A group of students looking over a canyon

Student Success, Cutting-Edge Research

Program Information

The Master of Science in Biology is designed to provide students with a broad knowledge in advanced biology and the opportunity to conduct creative and independent research. Each student develops a flexible course of study individually arranged to meet his or her specific needs and objectives.

A major professor and two other faculty members serve to direct and advise each graduate student in research and writing a thesis. Faculty in related departments such as Environmental Sciences, Chemistry, and Mathematics may serve on thesis committees, enabling graduate students to pursue interdisciplinary research.

Two years are usually needed for completion of the program of study. Thesis research ranges over a broad spectrum of topics reflecting the strengths and interests of the Biology Graduate Faculty.

Faculty interests span four program areas:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Organismal Biology
  • Marine Biology (Applicants interested in Marine Biology should apply to the MESP Biology program.)


To offer a first-class research experience for our students that will provide them with the background and skills to enter a variety of professional careers in biology. We aim to provide a stimulating intellectual environment with rigorous scholarship that facilitates multiple opportunities for graduate students.

Biology Graduate Student Research

Application Requirements

If you are interested in the Marine and Estuarine Science specialization within the Biology program, please see MESP Biology.

  • All applicants must complete the Graduate School's ApplyWeb application and pay the $100 application fee.
  • Within the application you will be prompted to upload an unofficial transcript from each institution attended. If admitted, you will be asked to provide official transcripts.
  • Additional application materials are specified below. Applications will not be forwarded to the department for review until all required materials have been received by the Graduate School.
  • International Applicants: Please review the requirements for information regarding Degree Equivalency, English Language Proficiency and student VISA requirements.

Additional Application Requirements

  • Three (3) Letters of Reference
  • Statement of Purpose: Describe your research interest(s) and identify potential adviser(s) within the department. It is important to have contacted potential advisors prior to applying.