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35 Best Master’s Degrees in Biology

If you love science and are fascinated by research and learning about how the living world functions, pursuing an education in biology might be the perfect next step for you. While a Bachelor of Science in Biology will get you started in your career path, a Master of Science in Biology will further your education and experience, qualifying you for more career options. 

With an MS in Biology, you can explore a variety of positions including working as a microbiologist, agricultural or food scientist, epidemiologist, or wildlife biologist. Additional career options include teaching science in a secondary school. If you decide to pursue your doctoral degree, then you'll be qualified for even more career opportunities, including teaching at colleges and universities.

Earning your MS in Biology can be a worthwhile investment financially, too; according to PayScale, the average salary for professionals with an MS in Biology is $59,000. Keep in mind that the quality of the program that you attend can affect your job prospects and your preparation for the demands of a career in biology.

It's important to find a program that meets and supports your specific career goals, like a desire to focus in a particular field or gain research experience within a specific area. It's best to find a program where your faculty advisor specializes in the type of research that you're passionate about since such arrangements offer valuable opportunities for hands-on research and guidance. If you're considering earning a Masters for Biology, the following 35 Best Master's Degrees in Biology is a great place to start.

Selection Criteria

Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one's higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:

  • Degree Investment Return (25%)
  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%)
  • Academic Success (15%)

No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!

Here are the 35 Best Master's Degrees in Biology for 2020!

1. Stanford University - Stanford, CA

Master of Science in Biology


Stanford University's Master of Science in Biology provides both general or specialized studies. Undergraduate science majors may seek this degree to obtain research experience. It is recommended that program applicants have taken courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. Degree candidates must complete 45-course units, with a minimum of 23 of those units being courses for graduate students. Students work with a department advisor to design an individualized program of study. No thesis is required during this program.

Founded in 1891, Stanford is home to over 16,000 students today. More than 11,000 students live on campus, housed in 81 residencies. Stanford students can also participate in the 625 student groups offered at the University. All Stanford community members are engaged in research, and the University has a $1.6 billion annual research budget. With 18 research facilities and 20 libraries housing over 9.5 million text volumes, Stanford students have access to extensive resources.

Net Price: $16,562
Score: 100

2. University of California, Irvine - Irvine, CA

Master of Science in Biotechnology


The University of California, Irvine offers a Master of Science in Biotechnology degree that teaches students how to apply biological science, chemistry, and chemical engineering knowledge to solve challenges within medicine, agriculture, and chemical manufacturing. This degree features seven areas of interest, including structure and biosynthesis of proteins, animal and microbial cell structure, product development and marketing, and research. Program applicants should already have a BS degree.

Founded in 1965, UCI has an enrollment of 36,000 students today and is home to over 180,000 alumni. This public university offers 82 majors and 75 minors and is home to the UCI Medical Center, one of the best hospitals in the country. Sierra Magazine has recognized UCI as a Top 10 Cool School for nine years, and the U.S. News & World Report ranks UCI at No. 7 for Best Public University in the country. Additionally, Money Magazine ranked UCI as the third Best College in the country.

Net Price: $13,944
Score: 95.38

3. University of California, Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

Masters of Science in Oral Biology


At the University of California, Los Angeles, students who hold dental degrees can enroll in the Masters of Science in Oral Biology program to pursue additional research opportunities. This two-year program consists of 36 credits, 29 of which are core courses. Approximately 12-15 students are admitted to the program each year. During the first year of the program, students focus on coursework and lab rotations before working on a thesis during the program's second year.

UCLA was founded in 1919, and it receives more applications than any other university in the country. The University received over 100,000 freshman applications for the fall of 2017, and in the fall of 2016, over 60% of admitted freshman had GPAs of 4.3 and higher. UCLA offers over 215 different degree combinations and nearly 150 graduate degrees, in total. UCLA also has a vibrant research program, with an average of $1 billion in research grants and contracts awarded each year.

Net Price: $14,760
Score: 93.73

4. University of California Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

Master's Degree in Integrative Biology


The University of California Berkeley admits Integrative Biology students only to its Ph.D. program, but in certain instances, students can earn a Master's Degree in Integrative Biology. Students can earn a Master's degree while progressing toward the completion of their Ph.D. Sometimes students may change their career plans while partway through the Ph.D. program and may decide to leave the program with their Master's degree. There are two plans which allow students leaving the program to earn their Master's degree, one of which requires that the student write a thesis.

