.

 

CORE REQUIREMENTS

4

BSC6930

Lectures in Contemporary Biology

1

Note: Enrollment in this course is required for at least two semesters of residency.


Students in the Non-thesis Program

5000-6000 level

30

For students enrolled in the non-thesis program, a 30-hour minimum is required at the 5000-6000 level; 26 hours must be in formally structured courses, 16 hours must be at the 6000 level; 15 structured hours must be offered by Biology.

Note: A review paper of a topic approved by the supervisory committee is required as well as successful completion of the comprehensive oral qualifying exam after all course work has been completed. For non-thesis masters students, this exam will occur at the end of the program of study.

 

CONCENTRATION REQUIREMENTS

Students select one of the following concentrations:

Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (MBG)
Ecology and Evolution (EEV)
Environmental and Ecological Microbiology (EVM)
Physiology and Morphology (PMY)


Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology (MBG)

Concentration
BSC 6932
PCB 6956
PCB 6930


Advances in Scientific Review
Scientific Grant Writing
Advances in Cell and Molecular Biology


2
3
1

Elective Requirements

6

MCB5206
MCB5655
PCB5235
PCB6236
MCB5815
BSC5931
BSC5931
MCB5410
PCB5256
BSC5420

PCB5616
PCB5525
PCB6107
BSC5931

Public Health and Pathogenic Microbiology
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Principles of Immunology
Advanced Immunology
Medical Mycology
Molecular Microbial Ecology
Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics
Cellular Microbiology
Developmental Mechanisms
Genetic Engineering and Recombinant DNA
  Technology
Molecular Phylogenetics
Molecular Genetics
Advanced Cell Biology
Eukaryotic Genomics

3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3
3

3
3
4
3

Note: The supervisory committee may approve additional courses not listed here.

 

CMMB Accelerated Non-Thesis B.S./M.S. Program

This program allows B.S. majors to take graduate courses for the elective part of the Biology degree and apply them to a non-thesis M.S. degree in Biology. Successful students will be able to earn the M.S. degree in two additional semesters beyond the completion of the B.S. degree. This accelerated program shares 12 credits between already existing degrees/concentrations:

B.S. in Cell and Molecular Biology M.S in Biology, Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology (non-thesis option)

Description and Requirements
Biology majors who have completed the following courses may apply to this program:

PCB3023 Cell Biology
PCB3063 Genetics
MCB3410 Cell Metabolism
PCB4024 Molecular Biology of the Cell or PCB4026 Molecular Biology of the Gene

Students who have been admitted to the program but subsequently fail to achieve a 3.0 GPA in the last 60 hours of their B.S. degree, or who do not complete at least 30 of their last 60 hours at USF, will be dismissed from the program.

Once accepted, students must meet with BioAdvise (the advising office for biological sciences within the College of Arts and Sciences) to prepare an action plan to complete the B.S./M.S. accelerated program. This requires them to take all the courses required for the B.S. in Biology: Concentration in Cell and Molecular Biology. Students may take up to 12 credits of graduate courses as electives in CMMB and apply those courses to both the B.S. and M.S. degrees. They will not be admitted as graduate students until they have completed their B.S. degree and met all the requirements for admission to CMMB as graduate students. The action plan should include a schedule of coursework to complete their B.S. degrees and a date in their last year in the B.S. program to take the GRE.

For fall admission to the M.S. portion of the accelerated program, all application materials must be received by February 15 of the same year. For spring admission, the deadline is August 1 of the previous year.

Application materials are the same as the M.S. in Biology:

  1. Two official transcripts of undergraduate work from other institutions. Applicants need not supply USF transcripts.
  2. Three letters of recommendation
  3. A brief essay stating your professional goals
  4. GRE scores must be sent to USF directly from the testing agency (USF institution code is 5828).

