Chatham University

Master of Science in Biology (MS) Curriculum

In many professions, the master’s degree is now the minimum requirement for either employment or advancement. To meet this need, Chatham has developed two options for the MS biology program. The non-thesis option can be completed in one calendar year, and different tracks are available focusing on different areas of biology. The thesis option includes a research component and typically takes one and a half to two years.

Non-Thesis Option:
The non-thesis track consists of seven core classes and five electives.  In the sample schedules below, required courses are listed by name. The non-thesis track is traditionally completed in 12 months.  Some students condense this timeline by incorporating the summer elective(s) into their fall or spring semester. Graduate students pay per credit hour rather than per semester, so there is significant flexibility to tailor the program requirements to fit the needs of individual students. You may do at most one 2-credit elective; all of the rest must be 3 or more credits. Additional information on electives can be found on the following page.  Note that to provide students on the electives-rich track maximum choice in selecting their elective credits, BIO 532 (biostats) will be offering in all three semesters (Summer 16, Fall 16 and Spring 17) and BIO 623 (research methods) will be offered in both FA 16 and SP 17.

Thesis Option:
The thesis track consists of seven core classes, three electives, and two semesters of credited thesis research.  In the sample schedules below, required courses are listed by name. The thesis track is traditionally completed in two years.  Students prepare for the thesis by taking a required research methods course in their first semester and working with faculty to develop a research proposal, which must then be accepted by a faculty committee before thesis work can begin. Many of our graduates go on to present their work at regional or national conferences and publish their research in scientific journals.  Graduate students pay per credit hour rather than per semester, so there is significant flexibility to tailor the program requirements to fit the needs of individual students. You may do at most one 2-credit elective; all of the rest must be 3 or more credits. Additional information on electives can be found on the following page.  Note that to provide students on the electives-rich track maximum choice in selecting their elective credits, BIO 532 (biostats) will be offering in all three semesters (Summer 16, Fall 16 and Spring 17) and BIO 623 (research methods) will be offered in both FA 16 and SP 17.

The focal point of the program is human biology. This program is designed primarily for students who wish to improve their credentials and/or complete requirements for advanced programs in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, optometry, etc.

Important Program Information:
In the MS Biology graduate program, you must be registered for a minimum of 9 credits per long semester (i.e. fall & spring) to achieve full-time status. 6 credits is generally sufficient to qualify for financial aid during the summer semester; please check with the financial aid office to confirm the requirements of your funder. Thesis track students cannot register for an independent study intended for research, in addition to thesis credits.

You may count one internship or independent study course (2-3 credits) as an elective in this program. Internships require 40 hours of on-site activity per credit, as well as additional academic responsibilities. It is the student’s responsibility to identify the site and the internship supervisor. Chatham’s Career Services department and your academic advisor will provide assistance and complete details on academic internship rules and responsibilities.

All BIO classes at the 500- and 600-levels not designated as core courses in the program may serve as approved program electives. Graduate level courses in other academic programs may also be accepted as program electives. A list of pre-approved courses is provided below. Other courses may be approved on an individual basis if they are consistent with the structure of the biology program, and well suited to the specific aims of the student. Full-time students may cross-register for ONE course per semester at nearby institutions including Pitt, CMU, and Duquesne. Cross-registration is not permitted in the summer. These courses are not automatically accepted, so please consult with your program director when pursuing this option.

Program Requirements

+Human Biology Thesis Requirements

BIO516 Advanced Neuroscience

A study of the structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous system, including vascular components and special senses. The course emphasizes nervous system control of movement. Three hours of class per week.

3
BIO516L Advanced Neuroscience Lab

This lab complements the lectures in BIO516, using hands-on laboratory and data collection exercises. It examines nervous system function, emphasizing excitability, synaptic transmission and neuron-target interactions. It also includes a study of integrative neural function in sensory, motor, learning, memory and limbic systems. Two hours of laboratory per week.

2
BIO532 Biostatistics

The study and application of biostatistics and probability distributions in biology, for students who already have a working knowledge of statistics and want to understand the place and application of biostatistical methods in science. Topics include hypothesis testing, analysis of variance for one and many variables, and linear and nonlinear regression.Three hours of class per week.

3
BIO623 Methods of Biological Research

Study of experimental design in biology, including hypothesis formulation, literature review and bibliography selection, experimental methods, budgeting, setting timetables, and consideration of legal and ethical issues. Students will prepare and defend a proposal for their thesis work. Three hours of class per week.

2
BIO512 Advanced Human Gross Anatomy

An in-depth study of both regional gross human anatomic structures & cellular level tissue. The course is clinically oriented with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, urinary & reproductive systems. Regional study of the head/neck, trunk, and upper/lower extremities, is accomplished through human cadaver dissection.

3
BIO512L Advanced Human Gross Anatomy Lab

The laboratory compliment to BIO512, this course uses human cadavers to facilitate a deeper appreciation for regional gross human anatomic structures. The course is clinically oriented with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, urinary and reproductive systems, via regional study of the head/neck, trunk, and upper/lower extremities.