UC Berkeley was founded in 1868. Today, the University features 184 departments and programs and offers a 17.8:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Among UC Berkeley's current faculty are faculty who hold eight Nobel Prizes. These faculty help the University to deliver over 350 different degree programs to over 30,000 undergraduate and 11,000 graduate students. In 2018, the U.S. News & World Report recognized UC Berkeley as the fourth best university in the world. Kiplinger also ranked the University as one of the top five public colleges providing the best value.

Net Price: $18,178
Score: 92.7

5. Rutgers University - Newark - Newark, NJ

Master of Science in Biology


Rutgers University - Newark's Biology, Master of Science degree offers students valuable training and research opportunities. The degree program prepares students for careers in the biomedical, ecological, and evolutionary sciences. Students may choose from three tracks: Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolution, and Neurobiology. During their study, students will develop knowledge of, both foundational and advanced scientific concepts. Additionally, students will develop analytical skills and will learn how to examine the evidence critically.

Rutgers was established in 1766 and is the eighth oldest university in the country. Over 70,000 students from all 50 states attend Rutgers, including over 19,000 graduate students. More than 500,000 Rutgers alumni live in all 50 states, as well as on six continents. At Rutgers, students can explore more than 150 undergraduate degrees and over 400 graduate degrees. Rutgers is home to almost 300 research centers and institutes, and with $610.9 million in sponsored research grants annually, the University brings in more federal research dollars each year than all other New Jersey colleges and universities, combined.

Net Price: $12,020
Score: 90.19

6. Texas A&M University - College Station, TX

Master of Science in Biology


At Texas A&M University, the Master of Science in Biology is available in either a thesis or non-thesis option. Students work with an advisory committee to develop a degree plan. If students opt for the thesis plan, they must complete at least 32 semester hours of coursework. The non-thesis plan requires at least 36 semester hours of coursework, and final comprehensive examinations may also be required. The Master of Science in Biology degree program has a residency requirement, and students may complete either nine residential credits a semester, or attend a 10-week summer resident study semester.

Founded in 1876, Texas A&M features a main campus in College Station, as well as branch campuses in Galveston and Qatar. Over 64,000 students attend the College Station campus where they may choose from 125 undergraduate, 200 master's, 100 doctoral, and five professional degree programs. Money Magazine recognized Texas A&M as the top public university in Texas for Best Value. In 2018, the Fiske Guide to Colleges ranked the University as the No. 1 Best National Public University for providing superior education at an affordable price.

Net Price: $19,554
Score: 90.4

7. University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

Master of Science in Biological Sciences


The University of Illinois usually only admits program applicants who plan to be Ph.D. candidates, but applicants are considered on an individual basis and, in unusual circumstances, students may be admitted to the Master of Science in Biological Sciences degree. This degree is available with a research or course work track, and, both, tracks require a minimum of 32 semester hours. Students in the research track will complete a dissertation, and students in the course work track will complete a project. Both tracks require students to complete a comprehensive final examination.

UIC is a public research university that consists of 15 colleges, and in addition to its Chicago campus, the University has schools in Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield, and Urbana. The University offers 87 bachelor's, 101 master's, and 65 doctoral degrees, as well as 53 certificate programs. Eighty-eight percent of UIC's full-time faculty hold a Ph.D. or equivalent. With an enrollment of 31,000 students, UIC is the largest institution in the Chicago area. The U.S. News & World Report ranked UIC at No. 129 for its 2019 ranking of Best National Universities.

Net Price: $11,884
Score: 92.25

8. University of Minnesota - Saint Paul, MN

Master of Biological Sciences


The University of Minnesota's Master of Biological Sciences degree that is designed to accommodate the needs of working adults. Students can opt to pursue a plan that incorporates a research project, or may choose a plan that focuses on coursework only. Students also have the ability to tailor their program toward their professional goals. This program's multidisciplinary approach means students may take courses offered by various university colleges, including the Academic Health Center, the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences, and more. Admission to this degree program is competitive.

