2012-2013 Catalog 
    Apr 16, 2024  
2012-2013 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Letters, Arts, and Sciences Master of Sciences Degree Program (MSc)

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This program is the only graduate-level program in the natural and physical sciences that can be taken entirely at UCCS. The breadth of the program allows students to emphasize their principal discipline of interest and also to take several courses in a related department. There is no list of required courses in the degree program. Instead, each student designs his or her own program in consultation with a departmental advisor.

The Master of Sciences (MSc) Program is a cross-disciplinary program leading to the Master of Sciences degree. It provides an opportunity for present and prospective science and mathematics professionals and others to extend and/or broaden their training in the natural and physical sciences and mathematics at advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

The MSc options are:

  • Biology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Organismic Biology 
  • Exercise Science
  • Chemistry 
  • Mathematics
  • Mathematics Teaching
  • Physics

Wide latitude is possible in the details of a degree plan so that each student may follow a course of study most pertinent to his or her interests and career goals. Each degree plan must be approved by the MSc Director and the student’s advisor.

All courses credited toward the degree after admission must be taken at the University of Colorado, on the Colorado Springs, Denver, Health Sciences or Boulder campuses, over a maximum of five years or six successive summers.

Requirements for Admission

General regulations for admission to the Graduate School apply; see the Graduate School section in this Bulletin.

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • At least 40 semester hours in the natural sciences and mathematics, preferably including one year of calculus. (Several departments accept other mathematics courses in lieu of calculus.) Students may be admitted to the program with a deficiency in mathematics but must remedy the deficiency within one year after admission with a grade of C or better.
  • GPA of 2.75 or higher, depending on the option. A student with an undergraduate grade point average below 2.75 must take the GRE prior to consideration for admission.

 How to Apply

Submit complete MSc application including the following: Please check with the program department for supplemental materials, or other specific requirements.

  • Cover letter stating intent and interest of obtaining an MSc; cover letter will be used as a writing sample
  • Application for Graduate Admission: Parts 1 and Part 2
  • Resume
  • Confirmation of in-state classification
  • Two official transcripts from all previous higher education institutions attended
  • Letters of recommendation: three preferably, at least one from an undergraduate professor
  • Letter from a sponsor: required for biology option
  • Application fee: $60 for domestic students and $75 for international students
  • Selective Service form: for all male applicants
  • GRE: original only if required by option

Contact your program of interest or you may contact the UCCS Graduate School, http://www.uccs.edu/gradschl/. All forms, transcripts, and supporting documents should be sent directly to the program department of interest.. Student advising is available through the Program Director.

Requirements for MSc Degree

General regulations of the Graduate School governing the award of the Master’s degree apply except as modified below:

  • 30-36 semester hours of science and/or mathematics courses numbered 3000 and above
  • Select Thesis (requires thesis) or Non-Thesis (requires paper) option: Completion of a paper describing a research project or other specialized study on a topic is to be approved by the director and the student’s advisor. Approval of the topic is given on the basis of a written explanation or precis submitted within six months of entering the program. The final paper must be approved by the student’s committee and is in lieu of the comprehensive examination. Thesis option students write a thesis on their research rather than a paper. Students give a presentation and defend their thesis before a thesis defense committee. Publication of thesis results is encouraged.
  • If a thesis is written, the student will take 24-26 semester hours of course work and 4-6 semester hours of thesis credit. These are to be selected from two or more departments.
  • All courses must be taken from approved Graduate School faculty members.
  • Fifteen or more hours in science/math must be from courses numbered 5000 and above. Courses may be selected from the following departments: biology, chemistry, education, health sciences, geography, mathematics, and physics.
  • Because not all courses will be appropriate for all programs, students should first consult with their advisor before enrolling. An academic plan should be completed during the student’s first semester.
  • Minimum grade point average: Courses at the 3000 and 4000 levels will be accepted toward the degree only with grades of A or B; 5000 and 6000 level courses will be accepted toward the degree with grades of A, B, or C. Students must have a B average in all courses taken subsequent to admission to the program, including courses not actually required for the degree.

Thesis or Non-Thesis Option

The student has the option of selecting Plan I or Plan II.

Plan I: Thesis Option:

30 semester hours, including 4-6 hours of thesis credit. At least 15 semester hours must be at the graduate level in their primary department. A minimum of three credit hours must be taken from a secondary department. Student must write a thesis on their research, give a presentation, and defend their thesis before a thesis defense committee. Please see your program advisor of department for the Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines and Manual.

Plan II: Non-Thesis Option:

30 semester hours; at least 15 semester hours must be at the graduate level in their primary department. A minimum of three credit hours must be taken from a secondary department. Student must complete a paper describing a research project or other specialized study on a topic and give a presentation. This paper must be approved by the student’s committee.

