Graduate Catalog 2020-2021

Biology (MS)

Program Coordinators: 

Professor Jianying Gu

Building 6S, Room 126A

Email: jianying.gu@csi.cuny.edu

Email: biologymasters@csi.cuny.edu

Telephone: 718.982.4123

Professor Jimmie Fata

Building 6S, Room 129

Email: jimmie.fata@csi.cuny.edu

Email: biologymasters@csi.cuny.edu

Telephone: 718.982.3862

 

The Master of Science degree program in Biology is designed to provide research training and experience in the discipline of biology and allow students to specialize in such areas as biotechnology, molecular/cellular biology and evolution, ecology, and behavior. The program is an appropriate foundation for students whose current goal is a terminal master’s degree as a credential for laboratory or field research and for students who intend to continue to study toward a doctorate program. The program prepares students for careers in the expanding fields of molecular biology, genetic engineering, conservation biology, and biotechnology. Graduates of the program will be prepared to conduct research, to evaluate the research of others, and to write and speak effectively in scientific fields. The program opens the door to careers in clinical and research laboratories, industry, teaching, science writing, and in governmental agencies in the fields of health, environment, and parks.

For the degree, students may choose between two tracks: the general biology track and the biotechnology track. Students in both tracks are required to conduct a research-based thesis. As soon as possible but before completion of 15 credits, all students will assemble their Master’s Committee. The student's committee will consist of at least three members, two of whom must be faculty in the Department of Biology, one of whom will be the student's primary advisor and be responsible for guiding the student through the program. Students may choose a primary advisor outside the Biology Department upon approval of the Program Coordinator. 

Biology Admission Requirements

The Department of Biology Graduate Admissions Committee makes all decisions regarding admission to the program as a matriculated or non-matriculated student. Applicants are required to complete the online CSI Graduate Admissions Application. The GRE general test is recommended but not required of applicants.

  1. BS in Biology degree from an accredited college (students in the last semester of undergraduate study and students with a baccalaureate in another related discipline may also be considered for admission).
  2. Overall GPA of 2.75 (B-) and a GPA of 3.0 (B) in undergraduate science and mathematics courses.
  3. Two letters of recommendation testifying to the applicant’s ability to complete successfully the program of graduate study.
  4. A grade of 550 on the TOEFL test is required of all applicants for whom English is a second language.

Non-matriculated status: Applicants who meet most, but not all, of the admissions requirements may be considered for admission with non-matriculated status.

 

Student Responsibilities

The Biology Master’s Program requires maintenance of 3.0 GPA to remain in good academic standing and to be eligible to complete the graduate degree. Students must establish a committee of 3 full time faculty members with at least 2 from the Department of Biology. One of these faculty will serve as the student’s official advisor. This committee will serve as the student’s thesis committee. Students will meet with this committee at least once per year to assess progress. This committee will also serve as a thesis examination committee.
Faculty Responsibilities

The Program Coordinators are responsible for monitoring the academic performance of each graduate student each semester. These individuals would notify the student’s advisor and committee of any student who receives a grade below B. The Program Coordinators will inform the committee of the requirements for regaining good academic standing for any student placed on academic probation.  The faculty advisor will ensure that the student remains engaged in a productive research project for the student’s thesis. The committee will monitor the student’s progress in thesis research and suggest modifications to the proposed research if necessary. 

Thesis Project

 
Prior to beginning their research project the student must submit a one page description of the thesis project. This proposal must be approved by the committee before beginning research.  The student will then conduct original research in collaboration with their advisor with yearly committee meetings. Upon completion of the research project, the student must write a thesis detailing original research that was conducted under the sponsoring faculty member. The thesis will generally include the following sections: Abstract, Introduction, Materials & Methods, Results, Discussion, References, and figures and/or tables summarizing research. The thesis must be read and approved by the committee. Ordinarily the student will receive written comments from all committee members that she/he is required to incorporate into a final version of the thesis. Upon satisfactory completion of revisions, the readers must sign and approve the thesis/dissertation defense results form. The thesis title must be approved and a properly formatted draft of the thesis must be submitted to the library in accordance with their procedures. Additionally, a copy should be given to all committee members, the Department, and one copy should be kept by the student. 
Oral Thesis Defense
At least one month prior to completion of the thesis, students will consult with their committee and arrange a date for the oral defense. Students will prepare a 30-minute presentation outlining their thesis project with background, experimental design, results and conclusions. The defense may either be public or private with just the committee. Students will be prepared to address questions from their committee or the audience after their defense.  The student will bring the thesis/dissertation defense results form to be signed by their committee.

