Masters in Biology On-Campus Programs and Schools

On Campus Biology Masters programs could help students build a broad base of knowledge in the life sciences. Many biology departments encourage students to make links between different fields and scientific methods. Biology masters students often study how biological principles affect health, environment, and other organisms. They might also develop the ability to use specific high-tech equipment, or enjoy the living laboratory of their campus surroundings.

Biology Masters Programs

Campus biology masters programs often provide a course of study that may lead to a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) in Biology degree. However, due to the breadth of the field,  the focus of each individual program may vary. First and foremost, you may want to look for biology schools that have the type of biology masters program that lines up with your personal and professional goals. You might decide to pursue a masters degree to prepare for specific careers, get more involved in research, or work toward a doctorate degree.

Masters in Biology Basics

Most masters in biology programs' main goal is to analyze the science of life in detail. Course topics might include anatomy, biochemistry, genetics or evolution. Depending on your interests, you could also probe into bacteria and viruses, observe animals, plants, and ecosystems, or explore sub-fields like cell and molecular biology.

Masters in Biology Degree Requirements

Masters programs in biology tend to be a mix of traditional coursework, electives and independent research. Students might work with an advisor to help design a degree plan and then complete these requirements. As part of your degree, you may also be required to complete a thesis or capstone project based on original research. Given these requirements, most programs entail about one to three years of full-time study. However, every programs is unique so contact schools directly for details.

Core Courses: Core courses could cover key topics such as molecular biology, ecology, and biochemistry. You might also have labs for some of these courses. Here, you might build technical skills with certain instruments or apply theory to analysis.

Electives: Electives usually are selected based on a student’s specific area of interest. These courses tend to vary between biology schools, so they could help you in your school selection process. For instance, you might choose a school where you could study marine sciences, herpetology, evolution, neurobiology or wildlife management, etc.

Research: Because you may conduct your own experiments and present the results, some programs expect you to take courses in topics such as statistics and biological research methods.

DID YOU KNOW?

Courses in statistics, mathematics, and computer science are important for microbiologists because they must be able to do complex data analysis.i

Application Process

In most cases, a bachelors degree in biology, biochemistry, or a closely related field is required to apply to masters in biology schools. Students might also have to furnish minimum GPA and GRE scores, letters of reference, an essay and a resume. Some programs stipulate prerequisite coursework in areas such as general chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, or calculus. Since admissions varies make sure to refer to each school to see what they need.

MS or MA in Biology Degree?

Some biology schools offer both the MA and MS in Biology degree. While some of the course content might be similar, there are generally distinct degree requirements to pay attention to.

The Master of Arts (MA) in Biology is a non-thesis program that often includes more theoretical courses than the MS. This option might appeal to students who work outside of the science field, (e.g. educators) but need to expand their grasp of the biological sciences.

The Master of Science (MS) in Biology is a thesis or research program. It often includes more practical courses (e.g. research methods) than the MA. Because they must produce a thesis based on original thought, this is usually the choice for students who wish to pursue research or teach at a university-level.i

Other Types of Biology Masters Programs

While the track (MA or MS) you choose could affect degree requirements, the type of biology masters program you go for reflects course content. Some biology schools have general masters in biology programs, while others may have programs with narrower scopes. For instance, you can look for schools that have masters in biochemistry, cell and molecular biology or genetics and genomics programs.

Masters in Biological Sciences

The Masters in Biological Sciences program could explore biomedical engineering, animal science and regenerative medicine. In their courses, students might learn about stem cells, tissue engineering, and biomaterials. Other classes are likely to cover biomedical imaging. Here, students may study ultrasounds, nuclear medicine and optical imaging. This work could help students develop the ability to use microscopy techniques to study and analyze biological specimens. As part of their degree requirements, learners may be required to complete an internship in a stem cell research laboratory.

Master of Molecular and Cell Biology

Master of Molecular and Cell Biology (MCB) programs might delve into the molecular basis of biological processes and human disease. Students are likely to take courses in molecular virology where they could broaden their grasp of how the immune system acts and responds. Their program of study might also explore current biomedical research, cancer biology and other topics.

Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The Master in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program could highlight key theory that underlies the molecular level of life sciences. Aside from courses in general biochemistry, students might study gene expression, protein structure and function. In addition to class work, students may take part in laboratory rotations. Through this they might learn basic laboratory techniques and, of equal value, might be introduced to the process of bench science and data analysis.

Find Biology Schools to Meet Your Needs

Biology Schools often attract students who want to earn their Masters in Biology degree where they can make use of campus resources. These could take the form of research facilities, natural history museums, grasslands and laboratories. As you might imagine, biology masters programs can be a mix of hands-on lab work, in class coursework, and independent inquiry. Therefore, look for biology schools with resources that will enhance your education.

Faculty and Research

Many biology schools build their biology masters programs around their faculty’s strengths. Students who pursue their degree on campus might get to work closely with instructors who themselves are involved in dynamic research projects. Possible areas of faculty scholarship and expertise could include Cell and Developmental Biology, Microbiology and Infectious Disease, and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

Location

You can search for biology schools for your masters degree by location. Use the on-page tools to refine by city, state or country. Think about what environmental factors or technological tools are important to you. Most schools list out their features but they vary. One school may have stand-out DNA sequencers and molecular graphics work stations. Another may have greenhouses and ponds, or be close to state reservoirs.

Accreditation

Most universities with masters programs in biology are regionally or nationally accredited. This is basically a voluntary process that a school might undergo with an agency every few years. Once vetted, accredited schools are seen to have a stamp of approval that speaks to curriculum, student services, faculty and fiscal stability.

Take the Next Step

Whichever type of Biology masters program you choose, your time spent on-campus might be dynamic and interactive. You might meet a mentor, make great friends, and deepen your knowledge. To find biology schools, you can refine by subject, or just scroll through the paid programs on this page. The best part – contact biology schools right away with the on page form.


[i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/microbiologists.htm

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