For Current MS Students


The Master of Science is a research degree program designed for individuals to increase their training in Physiology in preparation for a research career in animal physiology.


Students will have an advisory committee nominated by the chairman (major professor) and approved by the Director of the Physiology Graduate Program (DGP).

  • *MS Degree committees must have 3 members of the Graduate Faculty.*

Committees for MS degrees will include a chairman (major professor). The chair should be from the same department as the student and also be a member of the Physiology program’s faculty.  In addition to the chairman, an additional member of the Physiology Faculty should be on the advisory committee. This faculty member should be from a different department than the student and the major professor.

The committees of students taking a minor in Physiology must include one member of the Physiology Faculty to represent the Physiology minor.

The chairman of the doctoral degree committees must be a full member of the Graduate Faculty. However, an associate member of the Graduate Faculty may serve as a co-chair of the advisory committee if a full member of the Graduate Faculty (who is also a member of the Physiology Faculty) agrees to serve as co-chairman.

The candidate’s program and Plan of Work must be approved and signed by the Director of the Physiology Program before submission to the Graduate School.


Proficiency in a foreign language will be at the discretion of the student’s graduate advisory committee.

All students who received an international undergraduate degree, including U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents, will be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language: TOEFL as a part of the application process through the Graduate School.  For additional information on International Applications, please click here.


  • PHY 503: General Physiology I (3 credits)
  • PHY 504: General Physiology II (3 credits)
  • BCH 553: Biochemistry of Gene Expression (3 credits)
  • PHY 601/801 Physiology Seminar (1 credit)

Ethics course (1 credit) to be chosen from:

  • PHI 816: Introduction to Research Ethics
  • CBS 662: Professional Conduct in Biomedical Research
  • BIT 501: Ethical Issues in Biotechnology

Click here to see a list of suggested NC State University Graduate Courses available to you as a Physiology Graduate Program student.


In addition to the required core courses, the following are required for an MS Degree:

  • A minimum of one full academic year or its equivalent in residence as a graduate student at NCSU.
  • Full-Time Status Requirement:
  • Registration for nine of more credit hours for the Fall or Spring semester;
  • Or, a minimum of three hours during the semester in which the student is completing the last course(s) required to complete the degree;

If the student has completed all 36-hour requirements but has not finished the Master’s Thesis, full-time registration can be obtained by enrolling for three credits of PHY 699, Master’s Thesis Preparation, per semester; and

NOTE: PHY 699 can only be taken after completing the 36-hour requirement for the degree. Credits for PHY 699 do not count toward the 36-hour requirement and should not be included in a Plan of Work.

  • Continuous registration, i.e. Fall and Spring semesters;
  • A minimum of 36-semester hours of graduate work in the degree program including a minimum of 20-hours of 500-800 level course work;
  • No more than six hours of PHY 695, Thesis Research, in a minimum of 36-hour program;
  • No more than three hours of PHY 685, Master’s Supervised Teaching, in a minimum 36-hour program;
  • No more than six hours of 400-level courses, and they may not come from the major field;
  • No more than two hours of PHY 601, Departmental or Physiology Graduate Seminar;
  • At least 18 hours of the minimum 36 hours required for the Master’s degree must be graduate credits earned while the student is enrolled in a graduate classification at NCSU;
  • A thesis; and
  • A comprehensive oral examination.

A comprehensive listing of Graduate School policies, requirements and processing forms are provided in the Graduate Administrative Handbook.


Students pursuing the MS and PhD degrees are required to select a minor. Minors are chosen from another graduate program of interest. Minors can also be obtained for a MS degree. Possible minors for Physiology graduate students include but are not limited to: