Board of Regents approves new master’s in integrative biology for Kennesaw State University

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Employment of biological scientists expected to increase faster than average   KENNESAW, Ga. (…

Georgia (Jan 11, 2012)

KENNESAW, Ga. (Jan. 11, 2012) — The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents today approved a new master of science in integrative biology for Kennesaw State University. This is the first degree of its kind in the state of Georgia.
“KSU seeks to establish a master of science with a major in integrative biology to provide students with a competitive advantage in anticipation of trends in the biological sciences,” said Ken Harmon, KSU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “The distinctive integrative approach in the program will enable graduates to anticipate changes in the marketplace and simultaneously work in teams to solve complex biological questions.”
The 36-semester-hour program will include a thesis requirement and be housed in the department of biology and physics, with the major objective of ensuring graduates integrate content, concepts and data across biological scales, i.e. molecules, cells and ecosystems, and academic disciplines, i.e. physiology and genetics, to answer scientific questions. The biology and physics department engages in collaborative research efforts that include ecologic-genetic interactions, host-pathogen studies and cell signaling protein research.
“This degree is the first of its kind in Georgia, and one of the few throughout the nation,” said College of Science and Math Dean Ronald H. Matson. “The Master of Science in Integrative Biology is truly a biology degree for the 21st century. This program is different from the typical master’s in biology in its emphasis on the integrated and multidisciplinary nature of biology. Integrative biology recognizes that research must be designed to bring specialized expertise together to integrate knowledge and skills in order to solve a common problem.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of biological scientists in all occupations is expected to increase much faster than the average – greater than 20 percent. The new master’s program is linked to industrial and research activities, as well as biotechnology investments in the state. The southeast regional office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and the American Cancer Society are a few of the institutions in the area that need well-trained life scientists.
“The Master of Science in Integrative Biology degree is transformational for our college and our students,” Matson said. “It allows the faculty to have more active research programs, which in turn allows our students, graduate and undergraduate, more opportunities to actually do science. The research conducted as part of this program will ultimately result in more grant dollars for the university and greater recognition of the College of Science and Mathematics and KSU as an education and scientific resource for Georgia and the nation.”
The new program is expected to accept students in fall 2012, just in time for the opening for the College of Science and Mathematics’ new laboratory building.
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Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,100 students from more than 130 countries.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit