Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Course Catalog 
2023-2024 Course Catalog

Biology, M.S. - Online

Also see
Biology B.S. to M.S. Accelerated 
Emerging Infectious Diseases Graduate Certificate - Online  
Environmental Science Graduate Certificate - Online  
Integrative Genomics Graduate Certificate - Online  


A master’s degree in Biology enables graduate students to increase the depth and scope of their knowledge in a wide variety of biological disciplines as well as to prepare for advancement in their careers.

Students complete their 30 credits of coursework online and may transfer into the program 6 credits of Biology-related coursework.

Program outcomes

The successful student will:

  • Demonstrate a command of key concepts and an ability to identify and solve fundamental biological problems
  • Demonstrate critical-thinking and problem-based learning skills, where the anticipated outcome will be the ability to develop new ideas, to explore new areas of science or other academic endeavors, to design, implement, and evaluate scientific investigations, and to assess, interpret, and understand data
  • Communicate scientific ideas, and to be able to understand and explain principles of Biology both conceptually and quantitatively

Graduate Biology Admission Requirements

  1. All USJ Graduate Admission requirements plus those listed here
  2. A baccalaureate degree in Biology or related field with a minimum of 3.0 GPA (ex: cell biology, ecology, genetics, zoology, plant biology, evolutionary biology, microbiology) from an accredited institution or the equivalent in a foreign country. If the degree is not in Biology or a Biology related field, transcripts must reflect a B or better for a minimum of four Biology lab courses
  3. Personal statement indicating their academic and career interests, summary of relevant experiences, and including courses of interest in the program
  4. Two letters of recommendation from professional individuals who can comment cogently upon the ability of the candidate to perform in graduate online studies

Note: Matriculated students have priority to register for courses during the registration period. 

Financial aid is only available to students who are formally accepted and matriculated.

Degree requirements (30 credits)

  1. Biology electives (24-30 credits)
  2. Related courses (0-6 credits)
    Students may select six graduate credits of related course work from another department or other accredited graduate program. These courses must be pre-approved by the department chair or Biology graduate program director.
  3. A GPA of 2.67
  4. A passing grade on the comprehensive exam

Comprehensive examination

All students must pass a comprehensive examination after having completed a minimum of 24 credits in our Biology department (does not include transfer credits). Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.67 or better to take the comprehensive examination. Students in the thesis option will present and defend their thesis as a culminating activity in addition to a written comprehensive exam. All students must submit an application for the comprehensive examination.

Additional thesis requirement (selected students only)

Students wishing to produce a thesis need to submit a proposal to the department for approval and follow all degree requirements, as well as the specifics below.

  •   3 Credits or graduate level Statistics
  •   3 Credits
  • A passing grade on the oral exam following the formal presentation of thesis research findings to the University community


Transfer credits (0–6 credits)

Biology electives (24-30 credits)

All Biology courses fulfill graduate requirements as electives.