Program Requirements

The Master of Natural and Applied Science program is tailored to accommodate your academic interests and professional endeavors. You will work closely with your advisor to determine which courses will be a part of your individualized program of study. To graduate with the MNAS, you are required to complete the following:

Degree requirements (minimum of 32 hours)

  1. 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.
  2. 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 College 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.    
  6. 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.
  7. 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 is eligible to receive the Professional Science Master (PSM) designation if he/she completes the internship option of the research requirements and three courses from the following seven offered through the College of Business:  ACC 600, CIS 600, FIN 600, LAW 600, MGT 600, MKT 600 QBA 600.  The PSM designation is approved and recognized under the MNAS degree program by the Council of Graduate Schools.