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University of Illinois Springfield

Department of Biology University of Illinois Springfield

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Non-Thesis (Exam) Option

Information Regarding the Non-Thesis (Exam) Option

The closure activity for this option is a comprehensive examination that will cover the coursework the student has completed in fulfillment of the master’s degree. BIO 402 must be taken before the closure exam can be administered. BIO 583 (Closure Exam Preparation) must be taken either during or following the semester when the remainder of the course work has been completed.

The examination consists of both a written and an oral section, which are administered at the end of the semester. An examination committee will conduct the oral examination and will consist of two faculty members from the Biology Department and a faculty member outside the department appointed by the Dean. It wil be offered twice a year in the last week of the spring and fall semesters. A summer exam will be implemented if there is sufficient demand.

To pass the comprehensive examination, the student must obtain a grade of B or higher on both the written and oral exams (grades of B- or lower will not be accepted). In the event the student fails the first comprehensive examination, a second but final opportunity with be given to pass the exam. Campus policy requires students be enrolled in at least one semester hour of closure exercise credit for each semester after they have begun their graduate closure exercises until the degree is completed. If the exam is not passed with the completion of four credit hours of BIO 583, the student must enroll in BIO 584 (zero credit hours, one billable hour) each regular semester (fall and spring) until the exam is passed.

Degree Requirements for Non-Thesis (Exam)Option

Core Requirements (16 Hours)

BIO 402 Biometrics, or equivalent (Spring Year 1) – 4 hours
BIO 502 Biological Research and Policy I (Fall Year 1) – 2 hours
BIO 503 Biological Research and Policy II (Spring Year 1) – 2 hours
BIO 551 Advanced Cell Biology/Molecular Biology (Fall) – 4 hours
BIO 571 Advanced Ecology and Evolution (Spring) – 4 hours

Non-Thesis Option Requirements (20 hours)

BIO 583 Closure Exam Preparation – 4 hours
Biology approved electives – 16 hours*
(Select electives from the Molecular and Cellular or Ecology and Evolutionary categories)

Representative BIO elective courses (400- and 500- level) for the Cell & Molecular Biology category include:

  • BIO 428 Human Diseases (Online)
  • BIO 429 Human Physiology
  • BIO 410 Topics courses which include
    • Biology of Cancer
    • Modeling Biological Systems
  • BIO 510 Topics courses which include
    • Introduction of Bioinformatics
  • BIO 561 Advanced Microbiology: Microbial Ecology
  • CHE 415 Biochemistry I*
  • CHE 416 Biochemistry II
  • CHE 421 Instrumental Analysis
  • CHE 433 Physiological Chemistry*
  • CLS 418 Biomolecular Lab Methods*
  • CLS 447 Medical Mycology, Parasitology and Virology
  • BIO 448/CLS 448 Introduction of Immunology
  • MPH 511 Foundations of Epidemiology

*Only 1 course can count towards degree from CHE 415/CHE 433/CLS 418.

Representative BIO elective courses (400- and 500-level) for the Ecology & Evolution category include:

  • BIO 410 Topics courses vary by semester which may include
    • Animal Behavior (Online)
    • Mammalogy (Online)
    • Ornithology (Online)
    • Modeling Biological Systems
  • BIO 444 Aquatic Ecology (Blended)
  • BIO 445 Biology of Water Pollution (Online)
  • BIO 446 Restoration Ecology (Online)
  • BIO 447 Global Change Ecology (Online)
  • BIO 462 Conservation Biology
  • BIO 479 Evolution (Online)
  • BIO 510 Topics in Biology courses
  • BIO 561 Advanced Microbiology: Microbial Ecology
  • CHE 421 Instrumental Analysis
  • CHE 431 Environmental Chemistry
  • ENS 404 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems
  • ENS 405 Remote Sensing
  • ENS 463 Our Changing Climate (Online, Spring)
  • ENS 468 Environmental Geology
  • ENS 503 Advanced GIS Applications in Environmental Planning
  • ENS 542 Ecosystems Management
  • ENS 571 Sustainable Development (Online, Spring)
  • MPH 449 Environmental Toxicology

*Approved electives can be taken across any of the courses listed in the Molecular and Cellular or Ecology and Evolutionary categories; however, a minimum of 8 credits need to be taken in BIO prefix electives. Electives are grouped based on the area of emphasis for students wishing to specialize their coursework in certain areas. BIO 585 credits cannot be used as electives in the non-thesis option. Electives other than those listed in the categories may be approved only by written permission of the academic advisor and program chair prior to enrollment.