Biology is a singularity that expands in practically infinite ways and leads to a plethora of professional opportunities. The common denominator, however, is a sense of connection to the natural world, as well as an understanding of how it works and how it can be used to better people’s lives. Master’s degree holders in biology can study human genetics, investigate ancient puzzles, collect evidence at crime scenes, develop medications to increase human lifespans, and teach biology in high school and college. Students who have a graduate-level understanding of biology improve their capacity to conduct research and connect with the public and their peers. Continue reading to learn more about online master’s degrees in biology.
Admissions Requirements for Online Master’s Degrees in Biology
Admission to a biology master’s program will almost certainly require a bachelor’s degree in life sciences from an approved university, however a similar field (still in the sciences) may be acceptable. In most cases, you’ll also need to submit a GRE score of at least 290 (verbal and quantitative combined), as well as college transcripts with a GPA of at least 2.75. Because some schools have higher standards than others, aiming for a GRE score of 300 and a GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale is a good idea. You may also require letters of recommendation and/or a statement of purpose; check the website of your institution to ensure you have all you need to complete your application.
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Choosing an Online Biology Master’s Program
Biology majors can pursue a variety of graduate degrees. What you want to do with your master’s in biology determines how you choose the correct program. If you’re going into a highly specialized sector, you should look for a program that offers the concentration you want. Some schools focus on ecology, while others focus on health professions; some schools allow students to seamlessly transition from master’s to PhD study, while others only provide terminal master’s degrees. Choose a program that caters to your interests after determining what fascinates you.
If you want to get into a PhD program later, you should look into colleges that provide a competitive advantage. As you progress in your study, a reputable staff, a strong school reputation, and hard curriculum will make a difference.
What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Biology?
A biology master’s degree holder can work as a science teacher, wildlife specialist, marine biologist, clinical laboratory research technician, physician, physical therapist, oncologist or cancer researcher, drug information specialist, patent attorney, biostatistician, and many other occupations. There are hundreds of positions in environmental science, plant and wildlife studies, and oceanography, as well as dozens of research opportunities and career alternatives in anatomy and human biology. While certain research roles demand additional education, many professions can be found with just a master’s degree.
Jobs requiring a biology master’s degree can be lucrative, as they can be in many scientific fields. The median compensation for a genetic counselor, for example, is around $80,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Glassdoor. A physician’s assistant can earn $62,000 per year, whereas a bioinformatician can earn $78,000 per year. An environmental scientist will earn $58,000, a research lab manager will earn $56,000, and a biotechnology researcher will earn $69,000. Instructors at high schools and colleges might make between $45,000 and $49,000 per year. You can take a detour and pursue a career as an arborist, who selects and manages trees and plants for businesses and communities. The average annual salary for this career is $42,000.
This list of master’s degree programs includes those that provide online coursework. The majority of the programs are totally online; however, some are hybrids that need some on-campus coursework. All of them are designed to fit the needs of working professionals who only have a limited amount of time to attend classes. In the evenings and during the summer, courses are available. Some of the programs here are designed to prepare graduates to teach biology in high school or college. A thesis is not required for any of the programs listed. Students might write a research paper or pass a comprehensive exam instead of writing a thesis.
The following is a list of universities that offer an online master’s degree in biology.
Clemson University is located in Clemson, South Carolina.
This Clemson University degree program is designed for science educators who wish to get a foundation in biology. A thesis is not required for this program. Students instead create and report about a research project. Although not as rigorous as a thesis, the research should be unique in scope. One class will be dedicated to collecting data for the project for a whole semester, and another will be dedicated to conducting and recording the research itself. The curriculum requires 30 credit hours, of which no more than 12 can be transferred from another university with a Clemson-accepted academic record. The program follows a set schedule of classes in the fall, spring, and summer. Microbiology, scientific communication, and biological processes are among the topics covered in class. Although the degree can be completed in six semesters (two years), students have up to six years to complete it. GRE and TOEFL scores, a CV, and two letters of recommendation are all required for admission. $9,386 / $19,776 for graduate tuition and fees
Alcorn State University is a public university in Alcorn, Mississippi.
Alcorn State University, a public college that operates on a semester calendar, offers a Master’s of Biology as one of eleven graduate-level degrees available online. U.S. News & World Report has Alcorn State University, located about 70 miles southwest of Jackson, Mississippi, ranked No. 21 among historically black schools and universities. There are 33 credit hours in the master’s program. There are four main classes to choose from. The last seven classes for the degree are chosen from a list of 18 options. A non-thesis option is available to students. It is entirely delivered online, with the help of the Blackboard platform and other digital resources. Fall, spring, and summer classes are available. If a student enrolls full-time, the program can be finished in one year. The online program has a non-thesis approach, which implies students who pursue this degree aren’t interested in working in a research-based field. Instead of a thesis, the student prepares a research paper on a topic in biological sciences chosen by the faculty. Transcripts, exam scores, and two letters of recommendation are required for admission to the program. $5,732 in tuition and fees for graduate students
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is a public university in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s master’s program is designed for those with a professional or academic background in biology or a related discipline who desire to work in the research-based sector of biotechnology. The MS in Biotechnology is a hybrid program in which most of the coursework is completed online, but lab sessions must be completed on campus or at locations near WPI. The labs were designed with students’ busy schedules in mind. The master’s program is 30 semester credit hours long and takes two years to finish. Most WPI online students, on the other hand, take three years or longer to complete a graduate program. It is not necessary to write a thesis. Three of the necessary classes are skills-based, while the other five are aimed to broaden the student’s understanding of biology and biotechnology. Two more electives are chosen from a list of permitted options. Tuition/Fees for Graduate Students: $27,234.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney is located in Kearney, Nebraska.
