The specific details of our MS program are provided below, and in all cases, is subject to the
guidance and rules provided in the Graduate School Handbook. The program for the Master’s
degree leads to mastery of the fundamental principles in the student’s area of interest in the
general realm of evolution, ecology, and organismal biology. The program is planned by the
student and a member of the EEOB Graduate Faculty who acts as her/his major advisor so as to
meet the student's individual needs and interests. The student and advisor select a Committee that
is also involved in suggesting courses and planning the graduate program of the student. Further
information on important aspects of the program is provided below.
There are few specific course requirements for the EEOB MS program. Courses included in the
program of a student are selected by the student with the approval of the advisor and Committee
in accordance with the interests of the student and the need to prepare that student for their
research project. As a result, there is no specific set of required courses other than as outlined
here. The Master’s Programs (thesis and non-thesis) include at least 30 graduate credit hours, at
least 24 of which must be taken at Ohio State University over a period of at least two semesters.
EEOB 8894 must be taken during the first Autumn semester in residence and at least once more
during any Winter semester, but does not count as graduate credit course work towards the
required 30 graduate credit hours. The thesis Master’s must include 16 graduate credit hours,
excluding EEOB 6193, 8894, and 6999. Courses that meet this requirement are not restricted to
EEOB offerings and are often from different departments (e.g., Statistics, Public Health, SENR,
Mathematics), but must be approved for graduate credit as outlined in the Graduate School
Handbook. EEOB 8896 counts as graduate credit towards the 30 required credit hours. The nonthesis
Master’s Program must include 30 graduate credit hours, excluding 8894 and 6999. Up to
7 credit hours of 6193 can be included in a non-thesis Master’s Program.
All graduate students are required to enroll in at least one graduate level seminar course each
calendar year (not including EEOB 8894). These courses are usually numbered EEOB 8896, but
other courses that involve intensive, small-group discussion of the recent primary literature are
acceptable. EEOB 8896 courses are limited to 2 credit hours per offering, and students may
count any number towards the required 16 graduate credit hours.
Advisor and Committee: Students admitted to the EEOB Master’s Graduate Program may have
arranged for a major advisor or have been assigned a temporary advisor, but this arrangement
should be formalized no later than the end of the student’s first semester. A full (three person)
Committee, comprising the major advisor and two other members of Graduate Faculty, should be
selected by the end of the student’s second semester.
Thesis Master's Research Proposal
All thesis Master’s students must submit a proposal outlining their thesis research. The student’s Committee (Thesis Committee) must approve this proposal. The research proposal serves a number of functions. It ensures that the student has given careful thought to the research project, and helps involve the Thesis Committee with the student’s project. Approval of the proposal by the Thesis Committee indicates their belief that the project is likely to succeed. Students in thesis Master’s programs should submit a preliminary research proposal to their Thesis Committee by the end of their second semester. The length and content should be decided on in discussion with
the Thesis Committee, but would normally include an explanation of the problem being addressed, a literature review, a methods section, preliminary data if available, a discussion of
appropriate data analyses, and a description of possible results and their interpretation. A timetable also should be included.
Following review of the proposal, the student’s Thesis Committee will either (a) approve the
proposal as written, (b) approve the proposal with modifications, or (c) require the student to
submit a revised proposal for further Thesis Committee review. As students proceed with their
research, minor modifications of the research plan may be implemented without full Thesis
Committee approval. Major changes, however, require full Thesis Committee approval. Final
approval of the research proposal should be obtained by the end of the fourth semester in
Upon approval of the research proposal, the student must submit an EEOB Department Research
Proposal Approval Form, signed by all members of the Thesis Committee, to the Graduate
Studies Committee (GSC) Chair. A copy of this form must be given to the Graduate Secretary to
be added to the student’s file. The Chair of GSC will not sign the Application to Graduate Form
until a Proposal Approval has been completed and signed, even if all research has been
completed and the student is otherwise ready for the Final Examination.
The Master’s Program normally takes less than three years.
Thesis and Non-Thesis Plans
Students are admitted to either a thesis or non-thesis Master’s Program. Students wishing to
change the Master’s degree they are working towards must inform the GSC. In addition to being
admitted to and successfully completing an EEOB MS program, students may also earn a MS
degree by satisfactorily completing their PhD Candidacy Exam in EEOB, as described in the
Graduate School Handbook.
Master's Examination Committee
It is recommended that at least two of the three members of the Examination Committee be
members of the EEOB Graduate Faculty. Note that the requirement of three committee members
in EEOB is one more than the minimum set by the Graduate School.
The thesis Master’s Examination may include a written portion and must include an oral portion.
The non-thesis Master’s Examination may include an oral portion and must include a written
portion of at least four hours.