Online graduate certificate programs related to biology can deal with general biology or focus further on topics such as molecular or cell biology. Based on that, some of these programs may be geared towards professionals who are in a scientific field or teachers who would like to expand their knowledge base and skillset. Even though graduate certificate programs related to biology may be designed for a range of career paths, they tend to have a few courses in common.
Common Courses in Biology-Related Graduate Certificate Programs
Depending on the graduate certificate program, students may need to take between 12 and 24 credit hours of materials. In some cases, students can use the courses in the programs toward continuing education or professional development and there can be options for transferring the credit to a related master's degree program.
Graduate certificate programs that focus on biology may include an assessment of the environment and how humans affect it. When enrolled in courses that deal with the environment, students may learn how to identify chemical signals. The courses may also include areas such as toxicology, human health and the effects of chemicals on the environment.
An important aspect of biology is the study of biological cells. Courses like these may focus on the structure of these cells as well as their chemical properties. A few of the topics that may be covered include cell cycle regulation, cell communication, and cell signaling.
Courses of this nature generally focus on the metabolic side of biology. Students may learn about the typical compounds that are involved in biochemistry and the role they play in metabolic activity. Students may also have the chance to understand the structure of proteins and nucleic acids as well as their function.
Some of these courses could explore genetics from a medical standpoint while others handle the molecular aspect. A few of the other topics that can be covered are heredity as it relates to different types of organisms and how heredity can affect health in humans. Coursework might dive into subjects like eukaryotic genetics, genetic engineering and theories of recombinant DNA.
Graduate certificate programs related to biology can integrate information about a range of advanced organisms. Some of these courses can introduce students to how animals communicate or behave. Sound detection, vision and evolutionary history may be explored.
General Admission Requirements for Biology-Related Graduate Certificate Programs
To be considered for admission to graduate certificate programs related to biology, applicants will need to have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. Some programs may require an undergraduate degree in scientific areas such as biology, chemistry, biochemistry or genetics and applicants may ask for a minimum GPA (such as 3.0). When applying to these graduate certificate programs, prospective students may need to submit school transcripts and a personal statement. Where entrance exams are required, most programs don't need passing scores on a GRE test while non-native English speakers may need to submit passing scores on an English Language proficiency exam.
Graduate certificate programs related to biology might focus on different aspects of biology and could be designed for science-based professionals as well as educators. Generally, prospective students will need an undergraduate degree, preferably in an area like biology, biochemistry or chemistry.