Biology, MS (coursework and capstone)

Program Description

Degree Awarded: Biology

The ASU School of Life Sciences Master of Science in Biology, Coursework and Capstone option is a flexible program designed to prepare you to be competitive in a changing job market. You'll craft an individualized study program that samples from a wide diversity of courses taught by global experts, and then delve more deeply into your own area of interest by completing a capstone project.

Do you have an adventurous spirit? This program is highly recommended for those who want broad training across the life sciences, and the opportunity to explore career paths that fall between traditional program boundaries. You'll learn about cutting-edge science across the full breadth of biology, and gain practice in analyzing, interpreting and presenting scientific results.

ASU has been named as one of the top 100 most powerful global universities for research and teaching. During their time in the program, our MS students receive unparalleled access to top-tier scientists doing cutting-edge, interdisciplinary, and globally impactful research.

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 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

The Master's of Science in biology program supports learning in your specific area of interest. You'll work with advisors and mentors to develop a program of study that includes the required coursework but also focuses on your particular study area. To complete the program, you will be required to complete a capstone project in which you write a paper and give a public lecture in which you use the latest research to answer an important question in the life sciences, followed by an evaluation by your committee.

Core courses
  • BIO 541 SOLS Seminar Series (1)
  • BIO 542 SOLS Current Topics in the Life Sciences (1)
  • BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Life Sciences (1) 


  • BIO 611 Current Topics in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in the Life Sciences (1)
Elective courses
  • ASM 401 Health and Human Biology (4)
  • ASM 503 Evolutionary Medicine and Global Health (3)
  • ASM 506 Clinical Gross Anatomy (6)
  • ASM 543 Primatology (3)
  • ASM 525 Primate Paleobiology (3)
  • ASM 560 Human Growth and Development: An Evolutionary Perspective (3)
  • BIO 411 Quantitative Methods in Conservation Biology and Ecology (3)
  • 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 507 Advanced Evolutionary Medicine (3)
  • BIO 510 Evolution and Medicine (3)
  • BIO 514 Statistical Methods for Biology (4)
  • BIO 521 Landscape Ecology (3)
  • BIO 522 Populations: Evolutionary Ecology (3)
  • BIO 530 Scientific Teaching in Higher Education (3)
  • BIO 531 Advanced Scientific Teaching (3)
  • BIO 533 K-12 STEM Education and Outreach (1)
  • BIO 539 Computing for Research (3)
  • BIO 543 Molecular Genetics and Genomics
  • BIO 546 Principles of Human Genetics (3)
  • BIO 551 Cell Biotechnology (3)
  • BIO 561 Environmental Physiology (3)
  • BIO 570 Fundamentals of Complex Adaptive Systems Science (3)
  • BIO 584 Internship: Prison Biology Education (1-12)
  • BIO 591 Success in the Biology MS (3)
  • BIO 592 Research
  • BIO 601 Principles of Evolution (3)
  • BIO 620 Research Prospectus Writing (3)
  • CHM 460 Biological Chemistry (3)
  • EVO 501 Current Topics in Evolutionary Biology (3)
  • EVO 557 Practical Applications in Computational Life Sciences (3)
  • EVO 610 Research Areas of Evolution (1)
  • 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 500 Research Methods (3)MCB 501 Molecular and Cellular Biology Colloquium (1)
  • MCB 540 Functional Genomics (3)
  • MCB 555 Adv Molecular and Cellular Sciences (3)
  • MCB 556 Adv Molecular and Cellular Biology II (3)
  • MIC 501 Foundations in Microbiology (3)
  • PLB 502 Perspectives in Plant Biology (3)
  • 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)
  • STP 530 Applied Regression (3)
Capstone course
  • BIO 597 Capstone (3)

Admission Requirements

The Master of Science in biology Coursework & Capstone option admits students throughout the year into both the regular and accelerated BS/MS programs. In preparing your personal statement, please describe your primary areas of interest in the life sciences and explain why the Coursework & Capstone option is the right choice for you.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree in 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 admissions 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 year-round for admissions in Fall, Spring and Summer terms.
  • The following are application deadline dates for each term:
    • Fall: August 1st
    • Spring: January 1st
    • Summer: May 1st

Desired Qualifications

  • International students: TOEFL score of 100, or IELTS score of 6.5

Your application is evaluated based on your entire application package. Review tips for applying

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.

Program Contact Information

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