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MS Biology Program


The Master of Science in Biology is a 30-semester-hour program with specialized concentrations in molecular and cellular biology and environmental and organismal biology. The MS Biology program offers a thesis option and a non-thesis option for the Masters of Science degree. 

A thesis-based Master’s degree offers the opportunity to carry out original research, and provides necessary training for research-based careers in the biological sciences and related health sciences. Environmental and organismal biology offers training in a wide range of fields, including conservation biology, ecology, evolutionary biology, behavior, fisheries, ornithology, herpetology, invertebrate biology, and microbiology. Training opportunities in Cell Biology are similarly diverse, and include applied genetics, endocrinology, development, reproductive biology, and cell biology. Students select coursework relevant to their research interest within their concentration of choice. 

A non-thesis Master’s degree is appropriate for careers that value individuals having advanced technical and conceptual training in biology, but do not require one to carry out research in order to succeed in their professional endeavors. These include clinical doctorate programs that are practice-focused, business applications, positions in management and policy, and teaching at the community college or secondary education levels. The non-thesis option offers a highly rigorous curriculum that is tailored to the student’s individual career goals.

MS Research and Assistantship Funding 

Admissions to the MS graduate programs are awarded on a competitive basis. We guarantee two years of stipend support through teaching or research assistantships to qualified students who are accepted with support. In addition, a limited number of Graduate Scholar Awards, awarded through the Graduate School, are available for the strongest applicants. For students from out-of-state, these Graduate Scholar Awards also provide out-of-state tuition remissions for a period of two years. Out-of-state students admitted to the program are guaranteed out-of-state tuition remissions for one year, which allows them to pay the tuition at the in-state rate and to qualify for in-state tuition in subsequent years.