Natural and Applied Science (Interdisciplinary Program)
Natural and Applied Science
Directors: Daniel Beckman and Xingping Sun
Temple Hall, room 142, Phone 417-836-5249
The Master of Natural and Applied Science is designed to provide those working in an environment where scientific knowledge is a priority, such as science teaching and scientific applications, the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experiences consistent with their professional goals and objectives through an interdisciplinary program of study in the natural and applied sciences. The curriculum will consist of formal courses in one or more areas of concentration, professional advisement, graduate seminar or research options (e.g., master’s thesis), as well as incorporating the candidate’s background, goals, and objectives.
- To increase both the depth and breadth of knowledge in one or more of the areas in natural sciences for understanding and appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of science.
- To provide advanced training and education for expanding current scientific knowledge and capabilities.
- To provide a base of knowledge or enhancement in an area of natural science outside an original field of study.
In order to be considered for admission, students must meet the following requirements. These are minimum requirements; acceptance into the program is on a competitive basis.
- The student must have a bachelor’s degree from a college or university accredited by agencies recognized by Missouri State University or equivalent education from a foreign university.
- The student must have a GPA of 3.00 or higher on a 4.00 scale for the last 60 hours of course work required for the undergraduate degree, AND a score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) meeting or surpassing the minimum score prescribed by the MSU Graduate Catalog for admission to graduate study.
- The student must submit a Statement of Interest and at least two Letters of Recommendation; submit these directly to the MNAS Program Director, or Darr School of Agriculture if Agriculture is the primary area of interest.
- International applicants are also required to submit a score of not less than 550 on the paper-based or a comparable score of 213 on the computer-based TOEFL, with a minimum of 50th percentile on the Listening Comprehension Section.
- The student must have an undergraduate background of at least 20 semester hours in the natural and applied sciences. Students may be required to meet course prerequisites for their emphasis areas. Undergraduate courses will not be credited as course requirements for the master's degree.
A limited number of teaching assistantships (TA) may be available, awarded on a competitive basis. Applications (http://graduate.missouristate.edu/assistantship.htm) are to be submitted to the MNAS Program Director, or Darr School of Agriculture if Agriculture is the primary area of interest. Applicants should have all application materials submitted by March 1 (fall assistantships) or October 1 (spring assistantships) to ensure being considered for a TA position. GRE General Test scores may be considered in awarding assistantships.
Degree requirements (minimum of 32 hours)
- Advisory Committee. Initially, each student will be advised by the departmental coordinator of graduate studies from the student’s primary emphasis area. As soon as possible, the student will select a graduate faculty member from that department to chair a graduate advisory committee consisting of at least three faculty members that includes a faculty member from the student’s second area of concentration. This committee will supervise the remainder of the student’s program. Some departments may require that an advisory committee chair be identified prior to acceptance into the program; applicants should contact the department of the primary emphasis area.
- Program of Study. This unique interdisciplinary masters program requires more than one area of concentration. Each individualized program will be structured by the advisory committee in consultation with the student. The academic background, professional experience, academic objectives, and personal needs will be considered in establishing the individual’s program.
Students may select areas of primary emphasis in the following departments in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences: Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Geography, Geology and Planning; Mathematics; and Physics, Astronomy and Materials Science; and in the Darr School of Agriculture. In special cases, a "primary emphasis" may be a science topic that is interdisciplinary in itself (for example, Environmental Science), and the relevant course work include more than one department; such a program of study must be approved by the student's Advisory Committee and program director. Students will select a second area of concentration from the above listed academic units or from the College of Business (COB). With approval of the Advisory Committee and program director, other possible outside areas may be pursued, such as education. This second area of concentration may also be inherently interdisciplinary as long as it is distinct from the primary area.
- Course Requirements. The student must select a primary emphasis area consisting of at least 16 hours of courses selected from one department in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences listed above. The student must also select 9-16 hours of graduate courses outside the primary area approved by the student’s advisory committee. In total, the student must complete at least 32 hours of course work, of which at least 16 must be in courses open only to graduate students (numbered 700 or above).
- Grade Point Average. A GPA of at least 3.00 on a 4.00 scale for all graduate work at Missouri State and course work transferred from other institutions is required.
- Research Requirements. A student will be required to complete one of the following research requirements.
Thesis Option: The Thesis option requires the completion of a research thesis supervised by the student’s advisory committee. The thesis shall be approved by the advisory committee and by the Dean of the Graduate College before the degree is granted. A maximum of six hours of thesis credit can be applied toward the minimum hours required for the master’s degree.
Non-Thesis Option: The Non-Thesis option requires the completion of a minimum of one semester course which shall require an extensive research paper or creative work. The student’s advisory committee must approve the final research paper and complete a Seminar Report form that is submitted to the academic department chosen as the major area of concentration and subsequently to the Graduate College for the approval of the Dean.
Internship Option: The Internship option requires the completion of internship with a discipline-related business, non-profit organization, or government agency (480 hours). This must include an extensive project that is approved and supervised by the student's on-site mentor and the departmental advisory committee. A maximum of six hours of Internship credit can be applied toward the 32 hours required for this degree.
- Comprehensive Examination. After most of the course work has been completed, and upon approval of the advisory committee, a written comprehensive examination will be administered and evaluated by the advisory committee. This examination must be passed by the candidate before a degree will be given.
- Time Limit. The student must complete all requirements within an eight-year period (exclusive of the time spent in the United States Armed Forces).
The Professional Science Master Designation
A student who selects business as the second area of concentration and completes the internship option of the research requirements will receive the Professional Science Master (PSM) designation. The PSM program is recognized by the National Council of Graduate Schools.
Accelerated Master's Degree option
Eligible Missouri State University students in a major in the College of Natural and Applied Sciences may apply for preliminary acceptance into the Master of Natural and Applied Science program after admission requirements for the accelerated master’s option have been satisfied. If accepted, graduate courses chosen from approved 600-level courses or higher may be counted toward both the graduate and undergraduate degrees, with a maximum of 12 credit hours. This option offers an opportunity for CNAS majors whose goals, academic capabilities, and career planning include graduate work, to complete the requirements for the master’s degree in less time than would otherwise be possible. Contact the MNAS Program Director for further information and guidelines.
All requirements for the implemented undergraduate program should be met for graduation from the undergraduate degree program. A student may fully be admitted to the Graduate College upon completion of the requirements for the baccalaureate degree. All requirements for the implemented master’s program should be met for graduation from the master’s degree program.
A student must be admitted into the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program at Missouri State University in order to begin taking graduate course work for dual credit. Admission requires approval from the Graduate Program Advisor, Department Head of the undergraduate program, and the Dean of the Graduate College. Students admitted into the Accelerated Master’s Degree program will not be fully admitted into the Graduate College until completion of their undergraduate degree and fulfillment of all other requirements for admission to the Graduate College (such as the Graduate Record Examination). Student should be awarded the bachelors degree upon completion of the minimum of 125 hours of combined graduate and undergraduate course work and degree specific requirements.
Admission Requirements for the Accelerated Master’s option
- Junior standing and a GPA 3.25 or better.
- A supportive recommendation from the student’s undergraduate advisor.
- Acceptance of applicant by a graduate faculty member who agrees to serve as the student’s graduate mentor.