In Fall of 2017, the University of Minnesota educated over 31,000 undergraduate and 16,000 graduate and professional students. Among the University's 3,900 faculty are recipients of Guggenheim Fellowships, Nobel Prizes, and MacArthur Fellowships. University of Minnesota students may participate in the University's 900 student organizations or may try out for the 23 varsity athletic teams. Over 3,400 university students are active in Greek life, and the student body includes 7,197 international students. The University of Minnesota also offers plenty of study abroad opportunities, and 3,682 students currently study abroad.

Net Price: $16,808
Score: 87.83

9. University of Virginia - Charlottesville, VA

Master of Art/Science in Biology


At the University of Virginia, students may pursue a Master of Arts or Master of Science in Biology degree. This Master of Science/Art degree prepares students for research careers or careers in secondary education, science policy, conservation, and law. The program can be completed in about 2.5 years, but students must complete all degree requirements within five years. The program requires 30 credits of graduate-level coursework, including four graded lecture or laboratory courses. Students must also successfully defend a thesis. Students who are pursuing an MS degree will write a dissertation based on independent laboratory research, while students in the MA program will base their thesis around independent research.

The University of Virginia's Medical Center is a 602-bed facility employing 12,000 employees, and the University itself employs an additional 18,000 people. The Princeton Review ranked the University of Virginia as the No. 1 Best Value Public College for 2018, and the U.S. News & World Report ranked the University at No. 3 for Best Public National Universities. Over 16,000 undergraduate and 6,700 graduate students attend the University of Virginia.

Net Price: $16,594
Score: 84.23

10. Brooklyn College - Brooklyn, NY

Master of Art in Biology


The Brooklyn College Master of Art in Biology prepares students for careers in academia, in laboratory work, and even in pharmaceutical companies or the biotechnology field. This comprehensive program includes lectures, seminars, and possibly laboratory work or fieldwork to give students a well-rounded education. Students may also conduct thesis research in the college's laboratories. This degree offers biology teachers training at the master's level, and program graduates are prepared to teach at the college level and pursue their doctorate.

Brooklyn College consists of five schools and offers 83 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs. The college also provides a variety of certificate and advanced certificate programs. As of Fall 2018, more than 18,000 students were enrolled at Brooklyn College, including 3,183 graduate students. In 2019, Forbes recognized the college as one of the 100 best value colleges in the country. The U.S. News & World Report awarded Brooklyn College the title of the No. 1 for diverse U.S. colleges in the North, and The Princeton Review ranked the college as one of the Best Value Colleges in the United States for 2019.

Net Price: $4,114
Score: 85.3

11. University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia, PA

Master of Science in Oral Biology


At the University of Pennsylvania, students enrolled in the Master of Science in Oral Biology degree program can choose one of two tracks: A research track or an evidence-based learning track. To enroll in this program, students must enroll in a Penn Dental Medicine postgraduate specialty training program. Students in either track must write and defend a thesis. By the end of the program, students will be able to discuss ethics in research, demonstrate advanced knowledge in their concentration area, deliver oral presentations, and be proficient in scientific writing, and more.

Founded in 1740, Penn has grown to educate approximately 25,000 students each year, including over 11,000 graduate and professional students. In the Fall of 2018, Penn received 44,491 undergraduate admissions and accepted just above eight percent of applicants. Penn is home to four undergraduate schools and 12 graduate and professional schools, including the School of Dental Medicine, Law School, School of Nursing, and School of Veterinary Medicine. Penn's three campuses - the West Philadelphia, New Bolton Center, and Morris Arboretum campus - include nearly 700 buildings between them.

Net Price: $24,539
Score: 86.17

12. California State University, Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

Master of Science in Biology


With California State University Long Beach's Master of Science in Biology program, students can create and execute applied research projects, gain training in experimental design, perform field and laboratory research, and hone their skills in statistical analysis. Program graduates are prepared for many career options, and some work in biological consulting firms, find positions in resource management agencies, teach at the community college level, or pursue a Ph.D. degree. Program applicants must contact potential faculty advisors, who must agree to act as a thesis advisor before a student can be accepted into this degree program.

CSULB has a 322-acre campus that is home to a nationally recognized art museum. CSULB opened in 1949 and has since awarded over 330,000 degrees. The University consists of eight different colleges offering 151 academic degrees. In 2016, CSULB students were awarded a total of $12.3 million in scholarships, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance List recognized CSULB as a Best College Value. In 2017, the Princeton Review and USA Today included CSULB in their Best Value Colleges for 2017 ranking.

Net Price: $9,654
Score: 85.77

13. University of Maryland - College Park, MD

Master of Science in Biological Sciences


The University of Maryland's Biological Sciences, Master of Science Master of Science degree, is available to students who are enrolled in the school's Ph.D. program. Students cannot enroll in this program directly, but rather earn the degree as they progress toward their Ph.D. degree. The MS program is a 30-credit program that requires at least 16 credits in the Biological Sciences. Students must also take at least three courses in their chosen area of specialization.

The University of Maryland is conveniently located just outside of Washington, D.C., and is home to over 41,000 students. This preeminent public research university was founded in 1856 and offers 92 undergraduate majors, 107 master's programs, and 83 doctoral programs. Over 352,000 alumni have graduated from this university. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Maryland as the 22nd best public research institution in the country, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance recognized the University as being the 8th best value college in America.

Net Price: $17,241
Score: 85.72

14. University of Connecticut - Storrs, CT

Master of Science in Molecular and Cell Biology


At the University of Connecticut, students can pursue a Master of Science in Molecular and Cell Biology. Students must choose from four areas of concentration, including Structural Biology, Biochemistry and Biophysics; Cell and Developmental Biology; Genetics and Genomics; and Microbiology. During their time at the University, students can access a variety of research centers, such as the Biophysics Facility, BioSupply Facility, the Microbial Analysis, Resources and Services Facility, and more.

Founded in 1881, the University of Connecticut has a main campus in Storrs, with additional regional campuses in Avery Point, Hartford, Stamford, and Waterbury. The University consists of 14 schools and colleges offering 116 undergraduate majors, 88 graduate research and practice fields of study, and six professional degree programs. A total of more than 32,000 students are enrolled at UConn, including more than 8,000 graduate and professional students.

Net Price: $18,699
Score: 83.38

15. Georgia Institute of Technology - Atlanta, GA

Master of Science in Biology


Students may pursue two separate Master of Science in Biology degrees at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The program is offered, both, as a non-thesis and as a thesis degree. The non-thesis program is for students who need advanced biology training, but who will not be pursuing a research career. The thesis program is for students who plan to hold a technician-level job or who will pursue a Ph.D. in biology. Students may choose from three areas of concentration: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Molecular and Cell Biology; and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.

Founded in 1885, Georgia Tech is a top research institution today. Over 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students attend the school each year where they pursue a variety of technologically-focused majors and minors. Georgia Tech consists of six colleges and 28 schools on its 400-acre campus. Students may participate in over 400 student organizations and over 50 Greek organizations. Georgia Tech has an NCAA Division I intercollegiate program, as well as 20 intramural sports and 43 sports clubs. The U.S. News & World Report ranks Georgia Tech at No. 4 for Most Innovative Schools ranking.

Net Price: $15,873
Score: 84.33

16. Appalachian State University - Boone, NC

Master of Science in Biology


Appalachian State University's Master of Science in Biology degree is intended, both, for students who will pursue a competitive career and for students who will pursue additional training in biology. Students can choose from three concentrations, including Cell and Molecular Biology, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and General Biology. Students receive strong faculty mentorship and have the opportunity to perform original research with the guidance of a mentor. All students who are accepted into the degree program in the Fall semester by regular admission and by the priority guideline are guaranteed to receive assistantships. These assistantships give students valuable experience teaching at the college level and also help students to pay for their education.

Appalachian State University is home to over 19,000 students and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Ninety-eight percent of the University's full-time faculty hold a doctorate or other terminal degrees in their field, and the University's 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio allows for individualized education. Founded in 1899, today the University is home to 126,000 living alumni. Appalachian State University is a member of the University of North Carolina System which consists of 17 different schools throughout the state.

Net Price: $10,473
Score: 87.57

17. Tufts University - Medford/Somerville, MA

Master of Science in Biology


The Tufts University Master of Science in Biology is available as an Open Choice MS and as a Thesis MS The Open Choice MS degree is intended for students who wish to increase their expertise in biology, while the Thesis MS program is for students who are looking for research experience. Students learn to think, both creatively and critically about biology and attend a variety of graduate courses and seminars. Research experience with a faculty member also contributes to students' learning during this program.

