MA in Biological Sciences

Courses from across the university can be applied to your MA degree.

Our MA program provides advanced graduate training in biology for students whose principal interests lie outside the typical laboratory-focused graduate program in biology.  With its broad-based curriculum, the MA program is designed for students planning professional careers including healthcare, law, business, teaching, and governmental and non-governmental policy.

Program Features

  • Flexible course selection: Courses from across the university can be applied to your MA degree.
  • Research projects tailored to your interests: Gain advanced independent research experience in a field of your choice by
  • Rapid degree completion option: Highly motivated students can earn their MA degree in as little as two semesters.
  • Successful placement record: Since 2008, more than 76% of our pre-health professional-intended MA program graduates have been accepted into health professional training programs such as MD, DVM and DDS.

MA Program Requirements

MA candidates complete 18 credit hours of formal graduate coursework. Courses cover advanced topics in the biological sciences and teach critical thinking, analysis of primary scientific literature, and experimental design. Courses can be taken in other departments.

To develop oral presentation skills, MA candidates enroll in a seminar course each semester of their first year. Each student presents one seminar outlining an original scholarly project.  MA candidates also attend the departmental seminar series, featuring distinguished scientists from inside and outside the university.

MA candidates develop an original scholarly project under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This project is tailored to the student’s interests and career goals. MA projects may be supervised by a faculty member from the Biological Sciences department or another department at the university. Upon the completion of the project, usually in the second or third semester of study, the MA candidate prepares a written report.