Graduate programs in Zoology at Miami University
Introduction from Paul F. James, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Graduate Studies

There are two program tracks in the department, leading to a Master's or Ph.D. degree.

1. Students interested in a research-based M.S. degree apply for our Master's Program. Applicants for the Master's Program must have completed or anticipate completion of a B.A. or B.S. degree, or equivalent. After earning a Master's degree, students may choose to continue working toward a Ph.D. degree.


2. Students interested in earning a Ph.D. degree apply to our Doctoral Program. Entry into our Doctoral Program requires prior completion of a Master's degree or 30 semester hours of graduate work with at least a 3.0 average. Students who do not have a prior Master's degree or graduate coursework may still apply since this requirement can be fulfilled during the first 1-2 years of the Doctoral Program.

Note that there are also programs in Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology (EEEB); and Cell, Molecular, and Structural Biology (CMSB).

The Department of Zoology works throughout the year to recruit high-quality, motivated students for our Master's and Doctoral programs. Students who apply to our program will all be evaluated by the Graduate Advisory Committe (GAC), and decisions concerning admissions are made based on the quality of the application materials, the presence of a willing faculty advisor, and the availability of graduate assistantships.

Every graduate student who is accepted into The Department of Zoology receives an offer of financial assistance.

We provide 2 years of University support to Master's students and up to 6 years of of University support for Doctoral student

My role as director of the graduate program within the Department of Zoology at Miami University is to chair the committee responsible for recruiting and admitting new graduate students, monitoring the progress of continuing graduate students, and evaluating current policies and procedures of the graduate program. I also work as a representative for the Department at the university-level Graduate School.

Every student who receives an offer of admission also receives an offer of financial assistance in the form of a graduate assistantship (either teaching or research-based). We closely examine a student's undergraduate, and if appropriate graduate, coursework to ensure that they meet our prerequisites. Grade point average is taken into account as well. Typically we expect a GPA higher than a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. We also require the general aptitude portion of the GRE. Nearly all of our students attain verbal and quantitative scores above the 50th percentile. We evaluate the statement of purpose provided by the applicant not only to determine the student's area of interest, but also to assess the general writing ability of the student. We require that all Doctoral program applicants contact a faculty member to serve as an advisor prior to admission. Master's level applications are not required to identify an advisor, but we strongly suggest that all applicants contact and discuss their interests with one or more faculty members in the department. Very few students are admitted into the program without the endorsement of at least one faculty member in the department.

Graduate students have ample opportunities to pursue individual work both in the field and in the lab

Typically, we begin our evaluations for the next academic year admissions in January. This process continues throughout the spring season, and sometimes into the summer, depending on the number of positions that become available.

Once you enter the program, you will be expected to meet coursework requirements, assistantship duties, and conduct an independent research project. My role in that process is to approve the composition of a graduate committee, comprised of your faculty advisor and several other faculty who will help direct your research. I also monitor your progress throughout your program in the three areas listed above.

We provide 2 years of University support to Master's students and up to 6 years of University support for Doctoral students (BA/BS to Ph.D. = 6 years; MS to Ph.D. = 4 years). If all goes well, your degree requirements will be fulfilled within a 2 year period for Master's students, or a 4-6 year period for Doctoral students, and we will be able to count you as another success story from our department!

Paul F. James

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