Doctor of Philosophy
Students who select biology as their major subject, in addition to meeting the regular University requirements, must have a general knowledge of related sciences such as chemistry, mathematics, and physics, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of the various aspects of biology, as attested by the completion of prescribed courses and examinations. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences stipulates that students must present a degree constituting no fewer than 72 hours of graduate credit of which no more than 18 are Non-Topical Research. As part of the 72 credit hours, the department requires successful completion of required first year courses and a minimum of 20 credits of graduate-level-lecture or laboratory course work. These requirements are subject to change from year to year, but a current list may be obtained from the Biology Department. Courses offered by other departments may be used to satisfy the degree requirements, with prior approval of the department. The completion of residency and course requirements does not guarantee a degree; the preeminent qualifications are thoroughness in research, resourcefulness, initiative, creative ability, intellectual drive, and skilled application of the scientific method.
Master of Arts and Master of Science
The minimum residence requirement is one session and one full summer at the University, or three full summers. A Master’s degree candidate must successfully complete a minimum of 30 credits of course work at the graduate level, 24 of which must be exclusive of 8000-level and 9000-level research courses. Successful defense of a written thesis is required, with the M.S. thesis based primarily on a student’s independent laboratory research.
Master of Arts in Conservation Biology
Students in Environmental and Biological Conservation (EBC) in the Biology Department are expected to have advanced undergraduate or graduate experience in ecology, evolution, and genetics. The core requirements for this degree include one course in Ecology, one course in Evolution, and a 3rd course in either subject. In addition, a course in Conservation Methods and a seminar in Environmental and Conservation Biology are required. Additional conservation-oriented classes may be taken with approval from the EBC Advisory Committee to meet the requirement of 16 total credits of graduate coursework. In addition to the above coursework, 12 credits of independent study, on an approved topic related to Conservation Biology, must be taken for a total of 30 credits. Additional courses required of all M.A. students must also be taken.
Mountain Lake Biological Station
Additional graduate courses are offered during the summer session at the Mountain Lake Biological Station. There is also a Mountain Lake Master’s Degree Program. Further information may be obtained from the Director, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Department of Biology, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400327, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4327, http://www.mlbs.virginia.edu/ or from the Director of the Summer Session, Dell Building 1, University of Virginia, P.O. Box 400161, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4161.