Getting Your Master’s Degree in Biology
Master’s Degree in Biology
Biology is an interesting field. It is the branch of science that deals with living organisms. Biology covers a variety of fields such as botany, evolution, marine biology, and zoology. Biologists study the growth, origin, function, structure, and much more all about living organisms. Biology can be traced back to Aristotle, 384-322 BC, however, humans have been curious about the earth and how life works even before then.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to grow 7% between 2021 and 2031, about average for all occupations.
Online or In-person Master’s in Biology
When it comes to getting your master’s degree in biology, you can find an in-person program or an online program. The benefits of an online program may appeal to working professionals or those looking for a career transition. In-person programs may appeal more to those coming from undergraduate programs or those who simply want that in-person experience. Some online programs could have an in-person element to them.
A Master’s in Biology
Earning your master’s degree in biology will allow you to go further into this interesting field. There are many paths you can follow from becoming an environmental scientist to a microbiologist. There are so many opportunities.
Concentrations in Biology
Different concentrations will have different types of coursework. Here are some concentrations that you might find in a master’s of biology program:
Students will study the relationships between living organisms including humans as well as their physical environment.
Students will study microorganisms which are all the living organisms that can’t be seen by the naked eye.
Students studying genetics will focus on genes, the variations of genes, as well as heredity in organisms.
Classes in Biology
The classes you take in a master’s of biology program will depend on your concentration. Here are a few examples of classes you might take while getting your master’s degree.
- Pharmacology– this class will cover the study of drugs. Students will learn about the effects of drugs and how they operate within the system.
- Biomechanics– this class focuses on the analysis of human movement to improve training, accelerate rehabilitation, and reduce the risk of injury.
- Epidemiology – this class focuses on the study of the health and disease and conditions in a population. It’s the cornerstone of public health.
- Animal Science – this class focuses on the biology of animals that are under the control of humans, such as the study of farm animals.
Admission requirements differ based on the school and program, however, most will require students to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school, to complete an application essay, and submit letters of recommendation. Students can have a bachelor’s degree in biology or in another field.
Some schools might also require professional experience, but even if the school doesn’t, it can help to have that work experience to put on the application. Schools usually also want students to have a 3.0 GPA or higher.
How to Choose a Program
There are many different factors when choosing the right biology program. Students should look at the length of each program, the course format, available concentrations, and final project requirements. Programs are usually two years long. It also might depend on if the student goes full or part-time. Students should also consider the curriculum and the cost.
Top Master’s in Biology Programs
There are many different master’s in biology programs, some are in-person, and some are online.
Here are 10 of the top master’s in biology programs:
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of California, Los Angeles
- Stanford University
- University of California, Irvine
- University of Pennsylvania
- Texas A&M University
- Tufts University
- University of Maryland, College Park
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
- University of Virginia
Top Online Master’s in Biology Programs
Here are 10 of the top online master’s in biology programs:
- Columbia University in the City of New York
- George Washington University
- Texas A&M University – Commerce
- Clemson University
- Washington State University
- University of Nebraska at Kearney
- New York University
- Miami University – Oxford
- Colorado State University – Fort Collins
- University of Florida
Jobs with a Master’s Degree in Biology
Annual Median Pay: $80,150
Genetic Counselors assess an individual or a family’s risk of inherited genetic disorders and birth defects. They work at universities in their medical centers, public and private hospitals, laboratories, and doctor’s offices.
Annual Median Pay: $79,260
Microbiologists study microorganisms in a lab, such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some other parasites.
Clinical Research Associate
Annual Median Pay: $87,341
Clinical Research Associates work in a hospital to manage the design, administration and monitor clinical trials or research related to these trials.
Annual Median Pay: $66,955
Dietitians are trained in promoting health through what foods you eat and nutrition. They work to evaluate the client’s needs to give advice on healthier eating habits.
Scholarships for Students Getting a Master’s in Biology
Here are a few scholarships for those getting their master’s in biology. You can also find more scholarships for biology as well as other scholarships for military and veterans at College Recon.
APS/IBM Research Internship for Undergraduate Women and Underrepresented Minorities
This internship is from the American Physical Society. The goal of these internships is to encourage women and underrepresented minorities to pursue graduate studies in science and engineering. Students need to be sophomores or juniors at a US college or university at the time of the application. The award is for $8,000.
Emily M. Hewitt Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship is to honor Emily M. Hewitt and honor a student who shared her love of nature. She was a California artist, author, teacher, and docent and the first woman mayor of the City of Oakdale. The scholarship is for students or graduate students that are enrolled full-time in an accredited California postsecondary education institution and who have career goals that coincide with Emily M. Hewitt’s interests. Students will need to have majors in environmental studies, forestry, wildlife and fisheries biology, parks and recreation, environmental art, California art, or biology. The award is for $3,000.
Paliwal Club of 100 STEM Scholars Fund
This fund is for those studying science, technology, engineering, arts, or math. Students must be female and currently enrolled in a two-year, or four-year college or graduate school in the US. They must also show financial need. The award is for $750-$1,500.
Creative Biolabs Scholarship
This scholarship is for students enrolled as a freshman, undergraduate, graduate or Ph.D. student at an accredited college or university with a major in biology, biochemistry, chemistry, or molecular biology. The award is looking for students with leadership skills, academic ability, and purposeful and meaningful participation in volunteer activities, community service, or other public service activities. The award is for $1,000.
The Catherine H. Beattie Fellowship in Conservation Horticulture
This scholarship is for graduate students in biology, horticulture, or a related field. The award is for an annual research grant of up to $4,500. The award is to support study at a botanical garden by the student, who jointly serves the program of the Center for Plant Conservation and the curricular studies at the student’s academic institution.
Biology Related Majors
- Food Science
- Biomedical Engineer
- Forensic Science
About the author
Julie Provost is a freelance writer, blogger, and owner of Soldier's Wife, Crazy Life, a support blog for military spouses. She lives in Tennessee with her National Guard husband and three boys.