Online Graduate Biology Courses and Classes Overview

Several universities offer online graduate biology courses for students interested in furthering their academic or professional careers. The classes cover a wide range of biology topics and are generally available as part of master's degree and certificate programs.

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Online Graduate Courses in Biology

Below are a few of the online courses offered in a graduate-level biology program.

  • Principles of Evolution Course: Many programs begin with this class as the building block to all other biological topics. Students learn evolutionary theory and its relation to microbiology, and they discuss Darwinian theory and principles of evolutionary adaptation. Some programs approach the topic from a teacher's perspective and discuss methods of presentation in a high-school classroom.
  • Fundamentals of Human Genetics Course: This class can be offered at any point in the program, but it acts as a core component of general biology. Course topics include gene mutation and repair, molecular genetic structure and modern advances in human genome understanding. Students complete weekly quizzes online.
  • Biology of Cancer Course: Students may choose this course to fulfill the program's elective requirements. Instructors teach them about the biochemistry and cellular process in relation to cancer's presence in the human body. Coursework focuses on cellular effects of different kinds of cancer in comparison with normal cell growth and development. Students participate in discussion board exercises and complete weekly assignments for instructor review.
  • Mycology Course: A commonly available elective course in online graduate biology programs, this class covers the biology of the fungal family. The completion of a microbiology class is recommend prior to studying mycology, where students discuss fungal evolution, diversity and medical use. Coursework consists of weekly assignments and online discussion between students and instructors.
  • Biology Research Course: This course is the culmination of most graduate biology programs. Students may be asked to submit a thesis, although some programs allow for a less intensive research paper to qualify in exchange for more class credits. Course requirements include a written proposal to be approved by the instructor.
  • Biological Statistics Course: Students in this class learn how to gather and analyze scientific data that is collected through scientific experiments. Students also learn about the parts of an experimental hypothesis and how to construct one. Despite having a basis in statistics, the course is light on math and mainly uses computers for the computational aspects of the subject.
  • Plant Physiology Course: This course will focus on the internal aspects of how plants work. Topics include growth and development, photosynthesis and plant metabolism.
  • Cell Biology Course: In this course, students will explore the chemical processes of cells. Methods of evaluating cell structures, the chemical properties of a cell and how cells divide and multiply will all be covered.

Program Information

Online and campus-based colleges and universities provide graduate courses in biology largely designed for current teachers looking to supplement existing education with further study. The courses are also suited for non-teachers with bachelor's degrees. Some courses have on-campus components to be completed during the summer.

These courses are commonly offered in Master of Science in Biology programs, although Master of Arts in Science Education programs also contain biology courses. Students can also take online biology courses as part of graduate-level certificates in specialized fields of biology, such as bioinformatics. Online Doctor of Philosophy in Biology programs are rare.

Online graduate biology courses are available via graduate certificates and master's degree programs. Students will have the chance to study various topics like plant physiology, cell biology and human genetics.

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