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Master of Science in Marine and Environmental Biology

Quenton Fontenot, Ph. D.
Associate Professor
Head of Department of Biological Sciences

Office: 114 Gouaux Hall
Phone: 985-448-4700

Aaron Pierce, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Coordinator of Graduate Studies in Marine and Environmental Biology

Office: 115 Beauregard Hall
Phone: 985-493-2628

Specific Requirements

Through this Master of Science program, students will be prepared for “real world” scientific marine and environmental technologies and skills to foster the economic development of the unique and vital natural resources of the region serviced by Nicholls State University. The program will teach students to develop and apply the basic science and biotechnology of the twenty-first century to the needs of the region’s economically important resources, its industries, and its communities.

Requirements for admission and completion of the M.S. program are listed below. A thesis based on graduate research, a publication on the thesis research, and an oral comprehensive exam is required.

Curricular Tracks

The M.S. program in Marine and Environmental Biology has two curricular tracks:

1) Pre-Marine and Environmental Biology

  • Non-degree track baccalaureate graduates taking Marine and Environmental M.S. graduate courses to accumulate postgraduate hours, or students working toward admission into the M.S. degree track by the Departmental Admissions Committee.

2) Marine and Environmental Biology

  • M.S. degree track students accepted into the M.S. program by the Departmental Admissions Committee, but working toward M.S. course prerequisites and/or acceptance of a thesis research project by their major professor and Thesis Research Committee.
  • M.S. degree track students accepted into the program and working with their major professor and Thesis Research Committee toward the M.S. degree.

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • B.S. degree in a science curriculum
  • Minimum GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • A combined (verbal and quantitative) GRE score of 1,000 for exams taken prior to August 1, 2011, OR a combined GRE (verbal and quantitative) score of 300 for exams taken on or after August 1, 2011
  • Three letters of recommendation from professionals in the field
  • Approval of the Departmental M.S. Admissions Committee for acceptance into the M.S. in Marine and Environmental Biology track

Completion Requirements

  • Students must complete the 17 hours of core graduate courses and complete a minimum of 18 hours of graduate electives. No more than six hours of graduate electives may be from undergraduate/graduate 400* level courses.
  • Students must take at least one course with LUMCON.
  • Students must compose and submit a thesis based on graduate research. In addition, a manuscript based upon thesis research must be submitted for publication prior to graduation.
  • Students must pass an oral defense of the thesis.
  • No more than six hours of transfer credit can be applied to graduation, and transfer must be (1) credit in a course applicable to the graduate training and (2) approved by the Thesis Research Committee, Graduate Coordinator, and Department Head.
  • No more than 6 hours of C’s can be counted toward the degree and a minimum GPA of 3.0 must be maintained.
  • The graduate program must be completed in six years.
  • Other requirements will be in accordance with Graduate Studies as described in the Nicholls State University Catalog.

Graduate Course Work

Required Courses: (17 hrs.)

  • BIOL 501 (1)- Graduate Seminar
  • BIOL 551 (3) – Marine and Environmental Biology I
  • BIOL 552 (3)- Marine and Environmental Biology II
  • BIOL 560 (1)- Marine and Environmental Biology Regulation, Law & Policy Workshop
  • BIOL 571, 572, or 573 (2)-  Internship
  • BIOL 591 (1) (592 (2), 593 (3), 594 (4)) – Thesis Research – 6 hrs. total required
  • BIOL 599 (1)- Thesis

Elective Courses: (minimum of 18 hrs. required; maximum of 6 hrs. from *400 level; maximum of 6 hrs. from **GEOM courses):

  • *BIOL 421 (3)- Genome Biology
  • *BIOL 425 (4)- Applied and Environmental Microbiology
  • *BIOL 465 (4)- Marine Conservation and Management
  • *BIOL 472 (2), 473 (3), and 474 (4) – Special topics plus LUMCON based courses including, “Our Changing Coastal Ocean.”
  • *BIOL 473 (3),474 (4) – Other graduate LUMCON summer courses
  • *BIOL 480 (4)- Environmental Biotechnology
  • *BIOL 483 (3)- Marine and Estuarine Biology
  • *BIOL 490 (3)- Environmental Toxicology
  • BIOL 504 (3)- Ecological Restoration
  • BIOL 515 (3)- Wetland Birds
  • BIOL 522 (3)- Biodiversity and Human Health
  • BIOL 535 (3)- Marine and Estuarine Invertebrate Immunity
  • BIOL 537 (3)- Applied Ecology
  • BIOL 541 (4)- Molecular Biotechnology
  • BIOL 545 (3)- Environmental Public Health Microbiology
  • BIOL 555 (3)- Advanced Oceanography
  • BIOL 556 (3)- Biology of Polluted Waters
  • BIOL 561 (3) – Wetlands Plant Biology
  • BIOL 566 (3) – Population Dynamics of Marine Organisms
  • BIOL 567 (3) – Marine Conservation and Management
  • BIOL 568 (3)- Professional Scientific Writing
  • BIOL 570 (3)- Special Topics
  • BIOL 575 (3)- Environmental Diagnostics and Biomarkers
  • BIOL 580 (3)- Bioremediation of Toxic Environments
  • BIOL 581 (2)- Analytical Techniques for Environmental Applications
  • BIOL 585 (3)- Aquatic Toxicology
  • *CHEM 490 (3)- Special Topics in Chemistry
  • **GEOM 501 (3)- GIS Applications
  • **GEOM 511 (3)- GPS for Mappers
  • **GEOM 521 (3)- Remote Sensing
  • **GEOM 531 (3)- Spatial Databases
  • MATH 507 (3)- Biostatistics

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