Biology: Nurse Anesthesia Concentration - Master of Science

This concentration is jointly offered by the Department of Biology and Mayo Clinic Health System – Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Students simultaneously complete requirements for the Master of Science degree in biology and educational requirements of a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA).

Biology graduate student requirements

All graduate students in biology must meet the following requirements:

  1. Complete at least 30 credits of graduate level course work (500-level and above) of which at least 15 credits must be at the 700-level.
  2. Prior to registration each semester, the student must consult with the major advisor.
  3. Enroll in BIO 700 Biology Graduate Program Orientation during the first fall semester of residence. Enroll in BIO 701 Communication in the Biological Sciences and two semesters of BIO 751 Graduate Seminar during the first four semesters of residence. Nurse anesthesia students are exempt from the BIO 700 and BIO 751 requirement but are required to complete BIO 701.
  4. Students may complete an appropriate graduate course (numbers 500 and above) from outside the department of biology upon approval of a student's advisory committee.
  5. Submit a written thesis or seminar paper proposal to the advisory committee (ideally prior to the beginning of the second year of residence). Nurse anesthesia students are exempt from this requirement and are not required to complete a thesis or seminar paper as part of the degree program.
  6. Pass a thesis proposal defense and/or an oral examination covering material determined by the advisory committee, such as the student's research area and advanced course work.
  7. Not less than one semester after completion of the thesis proposal/oral examination, present an oral defense of the thesis or seminar paper. Nurse anesthesia students are exempt from this requirement.
  8. Students must maintain continuous term-to-term enrollment per the university's Graduate Research, Comprehensive Exams, and Terminal Project Completion Policy.
  9. Consult this catalog and the department's graduate student guidelines for additional policies pertaining to graduate students in a biology program.


Candidates for this concentration must apply separately to, and be accepted by, the Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia. For additional information and an application, please visit their School of Anesthesia website.

Master of Science in biology: nurse anesthesia concentration requirements:

Students in this concentration must satisfy both the program requirements above and the university's degree requirements for graduate students. In addition, students must complete

  1. The CRNA core curriculum of 30 credits
  2. The Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia's curriculum of 23 credits
  3. A research project

CRNA core curriculum

BIO 509Human Gross Anatomy3
BIO 510Applied Human Gross Anatomy3
BIO 524Human Endocrinology3
BIO 701Communication in the Biological Sciences4
BIO 715Pathophysiology I 12
BIO 717Pathophysiology II 11
BIO 718Advanced Human Physiology I4
BIO 719Advanced Human Physiology II4
CHM 530Chemistry for Nurse Anesthesia3
ESS 782Electrocardiography3
Total Credits30

Course taught at the School of Anesthesia and transferred to UWL.

School of Anesthesia curriculum

Students in this concentration must complete the following courses offered through the Mayo Clinic Health System - Franciscan Healthcare School of Anesthesia:

  • SOA 740 Physical Assessment for Anesthetists, 3 credits
  • SOA 741 Professional Aspects I, 1 credit
  • SOA 742 Professional Aspects II, 1 credit
  • SOA 743 Professional Aspects III, 1 credit
  • SOA 744 Anesthesia Basic Concepts, 4 credits
  • SOA 745 Anesthesia Advanced Concepts, 4 credits
  • SOA 746 Pharmacology I, 3 credits
  • SOA 747 Pharmacology, 3 credits
  • SOA 800 Clinical Practicum I, 1 credit
  • SOA 809 Clinical Practicum II, 1 credit
  • SOA 810 Clinical Practicum III, 1 credit

Total credits from the School of Anesthesia: 23

University graduate degree requirements

After being admitted to the program of one's choice, candidates for a graduate degree must:

  1. Complete any preliminary course work and deficiencies.
  2. Complete all courses and other program requirements, including residence requirements prescribed for the degree desired in the respective school or college within a seven-year period from the date of initial enrollment, with the exception of students enrolled in the Student Affairs Administration and Leadership Ed.D. (SAA Ed.D.) graduate program. SAA Ed.D. students must complete all degree requirements within ten years from the time of initial enrollment in the graduate program.
  3. Earn a minimum of 30 credits for a master's degree; 54 credits for a doctorate or post-master's degree. Earn at least one-half of the minimum number of credits required in the program in graduate-only level courses (700, 800, 900, and non-slash 600 level courses). Some UWL graduate programs require more than 30 graduate credits. Please review the individual program requirements listed in the catalog for the exact number of credits required.
  4. Earn a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.00.
  5. Satisfy dissertation, thesis, seminar paper, terminal/graduate projects and internships, or comprehensive examination, where applicable. A dissertation or thesis approved by the committee must be submitted to Graduate & Extended Learning for editorial review and approval by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. The recommended initial submission date for review is two weeks before commencement. Ordinarily, a seminar paper or project report does not have to be approved by the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. However, if the seminar paper or project report is to be archived in Murphy Library, the student must follow the same rules as they apply to the dissertation/thesis requiring approval from the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning. For further research/dissertation/thesis guidelines, see Graduate & Extended Learning.
  6. File a completed "Intent to Graduate" form online via the WINGS Student Center immediately following registration for the final semester or summer term in residence. December graduates and winter intersession should file by May 1. May and summer graduates should file by December 1.
  7. Pay the graduation fee and remove all other indebtedness to the university. Payment of graduation fees does not imply readiness for graduation and does not take the place of applying for graduation.
  8. Complete all requirements within 30 days after the official ending date of a term in order for a degree to be awarded for that term. (See #5 above for separate deadline for written capstone experience.)