MS in Biology

The goal of the Biology Department master’s program is to train students at an advanced level in one of three broad subfields within modern biology: cellular and molecular biology; neurobiology; and ecology, behavior, evolution, and marine biology. Three tracks lead to the MS: a coursework track, a scholarly paper track, and a research thesis track. Students are assigned faculty advisors in their subfield of interest during the first semester in the program.

The program accepts postbachelor’s applicants with degrees in biology or related disciplines. Upon completion of the master’s program, students should be prepared for further graduate training or for eventual employment in teaching and/or research positions in academia, industry, government, or nonprofit agencies.

Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate academic mastery in one of three areas of biology: ecology, behavior, evolution, and marine biology; neurobiology; or cellular and molecular biology.
  • Attain expertise in a specific field of study within one of three broad subject areas represented in the department: ecology, behavior, evolution, and marine biology; neurobiology; or cellular and molecular biology.
  • Attain the skills and qualifications needed for employment in an academic, government, or private sector position related to the life sciences.

Course Requirements

Courses will vary depending on program subfield and track.

Cell & Molecular Biology required courses

  • CAS BI 552 Molecular Biology (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 621 Biochemistry I (4 cr)
  • One Cell Biology course (4 cr)
  • 20 additional credits

Neurobiology required courses

  • GRS BI 755 Cellular and Systems Neuroscience (4 cr)
  • GRS BI 756 Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience or BI 741 Neural Systems: Functional Circuit Analysis (4 cr)
  • GRS NE 500 Frontiers of Neuroscience (2 cr)
  • GRS NE 501 Frontiers of Neuroscience (2 cr)
  • 20 additional credits

Ecology, Behavior, Evolution & Marine Biology required courses

  • GRS BI 579 or BI 580 Graduate Progress in Ecology, Behavior, Evolution and Marine Biology (2 cr)
  • 30 additional credits

Transfer of Credits

Students with prior graduate work may be able to transfer course credits. See the GRS Transfer of Credits policy for more details.

Language Requirement

There is no foreign language requirement for this degree.