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What Biomimicry Programs are available?
What if I am not sure which program is right for me?
If you need help deciding which program is better for you, start here. The beginning of this video goes over both programs at ASU and then goes over the Biomimicry Professional and Biomimicry Specialist program offered by our partners at Biomimicry 3.8. You can also read much more on our website at biomimicry.asu.edu.
Non-degree Seeking Students: Students who are interested in exploring whether these programs are right for them are also welcome to enroll in BMY 501 as a non-degree student . If you opt to continue on as a degree-seeking student, your successful completion of BMY 501 can be transferred towards your program requirements. Other BMY courses are not open to non-degree seeking students at this time.
Can I enroll in the Graduate Certificate at the same time as the MS degree? Is dual enrollment allowed?
The programs are designed to be nested. The first 13 credits of the 15 credit certificate are the same as the MS program. You can choose to earn both the certificate and the MS, but the last 2-credits earned for BMY 530 will not count towards the MS requirement of 30 credits. (You can either take BMY 530 again with a new topic near the end of your MS or choose the other three practicums).
If you want to switch from the certificate to the MS, the earlier you apply to the MS the better since there is a 12 credit pre-admission policy to degree programs. If you have completed more than 12 credits prior to being admitted to the MS, you will have to petition and ask special permission to bring in more than the 12 credits allowed… while this can happen, it does mean a bit more back and forth to get things approved, so the best course of action would be to apply to the MS prior to hitting that 12 credit threshold.
If you know for sure you want to do both, your safest path is to enroll in both the certificate and MS right from the start together (or as soon as possible after admission to one), then there will never be a pre-admission issue. If you choose not to go on for the MS you can leave when the certificate is complete, OR continue on and earn both credentials. There is a 40% rule for pre-admission to a certificate, so having a MS student apply to a certificate after all the required credits are earned would be against policy.
How is the minimum and maximum time it will take me to complete the Graduate Certificate and the MS degree?
Full-time graduate students should aim to finish a master’s program within 2-2.5 years. However, the program is designed for working professionals, who likely will be taking just 3-4 credits/semester. In this latter case, you can expect 10 semesters (3 ⅓ years) to graduate. You techincally have five years to complete your MS, but you must be enrolled for at least 1 credit per semester (not counting summer).
Students pursuing the Graduate Certificate can expect to finish in as few as four semesters (including summer), taking one class per semester.
Is there an accelerated track for either program?
You may request permission to simultaneous take BMY 501 (1 credit) with another course, in spring, summer or fall of your first semester. Based on the recommended order (and availability) of courses, the certificate requires 4 semesters. It is possible to take the MS in 4 semesters but you will not benefit from the recommendations on course order.
Please note that the classes are scheduled to accommodate part-time enrollment. We encourage people to complete their studies at a half-time basis in order to experience the highest quality the program has to offer. You are allowed to move along faster, however, you might find that some courses might not be offered every semester.
What is the expected workload?
The programs are designed specifically for working professionals, rather than full-time students. The amount of workload in a given week corresponds with the number of credits you are enrolled in. A good rule of thumb is 3-4 hours/credit enrolled. This is an average, and some weeks will have more or less. While there is a reasonable amount of flexibility within a given week, i.e. batch A of assignments are due Wed nights and batch B on Sunday nights, with your own determination within that window when to check-in and work, it’s not designed to provide a lot of flexibility week to week. Missing one week, and either planning ahead, or getting permission to make it up later, is generally approved by faculty, but assuming that you will need to miss several random weeks throughout a semester long program might make it quite difficult. Since we strive to provide timely and appropriate feedback both from instructors and amongst students, being out of sync with the course syllabus could get very frustrating.
So, no, it’s not totally flexible, nor is it super-rigid. To date, about 75% of students are employed full-time, and definitely have to make a commitment to find the 10-20 hours/week that they’ve needed to complete the program.
How can I prepare for this type of graduate program during my undergraduate studies?
