Biology, MS

The 30-hour MS in Biology prepares students for careers in biological research, and it provides a strong foundation for further academic training, such as medical school or a doctoral program. Faculty work closely with each student to tailor a specific curriculum to meet that student’s needs and interests. Students typically complete work for the master’s degree in 2-3 years.

Reflecting the diverse interests of faculty members within the Department, students in the biology master’s program have research opportunities in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, cell biology, developmental biology, microbiology, animal and plant physiology, invertebrate and vertebrate zoology, plant morphology and systematics, plant biotechnology, limnology, stream ecology, neurobiology, marine biology, molecular ecology, behavior ecology, and evolution. The research experience provides graduates with specific knowledge and skills to be competitive in the life-sciences workplace.

Application and Admission

In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit a personal statement explaining how the master’s degree at UNCG will help them achieve their career ambitions.

Qualified applicants will have a strong undergraduate background in biology and science.

Applicants must submit all application materials by the appropriate deadline for Fall, Spring, or Summer admission.

Degree Requirements

The MS in Biology requires 30 semester hours. At least 15 hours (including 6 hours of thesis) must be in 600-level courses.

Biology Electives (24-27 hours)

Students will select 24-27 hours from 500- and 600-level biology courses; up to 8 of these hours can be taken at the 500 and 600 level in other departments with the prior approval of the Director of Graduate Study.

Thesis (3-6 hours) (Capstone Experience)

BIO 699Thesis


Prior to the end of the second semester of enrollment, each student is expected to identify a Thesis Advisory Committee composed of a thesis advisor and two other faculty; the composition of the committee must be approved by the Director of Graduate Study. Prior to the end of the third semester of enrollment, each student is expected to present a thesis proposal to the Department. Only after these requirements have been met can a student enroll for credit in BIO 699 Thesis.


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