The Department of Biology is organized into two broad areas of specialization: Cell and Molecular Regulation (CMR) and Ecology, Evolution and Systematics (EES). In either of these areas, students may elect to pursue
one of the following programs of graduate study:
  • Master of Arts – M.A.
  • Master of Science – M.S.
  • Doctor of Philosophy – Ph.D
The M.A. program is designed to prepare graduates for further training or for careers in academic, private or government sectors.  The M.A. program emphasizes course work and does not require a thesis.  Students applying for an M.A. degree generally desire to broaden their knowledge and/or become more competitive in seeking employment or gaining admission into a health science program (medical school, dentistry, etc.). 

Students applying to the M.S. program may do so for reasons similar to those for the M.A. program.  However, they also desire to gain experience in laboratory research, including experimental design, interpretation of data, and scientific writing.  The M.S. degree requires a formal research project and thesis and is excellent preparation for continued graduate studies at the doctoral level, or for employment in environmental, industrial or research companies.

Doctoral studies emphasize intensive research training under the direction of a member of the graduate faculty.  Once a Ph.D. student successfully completes required course work and the written and oral qualifying examinations, he or she is expected to design and conduct an original research project and to work independently.  The student will be required to present his/her work at local and/or national professional meetings and may also be expected to seek external funding to support the research project.  Ideally, the student's research will result in publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Excellent research facilities are available in individual faculty labs; the Department also maintains a core facility. 
Additional research opportunities exist through collaborations with the Medical School and local institutions such as Danforth Plant Science Center, Monsanto, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Saint Louis Zoo.