Duration and Scope of the Program

Duration and Scope of the Program


The MSc Program in Biology usually requires 2-3 years to complete, but is dependent on student progress.

In addition to coursework, students must complete a research-based thesis to earn the MSc. degree. 

Research requires dedication, time, and flexibility. Students should be prepared to devote considerable time and effort to their research. This may involve working long hours in the lab or field, potentially including evenings and weekends in order to finish within the 2-3 year time frame.

It is important that students discuss research expectations with their Faculty Advisor before starting the program.

Students who plan on continuing their education by applying to a professional school (e.g., veterinary, medical and dental school) or to graduate school (towards a Ph.D.) should be aware that many of these schools do not accept students until they have completed the MSc.


Completing the MSc in Biology degree

Timeline of important events

  • Before the start of the first semester (or soon after), the student should meet with his/her Faculty Advisor to:
    • Plan a research project
    • Select a graduate committee to advise the student during his/her tenure as a graduate student
    • Determine the coursework appropriate for his/her plan of study, including plans for enrollment in Biol 5010
  • No later than the end of the second semester of enrollment in the program the student must give his/her thesis oral proposal presentation (see below)
  • In the final semester:
    • The student must enroll in Biol 9990, Candidate for Degree, the semester he/she defends the thesis or project if not enrolled in any other course.  If the student has previously defended the thesis or project, and all coursework has been completed, then enrollment in Biol 9990 is not required.
    • Complete all paperwork required by the graduate school. The Schedule of Deadlines can be found here: https://graduateschool.uccs.edu/current-students/graduating-this-semester
    • Note, the online Admission to Candidacy form is completed by the student and emailed to the Biology MSc Advisor.  After approving the form, the MSc Advisor will submit it to the Graduate School for final approval.
    • Any problems found by the Graduate School must be addressed and corrected before the student can graduate.


For more information regarding topics such as Faculty Advisor, Graduate Committee, Course Requirements, Thesis, Safety & Compliance, and Leave of Absence please refer to the Graduate Biology Handbook.

Access the Handbook here!