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Master of Science - Natural Sciences (M.S.)

Program Description

The Master of Science in Natural Sciences degree program emphasizes development of a broadly-based scientific background while at the same time allows students to focus on a particular discipline.  The program also develops the research skills necessary to design and conduct original research.

Students can obtain a MS in Natural Science degree in one of four separate tracks:

The opportunity to take graduate courses in a specific track or combine graduate courses from each of the tracks allows the student to design a graduate course of study to suit his or her own specific interests and goals.

In the first year, students take courses stressing communication skills necessary to present reports and research results, research design and data analyses, as well as electives allowing specialization in particular areas of interest. The two-year curriculum allows students to focus on required courses and complete research in a timely manner. Graduate assistantship employment provides tuition and competitive stipends.

The Natural Sciences Program has...

  • Broadly trained faculty with diverse areas of expertise with Southeastern, National and International research programs.
  • Well-equipped, modern laboratories as well as access to protected natural areas.
  • A wide variety of study abroad courses that allow students to conduct research projects abroad.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin S. Burgess, Ph.D.  
Director, MS in Natural Sciences (College of Letters and Sciences)  
Associate Professor & Herbarium Curator,  
Department of Biology, College of Letters & Sciences, 
163A LeNoir Hall, Columbus State University, 
Columbus, GA, USA 31907-5645

Office: 706-507-8266

Admission Requirements

In addition to the Columbus State University Graduate School Admissions requirements, all interested applicants must submit the following materials to be considered for admission for all tracks in the Natural Sciences program. 

  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, demonstrated excellent preparation in the Biological, Chemical, Environmental and/or Geological Sciences or permission of the program director.
  • Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • A minimum combined score of 290 on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Exam. The GRE’s must have been taken in the last five years.
  • A one page statement of experience and interests.
  • Two letters of reference. References should come from persons familiar with the applicant's academic or professional experience.  
All application materials should be sent to the University Admissions office.  Incomplete packets will not be reviewed.  
Enrollment Services
Columbus State University
4225 University Avenue, Columbus, GA 31907
Applicants may check their application status under the Enrollment Services tab in CougarNet.

Program Requirements

The degree requirements for the Natural Sciences program are located in the Academic Catalog.
Additional information for each track can be found on the individual pages found below.

You may also find it helpful to review the Course Descriptions for your track.

Primary Course Designations:

  • Biology: BIOL
  • Chemistry: CHEM
  • Environmental Science: ENVS
  • Geosciences: GEOL, ENVS


Online Options

There are not currently any online options for the Natural Sciences (M.S.) program.

Requirements for Graduation

Visit the CSU Graduation page for details on candidacy for graduation, details on the ceremony, and more.

Prior to the start of the student's final semester in the program, the student should:

  • Apply online via CougarNet through the Enrollment Services tab.
  • Contact your program director to review your degree progress sheet to verify that all requirements have been met.
    • Resolve any “incomplete” grades for courses to be used to meet degree requirements.
  • If participating in Graduation Ceremony, contact the University Bookstore to order graduation regalia: cap, gown, and hood.

Career Opportunities

Visit the Columbus State University Center for Career Development for valuable resources related to:

  • Student Success
  • Connecting with Employers including Job Shadowing, Internships, and Job Lead Development
  • Volunteer Opportunities
  • Resume and Interview Coaching
  • Job Fairs and Job Listings
What can I do with this major?

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Program Director

Dr. Burgess

Dr. Kevin Burgess

Position: Associate Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 163A
Phone: 706-507-8266
Discipline: Botany; Evolutionary Biology; plant ecological genetics
Personal Website     

Biology Department

Dr. Ballenger

Dr. Julie Ballenger

Position: Department Chair / Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 151A
Phone: 706-569-3015
Discipline: Botany; plant systematics; floristic surveys of habitats in Georgia, Panama, Peru and the Bahamas

Dr. Barone

Dr. John Barone

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 155
Phone: 706-569-2832
Discipline: Animal-plant interactions; historical landscapes; tropical community structures

Dr. Birkhead

Dr. Bill Birkhead

Position: Professor Emeritus
Office: Lenoir Hall 151
Phone: 706-568-2065
Discipline: Vertebrate biology; faunal surveys; impact studies

Dr. Davis

Dr. John Davis

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 164
Phone: 706-569-3020
Discipline: Microbiology; ecology of soil bacteria

Dr. Frazier

Dr. Monica Frazier

Position: Associate Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 158
Phone: 706-568-2067
Discipline: Cancer biology

Dr. Hendricks

Dr. Harlan Hendricks

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 157
Phone: 706-568-2069
Discipline: Entomology; ecology and evolution of invertebrates

Dr. Hughes

Dr. Kathleen Hughes

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 161
Phone: 706-568-2325
Discipline: Animal physiology; genetic basis of hypertension

Dr. Newbrey

Dr. Jennifer Newbrey

Position: Associate Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 153
Phone: 706-507-8096

Dr. Ruehl

Dr. Clifton Ruehl

Position: Assistant Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 152A
Phone: 706-565-4049
Personal Website     

Dr. Schwartz

Dr. Brian Schwartz

Position: Professor / Assistant Chair
Office: Lenoir Hall 159
Phone: 706-569-3017
Discipline: Genetic ecology of plants; use of plants in remediation of contaminated soils and water

Dr. Stanton

Dr. George Stanton

Position: Professor Emeritus
Office: Lenoir Hall 151
Phone: 706-568-2065
Discipline: Invertebrate ecology

Dr. Stokes

Dr. Glenn Stokes

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 154
Phone: 706-562-1471

Dr. Zuiderveen

Dr. Jeffrey Zuiderveen

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 162
Phone: 706-569-3019
Discipline: Toxicology

Earth and Space Science Department

Dr. Barineau

Dr. Clinton Barineau

Position: Associate Professor/Chairperson
Office: Lenoir Hall 108
Phone: 706-569-3026
Discipline: Structural Geology and Tectonics, Proterozoic-Paleozoic history of eastern North America
Personal Website     

Dr. Church

Dr. Warren Church

Position: Professor
Endowed Title: Program Director for Anthropology
Office: Lenoir Hall Annex 120
Phone: 706-507-8093
Discipline: Environmental Anthropology, South American Archaeology; Pre-Hispanic cultural geography; Complex Societies; Geoarchaeology
Personal Website     

Dr. Keller

Dr. Troy Keller

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall Annex 112
Phone: 706-507-8099
Discipline: Stream ecology; stream restoration; sustainable energy resources
Personal Website     

Dr. Schwimmer

Dr. David Schwimmer

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 111
Phone: 706-569-3028
Discipline: Vertebrate Paleontology, Cambrian Biostratigraphy, Cretaceous Paleoecology

Chemistry Department

Dr. Abegaz

Dr. Samuel Abegaz

Position: Associate Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 211
Phone: 706-507-8476

Dr. Banerjee

Dr. Anil Banerjee

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 250A
Phone: 706-569-3030

Dr. Gebeyehu

Dr. Zewdu Gebeyehu

Position: Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 313
Phone: 706-569-3025

Dr. Holley

Dr. Wade Holley

Position: Assistant Professor
Office: Lenoir Hall 312
Phone: 706-507-8497