Undergraduate Preparation for Biomimicry Graduate School
If you aren’t yet ready for graduate school, there are many ways in which you can still prepare for an eventual career in biomimicry. We highly recommend that you engage in academic endeavors that are as interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary as you can find. Choose a major like engineering, design, sustainability or business and take lots of general biology classes. Or go into biology, and try to take intro classes in other disciplines as you gain an understanding of how the world works. If you haven’t yet chosen an undergraduate institution, try to find one that values innovation, sustainability, and cross-disciplinary learning. In any institution, look for classes that improve your problem-solving skills, creativity, communication, collaboration, and systems thinking. Many universities offer a class in biomimicry for undergraduates, but they are scattered widely. Ask your professors about biomimicry and how you might learn more. Propose independent study work, seek internships that provide exposure to real-world applications of technology and design solutions, or give you a broad swath of natural history. There are lots of paths towards biomimicry, and being innovative on how you compile your skills will set you up for success in graduate school.
Are online programs comparable in quality to on-campus programs?
Yes. The same faculty and instructors that teach on the ASU campuses teach ASU Online courses. This means that the rigor and quality of the content, as well as the course load is the same as the on-campus classes.
ASU Online students are full-fledged Sun Devils and your diploma and transcripts from ASU will look the same whether you take courses in classroom or online format. There is no indication on your diploma or transcript that your studies were completed online.
Step-by-step video tutorials are available as an introduction to ASU’s online student environment and related resources. Please visit the following link to learn more.
Can online students get a student ID card?
Yes. Online students can order a Sun Card, ASU’s official student ID, by completing a Sun Card Request form.
Can you tell me about the "classroom?"
ASU instructors and faculty use a variety of methods to share materials, have students interact, and to be able to monitor student’s progress throughout the course. The current platform is Canvas, which provides a place to access course resources, submit assignments, and engage with classmates.
One of the benefits of completing your degree online is flexibility. A few courses may require specific log-on times for certain activities or assignments, but most courses have assignments and due dates; when the student logs on to complete them is determined by the student. Some assignments and tests may only be available for a limited time (such as a 48-hour period), so they must be completed at some point within the designed time.
What books are required for the courses?
It varies depending on the course. We try not to require the purchase of too many books, preferring online resources instead.
Do I have to be a techie to take online classes?
It’s helpful to be good with computers. If you plan to take all of your courses online, you should be technologically savvy—able to send and receive information, research, and communicate with others.
At minimum, you need a computer that can access the Internet, preferably with a high-speed connection. You should have access to email, productivity software like Microsoft Office, and other applications needed to perform a variety of educational functions. ASU offers Microsoft 365 to currently enrolled students free of charge. Learn more here .
If you get stuck, ASU has a 24/7 help desk that can answer questions and help resolve problems. Call 855.278.5080 (toll-free) or use the Help Desk Chat.
What tools do I need to successfully participate in online classes?
ASU Online courses are taught using the learning management system Canvas and include a variety of multimedia tools and resources. To ensure you can successfully access the multimedia tools in your courses, ASU Online recommends you use a standard PC or Mac desktop or laptop computer with a webcam, headset, and microphone. Mobile devices such as a cell phone, Google Chromebook or tablet computer (Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Microsoft Surface) will not provide the access and functionality necessary for ASU Online courses and are not recommended.
Courses are best viewed using a high-speed Internet connection and the browsers Firefox or Chrome, which can be downloaded for free online. Linux is not supported. Run this browser check to ensure Canvas will support your browser and operating system.
When are classes offered?
The MS program starts three times per year, while the certificate program starts five times per year. Unlike most traditional academic programs, the Biomimicry programs treat the summer semester the same as fall and spring, with a general expectation that you stay enrolled year round. Check the academic calendar for specific dates: http://students.asu.edu/academic-calendar
What are the admission requirements I need to be aware of ahead of time?
Please read more about admission requirements here.