Established in 1852 Tufts University's Fall 2017 enrollment was over 11,000 students, including 5,908 graduate and professional students. The University's six libraries have a total of more than 1,300,000 volumes between them. The University offers 341 student organizations and 132 graduate and professional clubs and organizations, and 93.8% of students participate in one or more extracurricular or co-curricular activities.

Net Price: $29,449
Score: 84.06

18. Michigan Technological University - Houghton, MI

Master of Science in Biological Sciences


Michigan Technological University offers a Master of Science in Biology program that can be completed within two years. During their study, students develop research skills, complete additional coursework, and write a thesis. Graduate students have many opportunities to perform interdisciplinary research with a variety of research institutes, including the Aquatic Ecology Research Group, the Lake Superior Ecosystems Research Center, the Environmental Engineering Center, and the Phototechnology Research Center.

Michigan Tech was founded in 1885 and consists of seven colleges and schools offering over 120-degree programs. The University's 19 research facilities have studied expenditures totaling more than $78 million. In a single year, Michigan Tech students spend 126,000 workings on paid research with faculty mentors. In 2019, ranked Michigan Tech as the top best value college in Michigan. College Magazine ranked Michigan Tech as being the safest college campus in the nation in 2017, and in 2017, Money Magazine ranked the University as the second-best public college where graduates make six figures.

Net Price: $17,139
Score: 85.15

19. Wake Forest University - Winston-Salem, NC

Master of Science in Biology


Wake Forest University's Master of Science in Biology is a program through which students may pursue advanced coursework and create a research thesis. The Department of Biology features more than 20 graduate faculty who mentor students through the development of their thesis. Students in the MS in Biology program are offered full tuition remission, as well as a competitive stipend for the two full years of study that the program requires. The program emphasizes hands-on experience in research and teaching, individualized courses of education, and a collaborative research community.

At Wake Forest University, students can choose from over 40 majors, and 60 minors offered across six schools and colleges, including the School of Divinity, School of Medicine, and School of Law. The University offers 243 on-campus student organizations, including political groups, service-oriented groups, fraternities, sororities, and more. There is also an active arts culture on campus, with a theater department putting on about four major performances each year, a Museum of Anthropology, and the University's student art gallery, the START Gallery.

Net Price: $23,986
Score: 84.16

20. St. Cloud State University - St. Cloud, MN

Biological Sciences Master of Art, Master of Science


Students enrolled at St. Cloud State University have the option to pursue a Master of Art or Master of Science degree in Biological Sciences. The MS degree includes the development of a thesis, while the MA degree is a non-thesis degree. Students may pursue tracks in ecology and natural resources or cell and molecular biology within each degree option. Most students who pursue an MS degree earn assistantships or can waive their tuition to help cover their living expenses. At St. Cloud State University, students have access to state-of-the-art facilities, including the University's Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility and an herbarium with materials dating back to the 1800s.

Founded in 1869, St. Cloud State University's 100-acre campus is home to over 14,000 students. The University offers 200 majors, minors, and pre-professional programs, as well as over 60 graduate programs and two doctoral degrees. Hundreds of courses are offered online each semester, and students may participate in the more than 200 clubs and organizations offered on campus. The University was included in Forbes' America's Top Colleges ranking and was listed at No. 24 in Forbes' Best Small Places for Businesses and Careers ranking.

Net Price: $13,684
Score: 81.92

21. Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI

Master of Science in Integrative Biology


Students interested in enrolling in the Master of Science in Integrative Biology program at Michigan State University must review the research interests of the faculty accepting graduate students first. Students are sponsored by a faculty member who has similar research interests and is admitted to the graduate program under this mentorship. Students interested in this program should contact graduate advisors to inquire about sponsorship well ahead of the program's application deadline. This degree program gives students the option to pursue the degree alone, or they may earn a joint degree through MSU's interdisciplinary graduate programs.

MSU was founded in 1855 and was the first institution of higher education in the country to teach scientific agriculture. Today, MSU's 5,200-acre campus is home to 566 buildings and over 50,000 students, including more than 10,000 graduate and professional students. MSU offers more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. The U.S. News & World Report has ranked MSU at No. 85 for the Top 100 Universities in the World, and No. 35 for Best Public Universities in America.

