Master of Science Degree in Biology: Thesis Option

Graduate Student Picture

This degree is a good choice for students who are interested in biological research and careers that would require the use of the scientific method. Students accepted into this program work closely with a UNK faculty advisor to design a program that will help them meet their goals. This program requires the student to be in residence for a significant portion of the program.

If you would like to be considered for this program, there are several steps that should be completed:

Step 1

Contact Dr. Paul Twigg, Graduate Program Chair for the Department of Biology. This program has limited positions, so it is important that you inform us of your interest in the program. Dr. Twigg can be contacted at 308-865-8315 or

Step 2

Find potential research advisors. Go to the Biology Faculty and Staff page to view research expertise and find potential faculty members with whom you might like to work. You should then contact those faculty directly by email to see if they are taking graduate students and would work with you on a project. Before students can be accepted into the program they must have at least one faculty member that would be willing to support their application. This is a small program, so we are unable to accept students who have not already communicated with a potential research mentor.

Step 3

Complete an application, send transcripts, GRE scores, and a letter of intent to the Office of Graduate Studies and Research, and pay the appropriate fee.

Step 4

Apply for an assistantship. The UNK Biology Department tries to provide funding opportunities for students. Faculty members may have grant money to support students. This money provides students with research assistantships. Students may be provided with monetary support to complete research for the faculty member. These positions are controlled by the faculty members. Students who are not supported by research assistantships may apply for teaching assistantships. The Department of Biology offers some teaching assistantships that pay for 18 hours of coursework per year and pay a monthly stipend. Teaching assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis and are limited to but not guaranteed for two years of support.