Graduate Degree Requirements
Students admitted into the M.S. portion of the program must complete all the requirements for the M.S. degree (non-thesis) within three semesters of admission. The requirement is 30 hours of graduate work with at least 16 of these hours completed at the 6000 level; 26 hours must be formally structured courses; and at least 15 hours must be in CMMB courses. Students will be required to take 3 core-courses from the list below as part of these 26 hours. Of the required 26 hours, 9 hours will be derived from the core-CMMB graduate courses listed below (see associated curriculum). These requirements can be partially met by up to 12 hours of graduate courses taken as undergraduates. Any graduate class taken outside of CMMB must be approved by the CMMB Graduate Director. Students should be aware that a B grade or better is required for every graduate class applied to the M.S. portion of their degree. In addition, students will be required to pass an oral qualifying exam based on a review paper submitted in their final semester. Students must form a committee as part of their action plan to complete their graduate work. This committee will be comprised of at least 3 CMMB faculty, and will serve as the examination committee for the review paper required as part of the MS portion of their degree. Upon approval of that paper, students must successfully complete a comprehensive oral exam by their committee.

Timeline and benchmarks:

  1. Completion of prerequisite upper division courses and application to the accelerated program. Typically students will be in their junior year.
  2. Acceptance into the program and an action plan within a semester of application.
  3. Students will take up to 12 credits of graduate credit in CMMB courses following acceptance into the program. Typically these courses will be taken in the latter half of the junior year and in the senior year. BioAdvise will monitor the progress of the students and ensure they follow their action plan. Students who do not complete at least 9 hours of graduate work by graduation will be dropped from the accelerated M.S. program.
  4. GRE exams will be taken in a timely manner so scores will be available for admission to the M.S. portion of the program. Students who do not complete the GRE in time will not be admitted to the accelerated M.S. program.
  5. Students must apply for admission to the M.S. portion of the program in a timely manner (Fall admission deadline is February 15, Spring deadline is August 1).
  6. Students admitted to the accelerated program must form a committee prior to the beginning of their first semester in the M.S. portion of the program and must continue to follow the action plan which will be monitored by Bioadvise.
  7. Students admitted to the accelerated M.S. program must complete the requirements within three semesters or will be dismissed from the program.

Model Curriculum for Accelerated Non-thesis M.S./B.S.

Year 1

BSC2010
BSC2011

Cellular Processes with Lab
Biodiversity with Lab

4
4

Year 2

MCB3410
PCB3063
PCB3023

Cell Metabolism
Genetics and Lab
Cell Biology and Lab

3
4
4

Year 3

PCB4024
PCB4026

Molecular Biology of the Cell
Molecular Biology of the Gene

3
3

3-hr graduate elective structured course (5000)
3

Year 4

9 hr graduate elective courses (5000 or 6000)

9

Year 5
18 hrs graduate courses
9 hrs of which must be derived from the list below:

BSC6932
BSC6932
PCB5525
BSC5425
PCB6236
BSC6932

Bioinformatics
Virology
Molecular Genetics
Genetic Engineering and Recombinant DNA Technology
Advanced Immunology
Prokaryotic Molecular Genetics

1-4
1-4
3
3
4
1-4

4 hrs non-structured (seminar, independent study, laboratory research)
Oral exam and review paper done at the end of year 5

 

Ecology and Evolution (EEV)

Seventeen (17) credit hours of course work selected from the list below: The graduate student, major professor and Graduate committee will establish the specific courses for each graduate student. Other courses, not listed below, can be substituted if approved by the Graduate Committee. Specific course training beyond this point will be determined in each individual case by the special needs of the student as decided by the student's Graduate Committee.

Concentration
BSC5931
BOT5185
PCB6455
PCB6456
PCB6458
BSC5931
PCB6426
ZOO5463
ZOO5456
BSC6932
BSC6932
BSC6932
BSC6932
BSC6932
BSC6932
BSC6447
PCB6933


Conservation Biology
Marine Botany
Statistical Ecology
Biometry I
Biometry II
Comparative Approaches in Evolution
Population Ecology
Herpetology
Ichthyology
Advances in Population Biology
Advances in Ichthyology
Advances in Herpetology
Advances in Marine Ecology
Scientific Writing
Restoration Ecology
Community Ecology
Seminar in Ecology


3
4
3
4
3
3
3
4
4
1
1
1
1
2
3
3
variable


Environmental and Ecological Microbiology (EVM)

A minimum of seventeen (17) credit hours of course work selected from the list below: The graduate student, major professor and Graduate committee will establish the specific courses for each graduate student. Other courses, not listed below, can be substituted if approved by the Graduate Committee. Specific course training beyond this point will be determined in each individual case by the special needs of the student as decided by the student's Graduate Committee.

