General Information Learning Outcomes Requirements Forms

MS Biology


The Biology masters degree is designed to provide advanced training in ecology and evolutionary biology. Students will address contemporary biological problems relying upon current theory and a variety of research tools. Areas of current research interest and expertise in our department include phylogenetic systematics, phylogeography, evolutionary ecology, population biology, ecosystem dynamics, biostatistics, organismal biology, and conservation biology. Many students find this training ideal for competitive job placement upon completing their degree. For example, public or private agencies and organizations seek individuals that approach problems synergistically with an understanding of organisms both in nature and in the lab. Other students will find the Biology MS program an excellent foundation for admission to top-tier PhD programs in ecology, systematics, evolution, organismal biology, and related fields.


Coursework in this program is highly flexible and intended to provide a solid foundation for problem solving and post-graduate learning; the emphasis in training, however, is on student-driven independent research and opportunities to share this research within the department, at national or international meetings, and through the preparation of a thesis ultimately publishable in peer-reviewed journals. With active field-research programs, core facilities that range from environment-controlled laboratories to DNA sequencing, a natural history museum with associated research collections for specimen-based study, and a talented, collegial faculty that interact at a variety of levels, students can expect the Biology MS program to provide a learning environment that is challenging, stimulating, and enabling.

Learn more about our current grad students!