Net Price: $16,684
Score: 82.02

22. University at Buffalo - Buffalo, NY

Biological Sciences Master of Science


At the University of Buffalo, students in the Biological Sciences Master of Science degree program can choose to focus on one of three areas: Molecular biology of gene expression, signal transduction in sensory perception and development, or evolutionary genomics in population biology. During their studies, students will develop their critical thinking skills, as well as both oral and written communication capabilities. Advisors provide students with individualized attention and support throughout the completion of their degree. Program graduates will be prepared to pursue careers in fields such as research, biotech and pharmaceutical industries, health areas, or biology education.

UB was founded in 1846 and is the largest campus of the 64 universities in the SUNY system. This research-intensive public university offers more than 125 undergraduate degrees and over 320 graduate, professional, and certificate programs. UB is made up of 13 schools and colleges, including schools in dental medicine, law, nursing, and more. Thanks to UB's partnerships with 90 universities around the world, students can pursue thousands of study abroad opportunities on all seven continents.

Net Price: $16,120
Score: 83.97

23. California State University, Stanislaus - Turlock, CA

Master of Science in Biological Sciences


California State University, Stanislaus offers a Master of Science in Biological Sciences degree that focuses on high-level biological science training. During this two-year program, students complete, both coursework and a research thesis. Among other requirements, prospective students should have a bachelor's degree in biological sciences or a related field, completed GRE test scores, and a letter of support from a Stanislaus State faculty member who is willing to be the student's advisor.

Stanislaus State was founded in 1960 and today consists of two locations in Turlock and Stockton, California. Nearly 10,000 students pursue 43 different majors and 41 minors at the University. Stanislaus State also offers 16 master's degrees, seven credential programs, and a doctoral program. Money Magazine ranked Stanislaus State as the top value-added public college in the country, and the University has been included on the U.S. News & World Report's Regional Honor Roll for 23 years.

Net Price: $6,768
Score: 81.02

24. Texas Woman's University - Denton, TX

Master of Science in Biology


At Texas Woman's University, students pursuing the Master of Science in Biology degree can choose from two different options. A thesis path requires 30 credits, including six credits for thesis work. Alternatively, students may choose a professional paper path, which requires 36-semester credits, including three credits for professional paper and six credits of education coursework. Both tracks culminate in the oral defense of the thesis or professional writing. Students learn from faculty mentors and have the opportunity to attend seminars by leading scientists and experts. Students also have the chance to publish and present their research at conferences.

Founded in 1957, TWU is the largest university primarily for women in the country. TWU has accepted men since 1972 and has grown into a significant university offering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees. TWU's enrollment is approximately 15,000, and students attend campuses in Denton, Dallas, and Houston. In addition, TWU's e-learning campus offers online degrees in subjects, including business, education, and general studies.

Net Price: $9,129
Score: 82.16

25. SUNY Oneonta - Oneonta, NY

Master of Science in Biology


SUNY Oneonta's Master of Science in Biology degree program is available in, both, a Thesis and Non-Thesis track. The Thesis track is ideal for students who plan to pursue doctoral studies or who will hold specialized careers in the biological sciences. The Non-Thesis track is suitable for biology teachers seeking post-graduate education, or for students seeking a broad education in biology. During the program, students have the opportunity to study and perform research and the Biological Field Station in Cooperstown, which is home to several laboratories, two lakefront docks, boats, sampling equipment, and more. Program graduates have gone on to hold careers in private industry, forensic science, non-profits, higher education, and secondary education.

Over 6,000 students enroll at SUNY Oneonta each year, where they learn from 490 full- and part-time faculty. Eighty-five percent of full-time SUNY Oneonta faculty hold the highest degrees in their field, and with an average class size of just 24 students, students can engage with faculty. The U.S. News & World Report included SUNY Oneonta at the No. 14 top spot for its 2019 ranking of the best public institutions in the region. In 2018, Forbes ranked SUNY Oneonta at No. 144 for America's Top Colleges in the Northeast.

