Biology, MS

The ASU School of Life Sciences Master's of Science in biology is a flexible, research-intensive program designed to prepare you to be competitive in a changing job market. You'll receive hands-on training and craft an individualized study program focused specifically on your research interests.

Do you have an adventurous spirit? This program is highly recommended for those who want to pursue a degree that encompasses a greater breadth of research or explore a career path that falls between traditional program boundaries. You'll develop foundational research skills, as well as design and complete your own research project.

ASU has been named as one of the top 100 most powerful global universities for research and teaching. Our students receive unparalleled support from their mentors and advisory committees during their time in the program. 

Our master's in biology program will equip you with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. You'll be prepared for a variety of careers including professional research positions in medical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields. Other career paths include teaching positions at high school and community college levels, further studies in a PhD program or medical school, or working in other industries in biological research and development.

1 Core course
22 students
16 labs

Degree Overview

The Master's of Science in biology offers students with a sense of adventure a place to explore the life sciences through multiple lenses. With only one core course and more than a dozen exciting research areas, you'll be able to craft a science niche of your very own. This degree requires the completion of 30 credit hours comprised of core and elective courses, research hours, and a thesis. 

How to apply

The Master of Science in biology program admits one group of students each year to begin study in the fall semester.

For the BS/MS program only, applications are accepted on a rolling basis for admission at any time. Top candidates are usually interviewed prior to admission to the program. Before applying, we encourage you to read our Tips for Applying.

To apply, follow the Apply Now link.
You will be asked to:

  • review university standards, degree program timelines and application requirements
  • complete graduate admission application
  • Send official transcripts, general GRE scores and language tests (international students only)
  • submit a non-refundable application fee
  • have official materials sent to graduate admissions services 

Application Deadline
Applications are accepted Oct. 1 - Dec. 15 to begin the program the following August. There is no guarantee that applications received after Dec. 15 will be reviewed. We will notify you of your admissions status by April 15. 

Desired qualifications

  • research experience 
  • undergraduate GPA minimum 3.0 (on 4.0 scale)
  • GRE scores: 50% Verbal and 70% Quantitative 
  • international students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5

Note: Your application is evaluated based on your entire application package.

12+
Choose from more than one dozen major research areas including urban ecosystems, plant ecology, entomology, biomedical sciences, neuroscience, and more.

I must say that I like the flexible requirements we have for this degree program because it lets me choose what I want to learn! I can build the skills I want and I usually don’t have to sit through lectures I don’t need.

Brian Reily, MS student

Curriculum

The Master's of Science in biology program supports research in your specific area of interest. You'll work with an advisor and your search committee to develop a program of study that includes the required coursework and research training but also focuses on your particular study area. To complete the program, you will be required to submit and defend a thesis by presenting your work in a public lecture, followed by an evaluation by your committee.

Required

 Credit Hours

Core courses

3

Elective courses

6-15

Research

8-14

Thesis

6

Total hours required

30

Courses and electives

With a flexible curriculum, you will be able to create an adaptable and general master's degree that encompasses both traditional and interdisciplinary approaches in any area of biology. You'll take one core course, electives, research a thesis. Because our program is adaptable, you may choose from electives in areas that are outside of biology. 30 credits are required.

  • BIO 411  Quantitative Methods in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3)
  • BIO 415  Biometry (4)
  • BIO 423  Population and Community Ecology (3)
  • BIO 436  Sociobiology and Behavioral Ecology (3)
  • BIO 461  Comparative Animal Physiology (3)
  • BIO 462  Endocrine Physiology (3)
  • BIO 465  Neurophysiology (3)
  • BIO 467  Neurobiology (3)
  • BIO 503  Bioimaging Lab (2)
  • BIO 504  Bioimaging (2)
  • BIO 522  Populations: Evolutionary Ecology (3)
  • BIO 561  Environmental Physiology (3)
  • BIO 614  Biometry (4)
  • PSY 420  Analysis of Behavior (3)
  • PSY 424  Genetic Psychology (3)
  • PSY 426  Neuroanatomy (4)
  • PSY 434  Cognitive Psychology (3)
  • PSY 512  Advanced Learning (3)
  • PSY 515  Quantitative Research Methodology and Statistics 1 (3)
  • PSY 526  Neuroanatomy (4)
  • PSY 528  Sensation and Perception (3)
  • PSY 530  Intermediate Statistics (3)
  • PSY 531  Multiple Regression in Psychological Research (3)
  • PSY 532  Analysis of Multivariate Data (3)
  • ASM 401  Health and Human Biology (4)
  • ASM 443/543  Primatology (3)
  • ASM 525  Primate Paleobiology (3)
  • CHM 460  Biological Chemistry (3)
  • KIN 412/512  Biomechanics of the Skeletal System (3)
  • KIN 414  Electromyographic Kinesiology (3)
  • KIN 440  Exercise Biochemistry (3)
  • KIN 443/533  Exercise Endocrinology (3)
  • KIN 522  Exercise Psychology (3)
  • MAT 450 Mathematical Models in Biology (3)
  • MAT 451  Mathematical Modeling (3)
  • MAT 591  Topic: Math Biology (3)
  • PLB 419/519  Physiological Plant Ecology (3)
  • STP 530  Applied Regression (3)
  • STP 531  Applied Analysis of Variance (3)
  • STP 532 Applied Nonparametric Statistics (3)

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