Concentration
MCB5206
MCB5655
PCB5235
MCB6930
PCB5525
BSC5931
PCB6456
PCB6458
PCB6455
BSC6932


Public Health and Pathogenic Microbiology
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Principles of Immunology
Seminar in Applied and Ecological Microbiology
Molecular Genetics
Genomics
Biometry I
Biometry II
Statistical Ecology
Advances in Environmental Ecology


3
3
3
1
3
4
4
3
3
1


Physiology and Morphology (PMY)

A minimum 17 credit hours of course work selected from the list below for a minimum of 20 credit hours. The graduate student, major professor and graduate committee will establish the specific courses for each graduate student. Other courses, not listed below, can be substituted if approved by the Graduate Committee. Specific course training beyond this point will be determined in each individual case by the special needs of the student as decided by the student's Graduate Committee. Graduate students concentrating in the area of Physiology and Morphology will select from the following list of courses:

Required

EEX7743

Philosophies of Inquiry

3

Concentration
MCB5206
MCB5655
PCT5235
PCT5525
BSC5931
PCB6456
PCB6458
PCB6455
BSC6932


Public Health and Pathogenic Microbiology
Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Seminar in applied and Ecological Microbiology
Molecular Genetics
Genomics
Biometry I
Biometry II
Statistical Ecology
Advances in Environmental Ecology


3
3
1
3
4
4
3
3
1

 

COMPREHENSIVE EXAM REQUIREMENTS


M.S. in Biology Non-Thesis Option
Non-Thesis. For students enrolled in the non-thesis program, a 30-hour minimum is required at the 5000-6000 level; 26 hours must be in formally structured courses, 16 hours must be at the 6000 level; 15 structured hours must be offered by Biology. A review paper of a topic approved by the supervisory committee is required as well as successful completion of the comprehensive oral qualifying exam after all course work has been completed. For non-thesis master's students, this exam will occur at the end of the program of study.

Comprehensive Oral Qualifying Examination – A comprehensive examination (thesis proposal, seminar/presentation and defense of thesis proposal) is required for all master's students. This examination is open to all departmental faculty. Students must take their comprehensive exam within two years semesters of matriculation and the exam is normally taken after the completion of all formal course work. Thesis students must take the examination at least one semester before the thesis is presented. Any graduate work counted toward the requirement for the M.S. degree must be completed within five (5) years after matriculation.

All thesis-based Master's Degree students must present a seminar to the Department of either CMMB or IB and must be enrolled in BSC 6935, during the final semester. The seminar should be a concise summary of the research completed to satisfy the requirements for the M.S. Degree. The seminar is open to the general public and must be announced two weeks prior to the presentation. Upon completion of the seminar, the general public will be invited to ask questions. At the discretion of the student's graduate committee, members of the committee may continue to question the graduate student after the general public has departed the seminar room. Each student is expected to defend his/her research to the unanimous satisfaction of the graduate committee.

 

THESIS REQUIREMENTS

16

BSC6971
BSC6935

Thesis: Master's
Graduate Seminar in Biology

8
varies

Submission of a thesis proposal and approval by the major professor, graduate committee and graduate director is required.

Seminar requirement: one presentation, excluding the thesis seminar and defense. Students should present posters or oral presentations based on their thesis research at national/regional professional meetings. The student's graduate committee must approve the presentation.

Submission of an acceptable thesis.

 

MINIMUM PROGRAM TOTAL CREDITS (beyond baccalaureate degree)

30

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College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.

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USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —
http://www.grad.usf.edu/policies.php

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Financial Assistance


Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships

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Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at http://www.grad.usf.edu/orientation.php. Then go to http://oasis.usf.edu/ the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: https://netid.usf.edu/una/ to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: http://www.usf.edu/it/class-prep/usf-card.aspx to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.

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Graduate Course Information

Use the list below to lookup graduate courses related to this program in the USF Course Inventory:

BSC6910, BSC6971, BSC6935, BSC6930, BSC6932, BSC6932, PCB6930, MCB5206, MCB5655, PCB5235, PCB6236, MCB5815, BSC5931, BSC5931, MCB5410, PCB5256, BSC5420, PCB5616, PCB5525, PCB6107, BSC5931, BSC5931, BOT5185, PCB6455, PCB6456, PCB6458, BSC5931, PCB6426, ZOO5463, ZOO5456, BSC6932, BSC6932,