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Master of Science in Life Sciences Program (Thesis)

Virginia Tech biochemistry student working on a computer in a computational lab

Structure of the MSLFS Program

The Master of Science in Life Sciences (MSLFS) merges the efforts of the Departments of Biochemistry, Entomology, Food Science and Technology, and the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Students in basic and applied disciplines in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences share common experiences that prepare them for careers in which interdisciplinary interactions become increasingly valued. At the same time, discipline-specific education and research experience, which characterizes the MSLFS program in each department, prepares students for unique positions and career development.

The first year in the program is spent conducting research rotations and engaging in didactic coursework, journal clubs, and seminars. More information on classes can be found here. In the fall, incoming students spend approximately one month in each of three faculty member’s laboratories and choose their thesis advisor in late November. Students begin their thesis work in December of the first year.

The second year in the program is spent conducting research under the mentorship of a faculty advisor and finishing coursework. Students write and defend their thesis at the end of the second year.

Graduates of our program are employed in industrial, academic, and government positions.

Requirements for MSLFS Completion

  • Advanced coursework (30 total credits, of which 20 must be graded)
  • One semester of serving as a graduate teaching assistant
  • Annual committee meetings
  • Written dissertation and oral thesis defense to be awarded a degree