Masters Degree in Biology: Program Overviews

If you want to study biology at the graduate level, a master's degree in biology can be a good place to start. Get more information about degree options, program specifics, and options after graduation.

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Essential Information

Master's degree programs in biology train students in advanced concepts in the biological sciences and are available in both thesis and non-thesis formats. Thesis-based master's degree programs in biology have rigorous research requirements and are geared towards students who plan to pursue Ph.D. degrees and academic careers. Non-thesis programs are more suitable for pre-med or pre-dental students and those who are still exploring career goals. Specialization options include evolutionary biology, immunology, and molecular biology.

In order to apply to one of these programs, students need to have a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field, meet set of course requirements, provide letters of recommendation, and demonstrate academic success through high GRE scores and college grades. Those looking to get their Master's in Biology need to have good research and writing skills, since program focus primarily on independent research and may culminate in a written thesis and oral defense.


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Master's Degree in Biology

Over the course of the program, students take courses, attend seminars, give scientific talks, and often gain teaching experience by assisting faculty with undergraduate courses. Some common graduate classes include:

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

Popular Career Options

Depending on their research interests and specializations, master's degree students can pursue multiple career paths and professional areas of study after graduation. Common job titles include:

  • Wildlife biologist
  • Zoologist
  • Marine biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Biochemists or biophysicist

Continuing Education

After earning a master's degree in biology, students can continue their studies by enrolling in a doctoral degree program in biology. These research-intensive programs prepare students for academic positions or careers in medicine or industry.

Overall, a master's degree in biology provides students with advanced training in the biological sciences through both coursework and independent research. Upon completion, students can pursue a professional career in the field or enrollment in a Ph.D. program.

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