Southeast Missouri State University

Why Should I Study Biology at Southeast?

The diverse expertise of our faculty allows the opportunity for a student to develop a course of study and research project that reflects their interest and passion. Further, the experience gained during the Master's program prepares a student to move easily into the workforce or to pursue a Ph.D. or other area of professional credentials. Biology Faculty welcome the chance to interact with students, in a friendly, professional manner. We take pride in the successes of our students and promote a camaraderie that cannot be found in a large program. If you seek a graduate experience that fosters intellectual development and a sense of community then the Department of Biology at Southeast is the place for you.

Options & Areas of Emphasis

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology and Evolution
  • Environmental Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Plant Biology
  • Wildlife
  • Zoology

Admissions Policies / Requirements

Consult the Graduate Bulletin for admission requirements for the Master of Natural Science program in biology.

Advising Procedures & Information

Students admitted to the Master of Natural Science program in biology are advised by their Master of Natural Science advisor.  If a student has been admitted but has not obtained an advisor then the chair of the Biology Graduate Committee will function as the temporary advisor during the student's first semester. The student must obtain a Master of Natural Science  advisor by the end of the first semester.

Capstone Requirements

Thesis students, under the direction of their advisor, will complete a research project in their area of interest that will contribute to the scientific knowledge of that discipline. Non-thesis students, under the direction of their advisor, will develop a comprehensive scholarly paper addressing a specific area within the discipline of biology that contributes to the student's understanding of the process of science.

Career Opportunities

Students graduating from the biology graduate program have been accepted into Ph.D. programs at institutions including Kent State University, University of Texas-Austin, Washington University-St. Louis and Ohio State. Others have found employment teaching in schools and colleges, working for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Army Corp of Engineers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Graduate Assistantship Opportunities

The Department of Biology currently supports 15 teaching assistantships. Application forms for an assistantship can be found at our Web site or can be mailed to you by contacting the Department of Biology at (573) 651-2170. All applications require an additional letter of recommendation that addresses the applicant's teaching potential and any previous experience that may be applicable.

Student Organizations


  • A diversity of terrestrial (forest and lowland) and aquatic (e.g. wetlands, streams,  and the Mississippi River) field research sites are within easy travel time and distance from the campus - including departmental Kelso Wildlife Sanctuary (10 minutes from campus)
  • Southeast is a member of consortia that provide student access to courses and facilities at the Saint Louis University Field Stations (Reis and Lay Field Stations) in Missouri, and the Gulf Coast Research Station in Mississippi.
  • Collaborative opportunities exist for work with regional, state, and federal resource management agencies.
  • Excellent access to computer and library materials.
  • Well equipped for field and laboratory research projects.
  • Home of Regional Invertebrate and Vertebrate Museum and Travis Brooks Herbarium
  • Collaboration with regional health facilities

Research Opportunities

The diversity of expertise within the graduate faculty affords the student the opportunity to develop interesting projects that can incorporate techniques from a variety of sub-disciplines. The student is not limited to traditional studies within a single sub-discipline. Collaborative efforts promote a greater opportunity for unique projects and help develop skills that give the student an edge in an already competitive field. A list of possible projects is available online.

Related Links

Online Application
Graduate Bulletin
Department of Biology
School of Graduate Studies
International Students

Contact Us

Dr. Dustin Siegel, Coordinator of Graduate Studies

Department of Biology
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza, MS 6200
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

Phone: (573) 651-2366
Fax: (573) 651-2382