May 30, 2024  
Graduate Catalog 2018-19 
Graduate Catalog 2018-19 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education: Biological Sciences

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Charles Henderson, MISE Director
Room 3245, Wood Hall

Silvia Rossbach, Graduate Advisor, Biological Sciences
Room 3923, Wood Hall

The Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education: Biological Sciences is designed for students who wish to obtain a strong background in the biological sciences and to pursue research in biological science education. The program is offered cooperatively by the Mallinson Institute for Science Education and the Department of Biological Sciences.

Admission Requirements
The minimum admission requirements to this degree program are a master’s degree in biological sciences or concurrent enrollment in a master’s degree program in biological sciences.

Program Requirements

The program consists of 48 semester hours of graduate work beyond course work counted toward a master’s degree. Each student’s program is planned in consultation with the advisor and consists of the following:

2. Research Tools and Design (12 semester hours)

To include a semester each in quantitative and qualitative research methods.

3. Dissertation (15 semester hours)

Additional Program Requirements

Candidates must have completed a master’s degree in biological sciences comprised of a program of study comparable to the master’s level program at the WMU Department of Biological Sciences which includes a biological sciences research component. Candidates may have completed the master’s degree prior to beginning the doctoral program or while concurrently enrolled in the doctoral program. Students entering the doctoral program with a master’s degree from another institution will have their transcripts evaluated by the Department of Biological Sciences for deficiencies. All deficiencies must be remediated as a condition for candidacy. The student must submit and defend, in an oral examination administered by the proposed Dissertation Committee, his/her dissertation research proposal. The proposal will be in the format of an NIH or NSF grant application. Student will be given a grade of pass or fail by the Dissertation Committee. In the event of failure, the proposal may be revised and re-defended once, and this must be done within one calendar year of failure.

Advancement to candidacy for the doctoral degree requires the following:

1. Take the following courses:  SCI 6140, 6150, 6160, and earning an overall GPA with respect to these courses alone of 3.5 or better; each course can be taken one additional time to improve GPA, if needed. Take SCI 6200 each fall for the first three years in the program and complete SCI 6180.

2. Early research requirement culminating in a paper to be:

  • Presented at a MISE symposium and at a MISE approved conference;
  • Reviewed and approved by MISE faculty before or after presentations (can be re-submitted one time with revisions if needed), and
  • Submitted to an approved journal for publication review.

3. Comprehensive Review of the Literature

  • Upon successful completion of 1 and 2, student prepares a comprehensive literature review in an area pertaining to the student’s eventual dissertation research. Supervised and approved by a 3-member MISE faculty committee.
  • Present Comprehensive Review of the Literature at a MISE symposium.
  • Reviewed and approved by MISE faculty before or after presentation (can be resubmitted on time with revisions if needed).

4. Dissertation Proposal

  • Upon successful completion of 3, the student’s dissertation committee is officially formed.
  • Student develops dissertation research proposal, which must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee;
  • Student presents dissertation research proposal at a MISE symposium. MISE faculty to provide comments and suggest revisions;
  • Proposal must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee (can be resubmitted one time with revisions).

The research and dissertation are completed under the direction of a major advisor and a Doctoral Advisory Committee. The major advisor and dissertation committee members are chosen by the Institute director in consultation with the student, Institute faculty and Biological Sciences Department faculty. The research problem is formulated by the student and must be approved by the committee. Dissertation committees and topics are subject to the approval of the deans of the College of Arts and Sciences and The Graduate College.

To be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree the student must have satisfactorily completed the above requirements, and a teaching experience in addition to the other candidacy requirements of doctoral programs in The Graduate College.


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