MS Biology

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Biology

The ASU School of Life Sciences Master 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.

Biology Faculty

At a Glance: program details

Degree Requirements

Each student's plan is prepared in consultation with the supervisory committee, consisting of a professor in the major and two additional faculty members. A typical plan of study consists of:

Core courses (3 credits)
  • BIO 541 SOLS Seminar Series (1)
  • BIO 542 Current Topics in the Life Sciences (1)
  • BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (1) OR BIO 611 Current Topics in Responsible Conduct of Research (1)
Elective courses (6-15 credits)
  • See below for a full list of options
Research (6+ credits)
  • BIO 592 Research
Thesis (6 credits)
  • BIO 599 Thesis

The remainder of the plan of study usually consists of a mixture of coursework, readings, conferences and seminars in the student's primary and related fields, and research credits.

Courses and research credits can be distributed in any combination appropriate to the student's individual educational goals. A final oral examination covering the thesis and related subject matter is administered by the supervisory committee.

Elective courses
  • ASM 401 Health and Human Biology (4)
  • ASM 443/543 Primatology (3)
  • ASM 525 Primate Paleobiology (3)
  • BIO 411 Quantitative Methods in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3)
  • BIO 415 Statistical Models for Biology (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 514 Statistical Models for Biology (4)
  • 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)
  • MCB/BIO 598 Advanced Developmental Biology (4)
  • PLB 419/519 Physiological Plant Ecology (3)
  • 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)
  • PSY 532 Analysis of Multivariate Data (3)
  • STP 530 Applied Regression (3)
  • STP 530 Applied Regression (3)

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in biology or a related discipline, from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:
  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. academic record form
  4. personal statement
  5. curriculum vitae or resume
  6. three letters of recommendation
  7. proof of English proficiency (if applicable)

Application Deadline

  • Applications are accepted between the open date, September 1st and close date, December 1st for consideration for the following August

Additional Application Information

  • The Biology MS program admits one group of student annually to start their program the following August
  • There is no guarantee that applications received after December 1st will be reviewed
  • You'll be notified of your admission status by April 15th 
  • Review tips for applying
Desired Qualifications
  • Research experience 
  • International students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5

To apply, follow the Apply Now link.

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Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years.
It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs.

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here.

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly.