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Master of Science

Professional Science

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Professional Science is a graduate degree that offers specialized training in several high-demand or emerging STEM fields. It is a 30-credit degree that includes foundation courses in the Department of Biology and the College of Business, as well as courses that are taken as one of four specialized tracks:

  1. Microbiology and food science
  2. Water science
  3. Sustainable Energy
  4. Individually planned track

The culminating experience will be a required professional internship at a partnering organization in the private sector.

Requirements for Graduation

  • Thirty credits applicable to the graduate degree constitute the minimal requirement for all students. At least 15 credits being applied to the M.S. degree must be in graduate-only courses (700 numbers). The other 15 credits may be from courses that are dual level (combined undergraduate and graduate students and designated by 500 and 600 numbers). Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or above.
  • All students must complete an internship at a private or public organization. In most cases, the internships will occur off-campus but in some cases on-campus internships will qualify.

Required Courses and Electives

All students need to take the following core classes:

Department of Biology Core Courses (9 Credits)

BIO 700Professional Internship6 Credits
Bio 710Biostatistics2 Credits
Bio 748Graduate Seminar1 Credit

College of Business Courses (4 Credits)

Select at least one of the following three courses
Bus 758Project Management1.5 Credits
Bus 769Sustainability and Organizational Management1-3 Credits
Bus 769 Communicating for Success: Writing for Results1-3 Credits
Select at least one of the following two courses
Bus 735 Financial Statement Analyisis1-3 Credits
Bus 700Financial Reporting for Executives1.5 Credits

Students will need to take additional courses depending on what track they have selected.

The required and elective courses for the tracks are indicated below. Alternatively, a student can work with program director to design an individualized program of study. The required core classes and required and elective courses in each track will need to equal at least 30 total credits.

Microbiology and Food Science Track (17 Credits)

Required Courses
BIO 539Public Health and Food Microbiology2 Credits
EGRT 577Industrial Safety and Hygiene3 Credits
EGRT 597Environmental Laboratory Operations 1 Credit
Graduate Level Food Science Course from an Accredited Institution2 Credits
Electives (at least.9 credits from the following courses)
BIO 512Meical Bacteriology2 Credits
BIO 515Virology3 Credits
BIO 527Microbial Ecology and Diversity 3 Credits
Bio 554Parasitology3 Credits
BIO 575Microbial Genetics - Lecture 3 Credits
BIO 577Microbial Genetics - Laboratory3 Credits
BIO 589Principles of Biotechnology - Lecture 3 Credits
BIO 590Biotechnology Laboratory3 Credits
BIO 650Microbial Physiology5 Credits
BIO 766Advanced Topics in Biology2 Credits
BIO 796Independent Study1-3 Credits
CHEM 503Biochemistry I - Clinical Emphasis Lecture3 Credits
CHEM 504Biochemistry I - Clinical Emphasis Lab1 Credit
Chem 535Organic Chemistry II4 Credits

Water Science Track (17 Credits)

Required Courses
BIO 526Introductory Limnology3 Credits
GEOL 565Physical Hydrogeology3 Credits
EGRT 571Water Resources Engineering3 Credits
Electives (at least 8 credits from the following courses)
EGRT 502Advanced Water and Wastewater3 Credits
EGRT 597Environmental Laboratory Operations1-3 Credits
GEOL 566Chemical Hydrogeology3 Credits
BIO 532Entomology3 Credits
BIO 536Freshwater Algae3 Credits
BIO 549Ecology and Evolution3 Credits
BIO 554Parasitology3 Credits
BIO 586Ecosystem Ecology3 Credits
Bio 766Advanced Topics in Biology 2 Credits
BIO 796Independent Study1-3 Credits
GEOG 614Natural Resource Management3 Credits

Sustainable Energy Track (17 Credits)

Required Courses
EGRT 575Renewable Energy3 Credits
EGRT 501Advanced Air Pollution and Treatment3 Credits
EGRT 595Biodigester Field Operations3 Credits
Electives (at least 8 credits from the following courses)
BIO 527Microbial Ecology and Diversity3 Credits
BIO 589Principles of Biotechnology - Lecture3 Credits
Bio 590Biotechnology Laboratory2 Credits
Bio 586Ecosystem Ecology3 Credits
BIO 650Microbial Physiology5 Credits
BIO 776Advanced Topics in Biology 2 Credits
BIO 796Independent Study1-3 Credits

Requirements for Admission

Admission requirements are a B.S. degree in a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) field or a B.S. or B.A. in a non-STEM field and accompanying course work in one or more STEM fields. An undergraduate grade point average (GPA ) of 3.0 or above is required for full-standing admission. Students who have an undergraduate GPA above 2.5 but below 3.0 may be admitted on probation. The GRE is not required.

Three positive letters of recommendation detailing the applicant’s abilities in the sciences and potential to succeed in graduate school.  At least two letters should be written by individuals in STEM fields, including supervisors and professors.

For international students, English proficiency needs to be demonstrated based on policy for graduate education at UW Oshkosh.

Application to the Program

All students must apply through the UW Oshkosh Office of Graduate Studies. Application materials will be sent to that office but will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee in the Department of Biology.

For more information, please contact Dr. Bob Stelzer (, Graduate Coordinator and Professor of Biology. Dr. Stelzer will gladly set up a meeting with you to talk about opportunities in our MS Program and to answer any questions you may have.