Masters Degree in Biology: Program Overviews

In a master's program in biology, students can specialize in an interest area, such as molecular biology, evolutionary biology or immunology. Programs are available in both thesis and non-thesis formats.

Essential Information

Thesis programs in biology have vigorous research requirements and are geared towards students who will pursue Ph.D. degrees and/or research careers. Non-thesis programs may better suit pre-med or pre-dental students and those who are still exploring career goals.

  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in biology or related field; meet a set of coursework requirements; have strong grade point average; pass GRE and send out letters of recommendation
  • Program Specializations: Evolutionary biology, immunology, molecular biology

Master's Degree in Biology

Those looking to get their Master's in Biology need to have good research and writing skills. A bachelor's degree in biology or a related field and letters of recommendation are usually required to get into one of these graduate programs. Research is a primary focus of biology thesis programs. Coursework supports the research which in turn leads to writing and defending the master's thesis. Programs may include presenting seminars and discussing seminars presented by others. A teaching practicum that includes assisting faculty in delivering undergraduate courses is a requirement for some programs. Courses may include:

  • Biostatistics
  • Cell biology
  • Ecology
  • Experiment design
  • Systematics
  • Thesis research

Popular Career Options

Biology students at the master's degree level have a wide variety of research and specialization opportunities that can lead to multiple career paths and professional areas of study. Graduates from these programs may work as:

  • Wildlife biologists
  • Zoologists
  • Marine biologists
  • Microbiologists
  • Biochemists or biophysicists

Continuing Education

Doctoral programs in biology offer further research opportunities for candidates. Conducting original research prepares students to work in medicine, industry and academia within biological systems ranging from mammals to microorganisms.

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