Mar 03, 2021  
2019-2020 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate/Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Natural Science Program

Program Coordinator:
Dr. Timothy B. Mihuc
Beaumont Hall 0442

The Program

The Master of Science in Natural Science program is designed to provide master’s level science training with three concentration areas available to students: biology, chemistry, and environmental science. Each student must complete 30 total credit hours including either a thesis or the non-thesis option.


For admission to the program, applicants must meet SUNY Plattsburgh’s general requirements for admission to graduate study. (See the Graduate Admission Policies and Procedures  section of this catalog.) In addition, an applicant should have a bachelor’s degree in a science discipline, a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0, and a satisfactory score on the general portion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or equivalent evidence of academic achievement.

Up to nine transfer credits may be accepted from an accredited graduate school. Credits transferred must be part of a proposed program of study approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee, the Department Chair, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

All students must have a graduate advisor assigned prior to acceptance into the program. If no advisor can be identified admission will not be granted. Students accepted into the program with low GRE scores or a non-science undergraduate degree may be required to complete background undergraduate coursework in addition to the 30 required graduate credits as a condition of entry into the program. Candidates who are admitted with deficiencies will be expected to demonstrate that they have addressed such deficiencies before the degree is completed.

Graduate Advisory Committee

Each candidate for the M.S. in Natural Science degree must have a Graduate Advisory Committee of three or more members, including a primary advisor from a SUNY Plattsburgh science department and at least one other SUNY Plattsburgh science department faculty member. Up to one committee member can be from off-campus. At least two committee members (one of which must be the chair) must hold a doctorate in a science discipline. The remaining committee member must hold at least a master’s degree. The student’s advisory committee determines the program of study (within the curricular requirements listed below), approves the thesis topic, and holds a final oral defense/evaluation at the end of the student’s program.

Research or Project Proposal

A detailed proposal must be submitted to the Dean of Arts and Sciences after approval by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee, by the end of the first semester of enrollment. This proposal, if approved, will serve as a guide for future research or the non-thesis project.

Semester Reports

Email reports summarizing the student’s progress in teaching (if applicable), research and course-work shall be submitted to the student’s Graduate Advisor one week prior to the end of each semester. These reports shall be first submitted to the student’s advisor who in turn will comment on and approve the reports before forwarding them to the Graduate Advisory Committee and Graduate Program Committee. The student report should review academic progress toward the 30 credits required for the degree. The reports are reviewed during the evaluation of the student’s progress at the end of each academic year. Reports are required of both full-and part-time students.

Academic Progress Review

The academic progress of each student is reviewed once per year by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee. Research productivity and success at any graduate assistant responsibilities are also considered during these reviews. If, in a given semester, a student’s cumulative grade point average in courses taken for graduate credit falls below 3.0, or if the research productivity and/or fulfillment of the graduate assistantship  responsibilities is deficient, the student may be placed on a academic probation or dismissed from the program, depending on the severity of the student’s deficiencies. Deficiency in graduate assistant responsibilities may lead to removal or nonrenewal in the position. Any student who fails to perform at a satisfactory level in all areas being evaluated may be dismissed from the program. A student on academic probation must gain satisfactory standing by the end of the following semester or they may be dismissed from the program. Students placed on academic probation or dropped from the program may appeal the decision to the Arts and Sciences Graduate Program Committee and, ultimately, to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.