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FAQs

Even after reading this website, we would be surprised if you did not still have a few questions. Here are some of the most common ones. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact the program director or the appropriate campus office.

Who do I contact for more information? Contact the graduate program director: Dr. Lance McBrayer, 912-478-0545; Fax 912-478-0845; lancemcbrayer@georgiasouthern.edu

What degrees does the graduate program in biology offer? The Department of Biology at Georgia Southern University offers the Master of Science (MS) degree in biology. We do not have a PhD program.

Does Georgia Southern offer a graduate degree in….? Many prospective students ask whether we offer a MS degree in botany, zoology, animal behavior, or other specialized field of biology. Although we offer only the MS in biology, students are free to specialize in the area of concentration of their choice. The broad research interests of our faculty provide the opportunity to work in almost any area of biology.

Should I contact individual faculty members directly? Yes. We strongly recommend that prospective students contact potential advisors before or during the application process. This early contact is informal and does not commit you to an advisor, but it helps insure that you will be able to work in the area best suited to your interest.

What materials constitute a completed application? Applicants to the biology program must submit a completed online application, an application fee, transcripts, scores for the GRE general test, two letters of recommendations, and a statement of career goals.

I have completed the graduate school application forms, but how do I ensure that I am considered for admission to the Molecular Biology Initiative Program? You need to complete the Prospective MBI Fellow Form in addition to the graduate school admission forms. Contact the MBI Program Coordinator with any questions at 912-478-1923.

When is the deadline to apply? For Fall semester admissions, the Department of Biology has a priority deadline of 1 March for all students interested in being considered for an assistantship. The final deadline for receipt of all materials is 1 April. Admissions and funding decisions are made in early April. The College of Graduate Studies (COGS) states a final deadline for applications to all graduate programs at Georgia Southern of 1 July for fall admission – but our process is almost always completed in May. For Spring semester admissions, the Department of Biology has a priority deadline of 1 October. The final deadline is 15 November. International students should apply by the priority deadlines.

Where do I send my application materials? All applications and supporting materials are submitted online to the Office of Graduate Admissions, P.O. Box 8113, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460. Once in this office, your application will be placed in an electronic file and made available to the graduate program director in biology. Use the following link for the online process.

Do I have to take the GRE general test or the subject test in biology? Applicants are required to take the general test, and successful applicants typically score above 153 on the verbal (= 500 on the former scale), and 146 on the quantitative portions (= 550 on the former scale). Applicants do not have to take the GRE subject test. However, our program does require a qualifying exam during a student’s first semester. This qualifying exam is waived for anyone scoring 50th percentile or higher on the GRE subject test in biology.

How do I apply for an assistantship? To be considered for a teaching assistantship, submit a graduate assistantship application online to the graduate college. In addition, we strongly recommend that you contact the graduate program director directly and indicate your interest in an assistantship. Research assistantships are arranged, when available, through individual faculty members. Visit the following link for more information.

What are the duties and compensation for a graduate assistantship? Teaching assistants typically teach four 2-hour labs for non majors each week. Assistants are responsible for preparing labs and grading assignments. Teaching assistants receive stipends of $9188/academic year plus a tuition waiver. Research assistantships are offered, subject to grant funding, by individual faculty members. Duties of research assistants vary, but they typically involve research-related activity such as data collection or analysis. Stipends for research assistants vary.

Is an assistantship guaranteed for as long as I am at Georgia Southern? Given satisfactory performance, teaching assistants can expect five semesters of funding. This is typically sufficient time to complete the MS degree. Duration of research assistantships varies depending on the nature of the funding.

How much will it cost? Tuition rates can be found here.  Tuition is waived for teaching assistants, but University fees currently are not. Tuition and fees are usually, but not always, covered by a grant for research assistants. The cost of living in Statesboro is relatively low.

Are graduate students provided health insurance? All graduate students in Georgia who hold a research or teaching assistantship, as well as international students, are required to have health insurance. A policy is available through the university, or you may hold a policy of your own. The cost of this insurance is not covered by the department or university, but grant-funded assistantships sometimes cover insurance costs. The most up to date information on insurance can be found here.

Are graduates of Georgia Southern’s biology graduate program successful? Our graduates are highly successful in their chosen fields. A recent assessment revealed that about 92% of our over 250 alumni are employed in the biological, health, or environmental sciences. One-third of our graduates go on to receive terminal degrees such as the PhD or MD.

Does the university provide graduate or married-student housing? Yes, Georgia Southern University has a limited number of housing units for graduate students. Please contact University Housing for more information on this option (912-478-5406).

Where is Statesboro? Statesboro is located on the coastal plain of southeast Georgia, approximately 50 miles west of the coastal city of Savannah. Access is by car (we are located 12 miles off Interstate 16), bus (Greyhound), or air (to Savannah International Airport).

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGY • P.O. Box 8042 • Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5487