Approved Electives (15 units):
100- or 200-level Biology or closely-related courses with the approval of the thesis advisor and committee. At least 21 units of the total must be taken in 200-level courses in biology or closely related courses. 100-level courses are allowed up to 9 units. Any combinations of BIOL 290 and BIOL 295 are counted toward graduation up to 6 units.
Graduate Writing Requirement (GWR). Passing the GWR is a prerequisite for the advancement to candidacy petition. To pass the writing requirement, students must submit a formal research proposal relevant to thesis work to thesis committee members and receive at least a score of 3 out of 5 in each of the four evaluation categories from all members. The GWR scoring rubric is available from the department website (https://csm.fresnostate.edu/biology/msinbiology/index.html). For more information, please contact the graduate coordinator.
Advancement to candidacy. Advancement to candidacy must be achieved at least one semester prior to the term in which you register for thesis (BIOL 299 ) and graduation. At least 9 units are needed before advancement to candidacy (the filing semester is also counted as “before advancement”). You also need to pass the GWR prior to the petition. The advancement to candidacy package, which is composed of the completed committee assignment form, your thesis proposal (GWR), GWR scores, and completed petition of advancement to candidacy form (available online from the Division of Research and Graduate Studies), will be distributed to Biology faculty for evaluation/approval before submission to the Division of Research and Graduate Studies. For more information, please contact the graduate coordinator.
Penultimate semester committee meeting. All graduate students must complete a mandatory committee meeting in at least the semester prior to the intended semester of graduation, present a PowerPoint of research hypotheses/results/data interpretation, and secure approval from the thesis committee for thesis submission. Policy and approval form are available from the department website (https://csm.fresnostate.edu/biology/msinbiology/index.html). For more information, please contact the graduate coordinator.
Thesis and research work. Your thesis work should start when you enter the program as your thesis research takes a longtime and often does not go as you planned. A departmental form is required for enrolling into BIOL 299 (Thesis) and available in the Biology office. Be aware that your thesis must be completed and approved online by each of your thesis committee members before online thesis submission, and that the thesis submission deadline is not the end of the semester, but about a month earlier and set by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies each academic year. The final (thesis) semester in which you enroll into BIOL 299 should be ideally spent mostly on thesis writing.
Exit seminar. Seminar should be delivered before the final instruction day for the semester. Thesis committee chair must be present, along with other committee members (or designees).