2
BIO514 Advanced Human Physiology

An in-depth study of the mechanisms of human body function, emphasizing cells, genetic control of protein synthesis, transport across membranes, contraction and excitation of muscles, the physiology of cardiac muscle, and rhythmical excitation of the normal heart.

3
BIO698 Biology Thesis I

Research in an area of biology. This is the first of two courses that result in a thesis approved by a committee of three faculty members.

3
BIO699 Biology Thesis II

Research in an area of biology. This is the second of two courses that result in a thesis approved by a committee of three faculty members. Prerequisite(s): Graduate Standing, BIO698

3
Three (3) Electives

+Human Biology Non-Thesis Requirements

BIO516 Advanced Neuroscience

A study of the structure and function of the human central and peripheral nervous system, including vascular components and special senses. The course emphasizes nervous system control of movement. Three hours of class per week.

3
BIO516L Advanced Neuroscience Lab

This lab complements the lectures in BIO516, using hands-on laboratory and data collection exercises. It examines nervous system function, emphasizing excitability, synaptic transmission and neuron-target interactions. It also includes a study of integrative neural function in sensory, motor, learning, memory and limbic systems. Two hours of laboratory per week.

2
BIO532 Biostatistics

The study and application of biostatistics and probability distributions in biology, for students who already have a working knowledge of statistics and want to understand the place and application of biostatistical methods in science. Topics include hypothesis testing, analysis of variance for one and many variables, and linear and nonlinear regression.Three hours of class per week.

3
BIO623 Methods of Biological Research

Study of experimental design in biology, including hypothesis formulation, literature review and bibliography selection, experimental methods, budgeting, setting timetables, and consideration of legal and ethical issues. Students will prepare and defend a proposal for their thesis work. Three hours of class per week.

2
BIO512 Advanced Human Gross Anatomy

An in-depth study of both regional gross human anatomic structures & cellular level tissue. The course is clinically oriented with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, urinary & reproductive systems. Regional study of the head/neck, trunk, and upper/lower extremities, is accomplished through human cadaver dissection.

3
BIO512L Advanced Human Gross Anatomy Lab

The laboratory compliment to BIO512, this course uses human cadavers to facilitate a deeper appreciation for regional gross human anatomic structures. The course is clinically oriented with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, urinary and reproductive systems, via regional study of the head/neck, trunk, and upper/lower extremities.

2
BIO514 Advanced Human Physiology

An in-depth study of the mechanisms of human body function, emphasizing cells, genetic control of protein synthesis, transport across membranes, contraction and excitation of muscles, the physiology of cardiac muscle, and rhythmical excitation of the normal heart.

3
Five (5) Electives

+MS Biology Electives Thesis and non-Thesis

BIO508 Developmental Biology

DEVELOPMENTAL BIOLOGY

3
BIO511 Seminar in Environmental Biology

An advanced survey of the basic concepts and theories on environmental biology, with particular emphasis on topics relevant to conservation biology. Includes discussion and evaluation of major scientific advances in the field based on primary literature in leading journals and symposia published in recent years.

3
BIO517 Genetics

A study of the modern concepts of the gene. Lectures stress theory and experimental evidence relating to the structure of the gene, heritability of characteristics, and the behavior of genes in populations.

3
BIO518 Chemical Analysis Laboratory

This laboratory teaches the proper design, implementation and analysis of modern techniques in instrumental chemistry, encompassing spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and separation science. In addition, several inorganic compounds are synthesized and characterized. Student-originated research projects are used extensively throughout this course. Additional Fee(s): Laboratory fee.

3
BIO519 Immunology

This course covers fundamental principles of immunology with emphasis on molecular and cellular immunology, including antigen and antibody structure and function, effector mechanisms, complement, major histocompatibility complexes, and the cellular basis for the immune response. Three hours of lecture per week.

3
BIO531 Advanced Principles of Cell and Molecular Biology

Topics include genes and genomes, transcription, translation, the control of gene expression by prokaryotes, and eukaryotes, DNA synthesis and repair, and cell signaling.

3
BIO538 Biochemistry I

This course offers the structure and function of proteins, polynucleic acids, and biological membranes. Enzymes and kinetics are also taught. Metabolic pathways, with emphasis on the thermodynamics of the equilibria and the storage and usage of energy are also discussed.

3
BIO539 Biochemistry II

This course offers the structure and function of proteins, polynucleic acids, and biological membranes. Enzymes and kinetics are also taught. Metabolic pathways, with emphasis on the thermodynamics of the equilibria and the storage and usage of energy are also discussed. Prerequisite(s): enrollment in MS Biology program or permission of instructor.

