Throughout the descriptions of the M.S. programs, there are caveats about obtaining a Research advisor before applying. Why?
Unlike the M.S. programs in Forensics and in Biodiversity, the general M.S. in Biological Sciences is a program with very limited scope: It is primarily intended for students who have an existing relationship with a professor. It does not accept students without a prior commitment from that professor.
Can I apply and then seek a research advisor?
Technically you can, but you will almost certainly not be admitted. You will have paid a non-refundable application fee with little chance of success.
Can you give an example of a person who might be appropriate to this degree?
A student who was an undergraduate research student at UAlbany and wants to stay additional time to finish an ongoing project, but has other plans that would preclude continuing for a PhD.
Isn't an M.S. degree required before continuing for a Ph.D.?
No. If your long-range plan is to continue to the Ph.D., you should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.
How can I seek commitment from a research advisor?