Online Masters in Biology Programs

Earning an online masters in biology, the study of life, can open up new career options in the field of science. Biology is an ever-growing field with applications in many ...

different professions such as environmental conservation, field and laboratory research, secondary and post-secondary teaching positions and medical research.

Why earn a Biology Masters Degree

Continuing education at the graduate level allows biologists to further their knowledge, hone their skills and advance their career. A masters in biology online can also be earned as preparation for a medical degrees.

Besides having a strong background in the sciences, graduate students in biology should be:

  • Effective communicators 
  • Team players 
  • Patient 
  • Methodical, meticulous, and conscientious 
  • Self motivated 
  • Analytical 
  • Curious

Online Masters in Biology Program Curriculum

Often, students seeking an online masters degree in biology are asked to choose an area of concentration. Typical areas of concentration include:

  • Ecology 
  • Botany 
  • Cell and Molecular Biology 
  • Microbiology 
  • Zoology 
  • Marine Biology

The exact master's online coursework depends upon specific program requirements as well as area of concentration, but typically a grad program in biology will focus its coursework in any of the following areas:

  • Ecology 
  • Genetics 
  • Cell and molecular biology 
  • Conservation biology 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Evolution 
  • Wildlife and fish conservation 
  • Plant physiology 
  • Environment 
  • Wildlife, and Conservation Policy 
  • Developmental Biology 
  • Mammalogy 
  • Ornithology 
  • Freshwater biology and limnology 
  • Immunology 
  • Virology 
  • Parasitology 
  • Cancer biology
  • Statistics
  • Plant anatomy 
  • Microbiology
  • Research methods

Most programs culminate in the completion of a thesis, and include intensive lab work and research projects to compliment coursework. Some programs also include written exams.

Biology Master's Online Program Application Requirements

Online masters programs in biology generally require that applicants have completed an undergraduate degree in biology, environmental science, conservation or a related degree, or have extensive prerequisite coursework in the sciences including biology, chemistry, and physics as well as higher-level mathematics. Experience in the field is also beneficial. Students pursuing a master’s in biology may have to write a thesis while Ph.D. biology students typically have to create and defend a thesis.

Online Master's in Biology Career Paths

Biologists can find work with federal, state, and local government agencies, in research and testing labs, in pharmaceutical testing and development, and in educational institutions. Within these industries, biologists can work in a number of capacities, including:

  • Field and laboratory research 
  • Product development 
  • Medical research 
  • Secondary and post-secondary teaching 
  • Conservation and policy

In addition, some graduates go on to pursue health profession programs such as medical, dental or veterinary school.

Online Master's in Biology Salary 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage of biological scientists in 2013 was $72,720.  Biologists working in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, physicians offices, consulting services, chemical manufacturing, and research and development were among the highest paid in the field.  The graph below provides detailed information on the 2013 mean annual wages of biological scientists working in select industries of employment.

Online Masters in Biology Average Salary