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Interdisciplinary Program in Natural Sciences

The Master of Natural Sciences (MNS) degree, administered through the Graduate School in conjunction with the College of Science, provides the depth and breadth of study in the sciences that is required of science professionals and school teachers. The MNS program allows a combination of coursework from allied fields. For instance, certified teachers seeking the MNS can tailor their Plan of Study to include courses needed for add-on certifications in additional subject areas, or professionals in STEM intensive areas (e.g., medical technology, pre-med, forensics, environment, and computation in science) may take an array of courses to enhance their job capabilities.

 

Administration:

Dr. Guillermo Ferreyra
Interim Dean, College of Science
336 Hatcher Hall
College of Science

Address: Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Phone: 225-578-8859
Fax: 225-578-8826

Email: dnferr@lsu.edu

 

Master of Natural Sciences (MNS)

 

Both a non-thesis and a thesis option are available. A student in the MNS program must develop by the end of the second semester or upon completion of 15 or more hours of credit a Plan of Study together with an advisor in the College of Science that must have approval of the MNS program administrator.

 

Non-Thesis Option: The non-thesis option must include at least 36 semester hours of graduate courses distributed as follows:

  • at least 18 semester hours must be in a primary focus area in a natural science or mathematics in a cooperating department marked with an asterisk* below
  • to provide breath of knowledge, at least 6 hours of electives have to be taken in fields closely related to the focus area, but not necessarily within the focus area or within the cooperating departments and schools
  • at most 12 hours can be taken in a secondary area that supports a cohesive plan of study and the professional and academic goals of the student. The courses in the secondary area must be offered by a cooperating department or school (see listing below). 

 
At least 18 of the total 36 semester hours must be in courses numbered 5000 or above and six of these 18 must be in the focus area. Courses below the 4000-level cannot be counted. Courses at the 4000-level can be counted only if they are taken as graduate courses. Although a modest number of hours in independent study or research courses are allowed, a student may not apply thesis research (8000) hours to this degree track. A comprehensive final oral exam administered by the student's committee is required to complete the degree.

 

Thesis Option:  Requirements for the thesis option include 24 semester hours of graduate course work, and six semester hours of thesis credit. Of the 24 hours of graduate course work,

  • at least 9 must be at or above the 5000 level
  • at least 12 must be in a primary focus area in a natural science or mathematics in a cooperating department marked with an asterisk* below
  • at most 12 hours can be taken in a secondary area that supports a cohesive plan of study and the professional and academic goals of the student. The courses in the secondary area must be offered by a cooperating department or school (see listing below).


The thesis must be directly related to the focus area. The final oral exam will include a defense of the thesis.

 

ADMISSION

 

Applications must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School: www.lsu.edu/gradapply. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

 

GRADUATE FACULTY (Check current listings selecting one of the departmental links below.)

The graduate faculty for the MNS program includes all graduate faculty in the following cooperating departments and schools:

Participating Departments/Faculty


> Animal Science*
 

> Biological Sciences*
 

> Chemistry*
 

>  School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science  


> School of Education
 

> Entomology*
 

> Environmental Sciences*
 

> Geography & Anthropology*
 

> Geology & Geological Sciences*
 

> Mathematics*
 

> Oceanography & Coastal Sciences*
 

> Physics & Astronomy*
 

> Plant, Environmental & Soil Sciences*
 

> Plant Pathology & Crop Physiology*
 

> Renewable Natural Resources*

 

Click Here for MNS Plan of Study

 

Click Here for Assessment and Evaluation Plan for the Thesis and Non-Thesis Options of the MNS.


 

Click Here to go back to Degree Program Choices.