Bachelor’s Degree Requirement
You must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country. For European credits: To be equivalent to a 4-year US Bachelor’s degree, you need to complete 240 ECTS, even if from multiple institutions.
You must have maintained a “B” (3.00 on a 4.00 scale) grade point average (GPA) in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate coursework. If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirements but are close, your application may still be considered.
Official transcripts must be sent directly to Graduate Admissions by the records office of the issuing institution(s). Photocopies and notarized transcripts are NOT acceptable. ASU does not accept transcripts delivered by fax or by hand. Please have your previous academic institution(s) mail your official transcripts to the appropriate ASU mailing address. Please use an expedited mailing process to ensure your transcripts arrive on time.
If sending by U.S. Mail:
Arizona State University
Graduate Admission Services
PO Box 870112
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112
If sending by FedEx, DHL or UPS:
Arizona State University
Graduate Admission Services
1151 S. Forest Avenue, #SSV112,
Tempe, AZ 85287-0112
Does my previous study and work experience correspond with your admission?
A bachelor’s degree is required and we recommend that students have at least 3-5 years of work experience in order to best apply the knowledge that they are gaining, although this is not mandatory.
Are there any unique requirements for International applicants?
The application standards for international students are the same as for domestic students, with the exception of submitting proof of English proficiency (for students whose native language is not English) and translated transcripts.
The minimum ILETS/TOEFL score is 6.5 on average, with no part less than 6.0. You must submit your recent TOEFL or ILETS score with your application in order to have it be reviewed.
IMPORTANT: when asked to provide your visa on the application form, please enter ‘JN’ for the Biomimicry graduate programs.
All international transcripts must be submitted in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. Translations must be literal, complete versions of the originals and must be translated by a university, government official or official translation service. You may not complete your own translation.
How can I tell if my application is complete?
Within a few days you will receive an email with instructions on how to log into your My ASU account. My ASU is where you can monitor the status of your application, view any missing items and receive the final outcome of your application.
I haven’t finished my application yet, but I entered the information for my recommenders. Why have my recommenders not received the email?
The application must be completed and the application fee must be paid before the emails are sent to recommenders.
My recommender did not receive the email to submit the letter of recommendation. How do I resend the email?
You are allowed to resend the email every seven days though My ASU. In My ASU, access the “Manage Recommenders” link to send reminder emails. If your recommender does not seem to be receiving the emails, please have them check their spam/junk folder in their email account.
What is the application process?
Submission of an application
For admission information and procedures, see students.asu.edu/graduate. Applications for all graduate degree programs, certificate programs, and/or non-degree must be submitted via the students.asu.edu/graduate/apply.
Prior to submitting an application to the office of Graduate Education, applicants should review information regarding the degree program, and academic unit application requirements and deadlines. Students who have a Graduate Education approved Request to Maintain Continuous Enrollment on file with the office of Graduate Education prior to their semester of non-registration and are re-entering the same degree program for the semester immediately following the approved Request, are not required to submit a new application.
Each application to an ASU graduate program must be accompanied by a non-refundable application fee, payable by credit card at the time of submission. The application fee covers Graduate Education administrative costs of processing all applications and is not refundable under any circumstance.
In addition to the normal application fee, a $50 non-refundable late processing fee will be assessed for all applications submitted on or after the dates indicated previously.
Applicants receive an email acknowledgement once the application has been successfully submitted. The acknowledgement includes an ASURITE ID and activation code so that students may follow the progress of their application through MyASU. Applicants should review MyASU to monitor their application status, “To Do” items and “Holds”.
The Biomimicry programs require an official application, resume, personal statement, transcripts, letters of recommendation, and English proficiency scores. Applicants must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions previously attended to the office of Graduate Education (see addresses here). Applicants should consult the academic unit regarding program admission requirements prior to submitting an online application.
All documents received by Graduate Admission Services in connection with an application become property of the ASU Graduate Education office and will not be returned.
Applicants who attended school in the United States must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution in order to be eligible for admission. Applicants are required to provide proof that a bachelor’s or graduate degree was awarded before completion of their first semester of graduate studies at ASU.