Master Of Sciences Program Options:

MSc Mathematics Option

Students must (1) develop a reasonable degree of competence in the fields of analysis and algebra and (2) demonstrate a depth to their mathematical education. Towards that end, the requirements for the Mathematics Option in the Master of Sciences Program in addition to those already specified above are as follows:

  • Students must complete a minimum of 15 semester hours of graduate courses (5000 and above) offered by the mathematics department.
  • Students must complete (with a grade of B or better) of the following courses:
  •   (or its equivalent)  and      (or its equivalent)
  • Students must complete a year-long sequence of mathematics courses, sharing a common mathematical topic. The common topic of the sequence may be one of algebra, analysis, probability and statistics, or mathematical applications. The courses of this sequence must be 4000 level or higher. For example, MATH 4140 and MATH 5130, or MATH 4140 and MATH 5150 will constitute an acceptable sequence in analysis.

The details of this requirement are to be specified in the student’s program plan that is to be approved by the chair of the Graduate Committee  of the Mathematics Department.

The student opting for the Mathematics Option must arrange for a faculty advisor during the first or second semester after admission. The student, together with the advisor, will construct an academic plan and will decide on the details of the paper or thesis option. To formally arrange for the advisor, the student should contact the chair of the Graduate Committee of the Mathematics Department.

MSc Biology Options:

The MSc in Biology student can choose the following options: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Organismic Biology, Exercise Science

The outcome in the MSc in Biology are the following options: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Organismic Biology, Exercise Science 

  • Demonstrate an increased knowledge of the major theories and concepts on two major areas (biology and one other) of study in the sciences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of and the ability to apply the fundamentals of research methodology and statistical analysis to the interpretation and evaluation of scientific data and research reports.
  • Demonstrate the ability to communicate knowledge of two major areas of study in the sciences both orally and in writing.
  • Be prepared for jobs or advanced education in a field of science.

Program Description

The MSc in Biology program emphasizes options in the following natural science departments: biology. Two-semester sequence courses (which are offered in some of the natural science departments) are encouraged where appropriate. The student’s courses in his or her department of emphasis are supplemented with several courses from a second department. Please see your program advisor for supplemental courses (or electives).

The complete Biology Program includes 30 semester hours of course work, of which 15 or more hours must be at the graduate level (5000 level or above). Thesis research is not counted toward this 15-hour requirement. The 30 hours may also include 3 semester hours of upper-division courses or seminars.

Biology: (Biology, options: Molecular and Cellular Biology, Organismic Biology, Exercise Science) Students interested in the Biology program must meet with the faculty member advising their area of interest. Requirements will vary but will likely include at least one 400-level course taught by that faculty. A sponsor is necessary for admission. Please contact the Biology department for more information. Thesis is required. Please see your program advisor or department for the Thesis and Dissertation and Manual.

MSc in Chemistry

Chemistry, MSc : Students interested in the chemistry graduate program should contact the chemistry program advisor of current requirements and research opportunities.

MSc in Physics

Physics, MSc : Students interested in the physics program must meet with the physics program advisor.

Research students in the program are especially encouraged to begin research projects by their junior year and no later than their fourth year so that they may submit significant theses upon completion of the fifth year as part of a thesis MSc degree.

Mathematics and Science Teaching Options

This option requires 36 semester hours of study. The same rules are followed as for the science option except that 24 hours of science/math and 12 hours of education courses are required.

For the 12 hours of required education courses, students should consult their advisors to choose courses suitable for their programs.

Students may select either Plan I: thesis or Plan II: non thesis option.

Forensics Science Option

The Forensic Science Option emphasizes the basic sciences and clinical application of forensic study. The student’s program is supplemented with several courses from a second department. The secondary department may be any of the following: biology, chemistry, psychology, or sociology.

BA/BS-MSc Dual Degree Program option

For students majoring in biology, chemistry, or physics

The dual degree program is a high quality, five-year program designed for students who wish to pursue further graduate studies such as doctoral programs and for those who wish to be gainfully employed in work in the natural or physical sciences upon graduation.

By achieving two degrees in a shorter period than traditionally possible in some of the MSc disciplines, students can benefit from an enriching research experience beyond what they would achieve by completing a BA or a BS alone.

Dual Degree Entrance Requirements

Applicants must be biology, chemistry, or physics majors, have junior or senior status, and a minimum overall GPA of 3.1. Qualified students will be admitted to the Dual Program (as “Dual Program majors”) based upon the recommendation of the faculty (three letters of recommendation). Students will be accepted into the Dual Program as juniors or seniors, and, subject to their satisfactory performance, are subsequently accepted into the graduate school upon completion of the BA or BS degree.

Transfer Students

Upon receiving acceptance to UCCS, transfer students interested in the Dual Program should consult with a departmental advisor.

Major Requirements

Each department has a minimum set of requirements in the major that must be met before a student can be admitted to the Dual Program.

Dual Program Plan

The degree plan for each student is drawn up in cooperation with the department program advisor and department chair. Every student is expected to take 120 undergraduate hours and 30 graduate hours. However, some 5000-level hours may be taken during the fourth year and more 400-level undergraduate hours may be taken during the fifth year (more than for a typical MSc student).

After completing these minimum requirements, a Dual Program student can then proceed to complete additional upper level courses. Consultation with the program advisor and department chair is required to formulate an academic plan for the Dual Program.

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