Master of Art in Biology

This program is designed to serve students with diverse backgrounds and goals and provides students with core skills, general knowledge in modern biology, and specific techniques relevant to specialized fields within biology. It is a common stepping-stone degree to UALR’s Ph.D. in applied bioscience.

The Master of Arts option is a 36-credit-hour degree that includes 13 hours core curriculum, 3 hours of seminar, and 20 hours of electives, including at least 9 hours at the 7000 level or above. Students do not receive credit for thesis research hours in the MA program.

Core Curriculum

  • BIOL 5415 Biometry
  • BIOL 7310 Experimental Design
  • RHET 5302, 5304, 5306, 5315, or 5317 Technical/Scientific Writing*
  • BIOL 7191 Graduate Seminar
    Three semesters

Cell and Molecular Biology Track

This track is designed to complement the Ph.D. in Applied Science (Applied Biosciences). Admissions requirements remain the same as those already existing for the biology M.A. Writing skills must be demonstrated either through a graduate technical writing course (see existing core) or through the writing proficiency requirements in place for the Applied Science Ph.D. program. An English Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE) will be offered to all thesis track students each Fall term by the Applied Science Department.

Admission Requirements

Students applying to the master of arts program in biology should meet all the requirements for admission to the UALR Graduate School. Applications for fall semester entry are due by April 15 and spring semester entry applications are due by November 1.

In addition, the following requirements should be met:

  • Baccalaureate degree in an appropriate biological discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Upper- level course work in four of the following six areas:
    • Cell or molecular biology
    • Ecology
    • Evolution
    • Genetics
    • Physiology or
    • Organismal biology
  • Two lecture courses in physics and four lecture courses in chemistry, including inorganic and organic chemistry.
  • Combined scores of 300 on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE general section. GRE tests must have been taken within the last five years.
  • Formal letter of application written by the applicant, including a personal statement of career interests and objectives.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons well acquainted with the applicant. Letters from former faculty are expected. Students applying to the thesis track are encouraged to obtain a letter of support from a faculty advisor.
  • International students must present TOEFL scores. Minimum scores for acceptance are 525 on the paper-based test or 195 on the computer-based version, or 72 on the IBT version.
Conditional Admission

Applicants who do not meet the minimum entrance requirements may be admitted conditionally. In these cases, full admission is contingent upon successful completion of courses to remove any undergraduate deficiencies and completion of 12 graduate credits with a GPA of 3.0 or above.


Graduation Requirements

  • Successful completion of an approved program of study with a minimum GPA of 3.0;
  • Successful completion of comprehensive exit examinations;
  • Successful completion of the thesis and oral defense; and
  • Successful completion of the writing and seminar requirements.

Financial Aid

Graduate assistantships are available to students pursuing the thesis track. These assistantships support teaching and research activities and are available to qualified full-time students. Tuition is paid, and a stipend is provided for living expenses. Financial support is available only to those students making satisfactory progress toward their degree. Students who begin the thesis option and take one or more thesis hours but later elect to switch to the non-thesis (M.A.) track will not be eligible for financial support. Students must pay registration fees, buy textbooks, and purchase any necessary support materials. To learn about the availability of these assistantships, contact a faculty member in your area of interest or the graduate program coordinator before you plan to apply for admission.