3
BIO 540 Bio-techniques Laboratory
BIO551 Bioinformatics

An introduction to computer-aided analysis of gene sequences and their relationships to DNA, RNA, and proteins. Topics include use of the computer for restriction mapping, primer selection, and database searches for homology discovery. In addition, students will be able to carry out analyses aimed at predicting the structure and evolution of macromolecules. Three hours of class per week.

3
BIO552 Computational Drug Design

Study of computational techniques of importance in contemporary drug design. Topics include molecular docking, ligand binding free energy calculations, de novo drug design, pharmacophore elucidation, quantitative structure-activity relations, and combinatorial library design. Cross-listed as BIO 452 and CHM 452.

3
BIO553 Special Topics in Biology

Lectures and/or laboratories in selected areas of contemporary biology, with a focus of recent research. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing.

3
BIO555 Medical and Bio-ethics

This course will discuss selected topics in medical ethics emphasizing methods of ethical reasoning about moral dilemmas and contributions of philosophical theories and principles to practical problems of medicine. Includes legal aspects of health care decisions.

3
BIO558 Histology

A microscopic analysis of human and animal tissue and organ function at the cellular level. Material comes from textbook, lecture, images and animations in addition to practical application and identification of histological specimens. Recommended for students planning to apply to professional schools of medicine, veterniary medicine, or dentistry.

3
BIO561 Pharmacology

This course covers the general principles of drug action, including administration, distribution, mechanism, and excretion. Emphasis will be placed on key pharmacological concepts, basic signal transduction pathways and molecular mechanisms. Pharmacology of the nervous, cardiovascular, and endocrine systems as well as the mechanisms of various antimicrobial agents will be considered.

3
BIO638 Internship

2
BIO639 Internship

3
FST512 Practical Nutrition

Course provides an overview of nutrition as an evidence-based research field, focusing on groups and communities where research is conducted and then applied. Topics include science and politics of food categories; supplements and functional foods; weight and disordered eating, commercial, local, organic, and conventional foods; cuisine, culture, and diet.

3
HCI502 Healthcare Delivery Systems

In this course, students will be engaged in dynamic content to gain an understanding of the role of information systems within healthcare delivery. The course provides an introduction to the use of information technology, information systems, data, and informatics in regards to health care delivery system entities and functions.

3
HCI503 Informatics Foundation and Health Care Technology

This course will assist students to develop a strong foundation of knowledge in understanding the impact technology and informatics has in the delivery of care across various settings. Student will be introduced to current and emerging technologies while exploring the impact on patient outcomes and staff satisfaction.

3
HCI506 Health Policy and Informatics

This course will explore health care policy and how it relates to informatics. Students will describe the history and development of health care policy while comparing U.S. health care policies to other countries. Legal, privacy, storage, and security issues will be discussed regarding healthcare and genomic data.

3
HCI631 Integrating Technology into a Healthcare Environment

This course will introduce students to key factors to be considered when integrating new technology within a healthcare environment. Understanding how to successfully create change, define current process, design future processes and complete a gap analysis using the four stages of a systems life cycle to successfully integrate or change technology.

3
PSY503 Applied Biological Psychology

The course addresses biological aspects of human psychology, including the biological basis of neurological deficits and mental disorders, and the use psychotropic medications for treating mental illnesses. Topics also include stress and health, mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, and contemporary issues in biological psychology.

3
PSY530 Introduction to Sport and Exercise Psychology

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts and intervention techniques of sport and exercise psychology. Topics covered will include motivation theory applied to sport, team dynamics, an introduction to psychological skills training, the psychology of sport injury, and issues pertinent to exercise adoption, adherence, and drop-out.

3
PSY629 Human Development across the Life Span

The course explores cognitive, social, emotional and physiological development throughout the life span. While including concentration on the major theoretical approaches to life span development, an equally significant focus will be on practical application of material.

3
PSY635 Concepts of Mental Health and Illness

The course provides an overview of concepts of mental health and its development, and of the etiologies of psychopathology, from a culturally sensitive perspective. Students learn to recognize the complex biological and environmental contributors to mental illness, and to evaluate effective treatment approaches for mental illness.

3
PSY663 Foundations of Health Psychology

Students will explore how psychological processes influence physical health. Further, the psychological sequellae of physical illness will be examined. Students will delve into the mind-body connection with consideration given to the cultural context. The role of the counseling psychologist as a member of the healthcare team will be explored.

3
PWR616 Technical Writing

This course teaches students how to prepare letter reports and technical reports about subjects that require technical explanations, diagrams, charts, and jargon understood by technical readers. In addition, this course teaches students how to present technical information to technical readers so they understand the concepts and can apply them in their work.

3
PWR632 Science and Environmental Writing

This course focuses on the practice of writing about science, environment, medicine, and technology for audiences ranging from the general public to scientists and engineers. It starts with basic science writing for lay audiences, emphasizing organization and clear writing techniques and also explores problems of conveying highly complex technical information to multiple audiences, factors that influence science communication to the public, and interactions between scientists and journalists.

3