Biology, Pedagogy Concentration (M.S.)

The graduate programs in the Biology and Molecular Biology Department are designed to enable a student to develop his or her preparation for a career in biological fields requiring advanced training or for the teaching profession.

Research facilities of the Biology and Molecular Biology Department are maintained in Science Hall and include specialized equipment for molecular biology, electron microscopy, botany, microbiology, immunology, aquatic biology, tissue culture, animal behavior, and cell physiology. Additionally, the facilities at the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium, New Jersey School of Conservation, and other departments in the College of Science and Mathematics are available for cooperative graduate research. Faculty research interests include aquatic and terrestrial ecology, developmental biology, parasitology, microbiology, immunology, cell physiology, molecular biology, plant physiology, entomology and evolutionary mechanisms. The Biology and Molecular Biology Department has recently established a state-of-the-art molecular biology laboratory for teaching both introductory and advanced courses in molecular biology and biotechnology.

The Biology and Molecular Biology Department offers thesis and non-thesis students opportunity for graduate research under faculty supervision in selected areas of biology. Original research should not exceed 8 credits for thesis students and 5 credits for non-thesis students. Students must complete a minimum of 26 credits in biology, 9 credits of required courses, a minimum of 5 credits of research and a maximum of 18 credits of electives.

The MS in Biology with a concentration in Pedagogy is intended for certified Biology teachers interested in enhancing and updating their content expertise, exploring and conducting research on biology learning, and expanding their insights into pedagogy. Students will complete 32 credits of coursework in biology, biology education, and curriculum and teaching and/or educational foundations. Students must take a minimum of 20 credits in biology and 6 credits in College of Education and Human Services and can take a maximum of 6 credits outside the department including BIOL courses taken as a non-matriculated student, courses taken in other MSU departments, and courses transferred from other institutions. Students must receive a B or better in these courses and the credits can not have counted toward another degree.

This is a non-thesis program that can include graduate research under faculty supervision. Introduction to Biological Research (BIOL 599) as well as Research in Biological Literature (BIOL 597) within this concentration will focus on science education as it applies to Biology. Original research (BIOL 599) should not exceed 4 credits.

The MS in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology addresses the needs of Biology educators, other Biology professionals and those wishing to re-tool their job skills. This program helps to meet the challenges of improving science literacy and implementing new science curriculum standards, and to meet the needs of surrounding biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.  Hands-on experience is emphasized and real world problems are presented to the students.  Students also get a firm grounding in molecular biology theory.


Prior to matriculation for the Master of Science degree in biology, the student should have completed a subject matter of at least 24 credits in biology and have adequate preparation in college chemistry, mathematics and physics.

In cases where there has been a weak undergraduate program in the major and/or collateral fields, prerequisite courses, which will not count towards graduate credit, may be assigned.

The matriculation program for MS candidates is prepared in consultation with the biology Graduate Program Coordinator. Changes in the program can be made only with the written approval of the Graduate Program Coordinator. It is the responsibility of the student to keep the coordinator informed of progress in the program.

A successful interview by the department committee is also required.

Program Requirements

Required Courses
BIOL 520Plant Physiology3
or BIOL 540 Mammalian Physiology
BIOL 547Molecular Biology I3
BIOL 570Ecology3
Pedagogy Concentration
BIOL 510Biology Pedagogy for Secondary Teachers3
BIOL 601Advanced Biological Science Education Pedagogy3
Complete twice:3
Selected Techniques in Biology Science Education
SASE 530Principles of Curriculum Development3
or PSYC 560 Advanced Educational Psychology
Biology Electives
Select 10 credits from the list (see below)10
Research in Biological Literature
BIOL 597Research in Biological Literature1
Comprehensive Examination
In the term that you will sit for exam, register for the section which matches your major & advisor. Successfully pass exam.
GRAD CMPComprehensive Examination0
Total Credits32

Biology Electives

BIOL 500Introductory Molecular Cell Biology1.5
BIOL 505Experimental Cell Culture3
BIOL 512Topics in Modern Genetics3
BIOL 514Graduate Seminar in Biology2
BIOL 515Population Genetics3
BIOL 520Plant Physiology3
BIOL 521Field Studies of Flowering Plants4
BIOL 522Plant Pathology3
BIOL 529Advanced Herpetology4
BIOL 532Advanced Entomology3
BIOL 533Advanced Cell Biology3
BIOL 540Mammalian Physiology3
BIOL 542Advanced Endocrinology3
BIOL 543Advances in Immunology3
BIOL 544Advanced Comparative Animal Physiology3
BIOL 545Experimental Endocrinology4
BIOL 546Topics in Physiology3
BIOL 548Molecular Biology II4
BIOL 549Topics in Developmental Biology3
BIOL 550Topics in Microbiology3
BIOL 551Intermediary Metabolism I3
BIOL 552Biology of Lipids3
BIOL 554Microbial Physiology3
BIOL 555Medical Genetics3
BIOL 556Molecular Biology of Proteins3
BIOL 557Virology3
BIOL 558Microbial Genetics3
BIOL 560Molecular Genetics3
BIOL 561Genomics3
BIOL 562Short Topics in Molecular Biology1
BIOL 563Statistical Genomics3
BIOL 564Proteomics3
BIOL 565Advanced Plant Molecular Genetics3
BIOL 566Bioinformatics4
BIOL 568Advanced Neuroscience3
BIOL 571Physiological Plant Ecology4
BIOL 572Wetland Ecology4
BIOL 574Behavioral Ecology3
BIOL 575Avian Biology4
BIOL 576Biology of Extreme Habitats3
BIOL 579Physiological Ecology of Animals3
BIOL 580Evolutionary Mechanisms3
BIOL 586Selected Advanced Topics in Biology3-4
BIOL 587Selected Advanced Topics in Molecular Biology3-4
BIOL 588Selected Advanced Topics in Physiology3-4
BIOL 589Selected Advanced Topics in Ecology3-4
BIOL 592Graduate Colloquium1
BIOL 593Molecular Ecology3
BIOL 594Signal Transduction3
BIOL 595Conservation Biology: The Preservation of Biological Diversity3
BIOL 596Selected Techniques in Biology Science Education1.5
BIOL 598Selected Techniques in Molecular Biology1.5
BIOL 599Introduction to Biological Research4