The University of Nebraska at Kearney’s online master’s degree in biology was created for students who desire to improve their education in biology but don’t have the financial resources or time to attend classes on campus. A thesis is not required for the Master of Science in Biology program. Rather, the student must pass a comprehensive exam that covers all of the material covered in the curriculum. Current biology professionals who aren’t involved in research or don’t regard research as a component of their professional ambitions might consider this choice. The master’s degree program is 36 semester credit hours long. The remaining 24 credit hours are made up of graduate-level biology electives and four mandatory core courses. Genetics, ecology, and biological instruments and applications are just a few of the wide topics covered in class. In all master’s courses, students must maintain a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in biology or have completed 24 undergraduate hours in the subject to be considered for the master’s program. They must also have a 2.75 GPA in all undergraduate studies and submit transcripts as well as a statement outlining their career ambitions. $5,892 / $12,930 for graduate tuition and fees
This master’s degree is designed for biology teachers who wish to further their expertise in the discipline and are interested in earning a dual credit degree or teaching biology at the college level. Students who intend to pursue a Ph.D. or other advanced degree should not pursue the Master of Science in Biological Science. To assist students who require a flexible academic schedule, the degree is offered entirely online. The curriculum is 36 hours long, with three hours dedicated to writing a research report. Pharmacology, epigenetics, virology, and hydrology are some of the topics covered in class. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field and a GPA of 2.75 overall or 3.0 in the last 60 credit hours. Students must also have a 3.0 GPA and have completed 12 credit hours of junior and senior biology classes. Transcripts, two letters of recommendation, and a statement describing academic and career goals are among the other application criteria. $3,630 / $11,100 for graduate tuition and fees
Western Kentucky University is a public university in western Kentucky.
Western Kentucky University offers online classes for the Master of Science in Biology degree all year, including during the summer. There is no need for a thesis because the coursework is entirely online. Students can create elective courses in fields including genetics, ecology, and plant biology. The master’s degree program is 30 credit hours long. Three core courses totaling nine credit hours are required. The remaining 22 credit hours can be selected from a wide range of adviser-approved courses. Lab Cell Biology, Herpetology, and Molecular Genetics are just a few of the classes available. If allowed by an adviser, students can transfer up to 12 credit hours of graduate-level courses not on this list. GRE scores, a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related discipline, a 3.0 GPA in all coursework, transcripts, a statement of intent, and letters of recommendation are all required for admission to the program. Tuition/Fees for Graduate Students: $12,140 / $17,980
The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) is a public research university
The master’s degree in applied biological sciences offered by the Illinois Institute of Technology is completely online. The Master of Science in Biology program is designed to equip students for careers on the cutting edge of technological innovation and the development of novel pharmaceuticals and therapies for critical diseases and an aging population. A total of 32 semester credit hours are required to complete the program. Biochemistry and Good Manufacturing Practices are two of the 20-hour mandatory courses. The remaining 12 elective credit hours are made up of courses like Bioinformatics, Macromolecular Structure, and Public Engagement for Scientists. A capstone project, in which the student displays mastery of the discipline, is part of the mandatory courses. An authorized project from IIT’s Interprofessional Project Program, in which students from many disciplines work on solving real-world challenges, can be substituted for the capstone. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate studies, as well as a GRE score of 305 in quantitative/verbal and 2.5 in analytical writing, is required. Tuition/Fees for Graduate Students: $29,328
Why Should I Pursue a Master’s Degree in Biology Online?
If you’re considering pursuing a master’s degree in biology, you’re probably already employed in the life sciences in some form. If you work full-time or part-time, earning your master’s in biology online may be preferable to attending classes on campus since you can fit your studies around your job schedule.
If you’re a science teacher, learning more about biology will help you teach more effectively and expand your students’ horizons. An advanced biology degree can lead to professional courses in medicine, therapy, dentistry, and other fields if you’re a medical practitioner or want to be one. If you wish to conduct laboratory research in any of the biological subfields, you’ll need a master’s degree to prepare for a PhD program.
Biology Master’s Degree Programs Online Curriculum
In graduate school, there are various different concentrations in biology, and as a result, the curriculum will range from one concentration to the next. Pre-medical programs will emphasize ecology, evolution, and conservation, as opposed to biology programs, which will focus on distinct subtopics. The core courses, on the other hand, will be similar across the board. Furthermore, most programs are 36 credits long and require one to two years to finish.
There are thesis and non-thesis programs available. There are other programs that are entirely online and some that require in-person laboratories. Non-thesis, totally online programs are often for educators, while some pre-medical programs with optional laboratories can also be done online. Doctoral programs and research opportunities nearly typically need theses and in-person labs, though the rest of the coursework may be completed entirely online.
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