Applicants who attended school outside of the U.S. must hold a bachelor’s or graduate degree, or equivalent, from an institution that is officially recognized by that country. If original credentials are issued in a language other than English, applicants must provide the original language transcripts as well as an official and literal translation. Applicants are required to provide proof that a bachelor’s or graduate degree was awarded before completion of their first semester of graduate studies at ASU.
Photocopied documents certified by a notary public are not official. For more information regarding official academic credentials see, https://students.asu.edu/graduate/apply. For additional information regarding official international academic credentials see students.asu.edu/graduate/apply.
Applicants must have maintained a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours of undergraduate coursework.
Because ASU receives applications from many highly qualified students, some applicants may be denied admission for reasons not related to their academic performance. Examples include, but are not limited to: program capacity, mentor availability, and/or program match.
Additional International Student Requirements
Applicants from a country whose native language is not English (regardless of where they may now reside) must provide proof of English proficiency. The English language requirement cannot be waived. Acceptable proof is as follows:
English proficiency is only valid for two years and must be taken within two years from the beginning of the semester for which the student applied.
Some applicants are exempt from the English proficiency requirement. The following exceptions must be met exactly to be considered for an exemption:
Post-baccalaureate non-degree programs
Applicants who do not immediately intend to pursue a graduate degree may apply as a post-baccalaureate students.asu.edu/graduate/nondegree. The application process does not require the submission of academic credentials or test scores.
Non-degree applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a U.S. regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s or graduate degree from an international institution that is officially recognized by that country.
Non-degree study is restricted. Students can take BMY 501 as an introductory course to the program. After completion of BMY 501, you must apply to the biomimicry program if you wish to continue taking courses.
***Financial aid is not available to non-degree students.
When will I be notified about the final decision on my application?
After an application has been successfully submitted, applicants receive an email acknowledgement that includes an ASURITE ID and activation code. Applicants should review MyASU to check on the application status, “To Do” items and “Holds”.
Be sure to monitor My ASU regularly for any updates to your application. Pending Priority Tasks will delay the processing of your application.
Can I start classes in a different semester than the one I put on my application?
The semester start date that you put on your application is the semester you must enroll in classes. You must also continuously be enrolled in courses from that day forward (except for Summer sessions) to be in-compliance with ASU’s continuous enrollment policy. If you want to change your starting term/semester, you will be charged a fee. The only opportunity to change your term/semester (without a fee) is BEFORE you are accepted into the program. Please contact Mary.Kivioja@asu.edu if you need to change your starting semester.
Who should write a letter of recommendation on my behalf?
Your letters of recommendation should come from current/former professors and/or supervisors. Colleagues, classmates, and family friends are generally not considered as good candidates for letters of recommendation.
How do I access my online course?
How do I find and enroll in classes?
How do I check my ASU email?
ASU provides an email account to all students. It is university policy that an ASU email account be the official channel of email communication.
ASU email for students is provided through Gmail. An ASU Gmail account is different from a personal Gmail account. Through your Gmail for ASU account, you have special access to Google tools for ASU such as My Apps and My Files.
Before accessing your ASU Gmail account for the first time, make sure that your email is being forwarded to Gmail for ASU.
To access your Gmail for ASU account, sign into My ASU using your ASURITE user ID and password. Click on the My Gmail link located in the left side-bar.
Please note: Your ASU email address is considered directory information and will appear in ASU’s electronic directories. If you’d like to have your information hidden from the directory, please submit the Withhold Directory Information Request form to University Registrar Services.
For more information about the policies governing email use at ASU, please review ACD 125: Computer, Internet, and Electronic Communications Information Management Policy.
If you’re not sure what your official ASU email address is, please follow these steps:
What is the cost?
It doesn’t matter if you are an online student taking classes in Phoenix, Paris, or Portugal. No matter where you live in the world you are able to attend ASU Online at an in-state tuition rate.