Transfer Credits

Acceptance of any graduate course taken elsewhere toward the requirements of a CSI degree is at the

discretion of the coordinator of the graduate program. A maximum of nine credits of courses taken elsewhere within The City University may be applied to the MS in Biology with approval of the program coordinator. Alternately, for courses taken outside of CUNY, a maximum of six credits may be accepted for transfer. A grade of 3.0 (B) is the minimum grade accepted for transfer credit.

Master of Science in Biology Degree Requirements

Track A: General Biology

The Master of Science in Biology - Track A: General Biology requires 30 credits to complete the degree. Students must complete a research based thesis project (BIO 799 - 6 credits).  In addition to BIO 799, the following courses are required: BIO 603, BIO 605, and ESC 601. The remaining courses, 15 credits, will be chosen according to the student’s career goals with faculty guidance.

BIO 603Scientific Communication

3

BIO 605Statistical Analysis

3

ESC 601The Biosphere and Our Species

3

BIO 799Thesis Research

1-6

Biology Electives

Five courses chosen from the following:

BIO 617Introduction to Tropical Ecology

3

BIO 705Biology of Cancer

3

BIO 706Introduction to Biotechnology(RLA)

3

BIO 708Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Laboratory(RLA)

3

BIO 710Advanced Topics in Gene Regulatory Systems

4

BIO 715Methodologies of Biotechnology

3

BIO 716Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

3

BIO 722Marine Ecology

3

BIO 727Conservation Biology

3

 

BIO 730Principles and Methods of Systematics, Evolution, and Phylogeny

4

OR

BIO 735Biogeography

4

 

BIO 740Advanced Microscopy

3

BIO 741Cell Culture Techniques

3

BIO 743Cellular Toxicology

4

BIO 750Laboratory Methods in Molecular Genetics

3

BIO 751Molecular Genetics

4

BIO 760Introduction to Bioinformatics and Genomics

4

BIO 761Mathematical Models in Biology

4

BIO 771Principles of Epidemiology

3

ESC 702Community Ecology

3

If the student is matriculated at the College of Staten Island as an undergraduate, they may not repeat any course for credit.  In satisfying these 15 credits, students may also take up to six biology-related graduate courses  offered in other departments at CSI, at other senior colleges in CUNY, or at the Graduate Center upon approval of the Program Coordinator.  Students may also take up to 3 credits of Independent Study, in the event of class cancellation, upon approval of the Program Director.


Track B: Biotechnology

The Master of Science in Biology - Track B: Biotechnology requires 30 credits to complete the degree. Students must complete a research based thesis project (BIO 799 - 6 credits). In addition to BIO 799, the following courses are required: BIO 603, BIO 706, and BIO 708. The remaining courses, 15 credits, will be chosen according to the student’s career goals with faculty guidance.

BIO 603Scientific Communication

3

BIO 706Introduction to Biotechnology(RLA)

3

BIO 708Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Laboratory(RLA)

3

BIO 799Thesis Research

1-6

Biology Electives

Five courses chosen from the following:

BIO 705Biology of Cancer

3

BIO 710Advanced Topics in Gene Regulatory Systems

4

BIO 715Methodologies of Biotechnology

3

BIO 716Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

3

BIO 740Advanced Microscopy

3

BIO 741Cell Culture Techniques

3

BIO 743Cellular Toxicology

4

BIO 750Laboratory Methods in Molecular Genetics

3

BIO 751Molecular Genetics

4

BIO 760Introduction to Bioinformatics and Genomics

4

BIO 771Principles of Epidemiology

3

If the student is matriculated at the College of Staten Island as an undergraduate, they may not repeat any course for credit.  In satisfying these 15 credits, students may also take up to six biology-related graduate courses  offered in other departments at CSI, at other senior colleges in CUNY, or at the Graduate Center upon approval of the Program Coordinator.  Students may also take up to 3 credits of Independent Study, in the event of class cancellation, upon approval of the Program Director.


Total Credit Hours: 30