All students pay the same rate which is $790.00 (US), per credit hour. Tuition is an all-inclusive fee (tuition and program fees). Technology, Financial Aid Trust and other mandatory university fees may apply but are minimal.
Are scholarships available?
There are a variety of scholarships available through ASU and more information can be found at: http://students.asu.edu/scholarships
The Biomimicry Center offers scholarships as well and more information can be found at: https://biomimicry.asu.edu/education/financial-support/
What about financial aid?
Students admitted into a degree program may be eligible for financial aid if they meet the eligibility criteria.
The Biomimicry Center offers financial support in the forms of scholarships, research assistantships (RA), and teaching assistantships (TA). To ensure that as many students as possible have an opportunity to receive financial support, The Biomimicry Center does not offer scholarships, TAships, or RAships that are more than 50% of the cost of the program. For more information on these types of support, go to: https://biomimicry.asu.edu/education/financial-support/
For more information regarding Financial Aid at ASU, please visit the website: http://students.asu.edu/financial-aid
I am currently registered for courses, when will I receive a bill?
A tuition billing statement will not be mailed. Students may view billing statement and pay online: http://asu.edu/myasu
For more payment options and additional information go to: http://students.asu.edu/tuitionandbilling
Financial Aid is posted to your student account and used to pay tuition and other student account charges. For students with accepted financial aid sufficient to cover tuition charges, financial aid will automatically pay tuition charges and no action is necessary. For students with accepted financial aid not sufficient to cover tuition charges need to pay the balance by the payment deadline, after which students with unpaid tuition charges in excess of pending aid will be automatically enrolled in the ASU Payment Plan.
How do I pay my bill?
Please follow this link for the most up to date information on how to pay your bill: https://students.asu.edu/payment-options
How do I understand my billing statement?
Will my diploma and transcript say “Arizona State University” or “Arizona State University Online”?
Your diploma and transcript will say “Arizona State University.” There is no indication that your studies were completed online.
Can I attend graduation on campus?
Yes! ASU Online students are encouraged to participate in university graduation ceremonies. More information can be found on the University Ceremonies website.
When should I apply for graduation?
Students apply for graduation for the semester in which they are completing their final courses.
|Application Deadlines||Graduation Application Filing Fees|
|Fall: Oct. 1
Spring: Feb. 15
Summer: June 15
|Undergraduate and graduate: $50
Each additional, concurrent degree: $25
Late fee, if applicable: $35
Where can I find more information on graduation?
For additional information regarding graduation, please visit this website: https://students.asu.edu/graduation-apply
Career Opportunities for Biomimics
Unlike most graduate disciplines, biomimicry is really new. This means you won’t find very many job descriptions with the word biomimicry in the title. As a emerging discipline (of an ancient practice), this provides an incredible opportunity to shape your own work in the world. As the only university in the world to offer a MS in biomimicry, it also means that you are uniquely qualified for a world that is waking up to the potential of biomimicry. Given this combination, graduates of the program are most likely to succeed when they are committed to creatively generating opportunities both as leaders or even within/for existing career paths. If you are looking for a guaranteed job/career path, the biomimicry program is not for you. For some ideas and insight into paths taken by others, see what our alumni have been doing.
Academic Opportunities for Biomimics
Earning your MS in biomimicry can be a fruitful stepping stone for a PhD program, or a nice complement to other master’s degrees. While this program is not designed to set you up with strong scientific (original) research skills, its is scientifically rigorous enough that it can be recognized and accepted by many PhD programs (although in no way in this guaranteed). Its worth checking into the field you are most interested in or the school you’d like to attend following/complementing this program to determine the compatibility and acceptability of the MS in biomimicry.
Who do I contact for help during the admissions process?
Who do I contact for help with enrollment, withdrawals, leaves, and graduation?
During the application process, you will need to select a location for your program of study. Please select “ASU Online” as your location and not Tempe, iCourse, or any other option.
Comparable degree requirements in different countries and territories