Net Price: $15,687
Score: 80.9

26. University of Delaware - Newark, DE

Graduate Concentration in Molecular Biology and Genetics


The University of Delaware offers a Graduate Concentration in Molecular Biology and Genetics for students pursuing a Master of Science degree. Students who enter the program must be competent in biochemistry, molecular biology, and genetics. The two-year degree program develops knowledge, written and oral communication skills, and proficiency in research. Students must pass a comprehensive examination to register for their master's thesis credit.

Founded in 1743, the University of Delaware is one of the oldest educational institutions in the country. The University's first class included three signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as a signer of the Constitution. Since then, University of Delaware students has added Tony Award-winning choreographer, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, and more. The campus offers 300 student organizations, and the University participates in NCAA Division I athletics. Over 24,000 students attend the University of Delaware, and the U.S. News & World Report ranked the University at No. 33 for Best National Public Universities in 2018.

Net Price: $16,286
Score: 82.8

27. Georgetown University - Washington, D.C.

Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology


Georgetown University's Masters in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program is designed for students who wish to pursue research careers in fields such as academia or biotechnology, or those who plan to enter into a Ph.D. program in the biomedical sciences. Program graduates hold jobs in academic, government, or biotechnology research. In addition to completing core and elective coursework, students also pursue an intensive internship where they work with research mentors in on-campus laboratories or off-campus government agencies, such as the FDA. At the end of the internship, students have the opportunity to present their research at poster presentation sessions.

Georgetown was founded in 1789, and today it is the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university in the country. Nine schools make up the University, including the Georgetown Law, School of Medicine, and School of Continuing Studies. In 2017, Georgetown received 10,471 graduate student applications and admitted 5,092 postgraduate students. Georgetown is one of the leading research institutions in the country, with $212.3 million in research and development expenditures received during the 2017 fiscal year. Students also have access to the University's library, which held more than 3,000,000 books, 220,000 journals, and 46,000 films in 2016-2017.

Net Price: $27,420
Score: 80.23

28. Binghamton University - Binghamton, NY

Master of Art and Master of Science in Biological Sciences


Binghamton University offers, both, a Master of Art and a Master of Science in Biological Sciences. An accelerated BA and Master of Science degree are also offered, and students may choose from a Biochemical, Cell, and Molecular Biology Track; or from Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Track. Program graduates work with organizations including the Wildlife Conservation Society and have also held positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Michigan School of Public Health, and more. Program applicants should hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and are encouraged to review faculty profiles and their research areas before applying to the program.

Binghamton is a public university that was founded in 1946 to serve veterans who were returning from World War II. The campus was relocated numerous times before becoming the Binghamton University of today. The University offers 200 student clubs and organizations and participates in NCAA Division I sports. The U.S. News & World Report has included Binghamton University in its Top 50 Public Universities in the Nation ranking for 19 consecutive years, and also ranks the University as the fourth most affordable top-ranked university in the country.

Net Price: $16,775
Score: 79.05

29. University of North Texas - Denton, TX

Master of Art and Science in Biology


The University of North Texas offers, both, a Master of Art and Science in Biology. The MA in Biology degree is a 36-credit program that does not require a thesis, but students enrolled in this program are not eligible for the Ph.D. program offered by the University's Department of Biological Sciences. The MS in Biology 30-hour research degree, however, does require a thesis dissertation. Additionally, the University offers an MS with a major in Biology Teaching the Life Sciences program. This 36-hour non-thesis program is intended for students who have a BA or BS in a life science subject, and who wish to earn their initial teacher certification in the life sciences in the secondary education level.

UNT was founded in 1890 and is one of the largest universities in the country today. UNT students can choose from 105 bachelor's, 88 master's, and 37 doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields such as education, engineering, music, visual arts, and social sciences. With an enrollment of over 38,000 students, UNT employs 4,600 faculty and staff members to ensure student success. The University offers 400 student organizations that include 145 academic and honor societies.

Net Price: $12,053
Score: 78.79

30. Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Masters in Quantitative and Systems Biology


Northwestern University's Masters in Quantitative and Systems Biology is a one-year program that prepares students to enter research careers in industry, academia; to pursue a Ph.D., or even an MD degree. This program's approach to biology is different from the traditional method of molecular and biochemistry. Instead, this framework features intensive research and course-based training that most undergraduate biology students have not previously seen. Class size is restricted to about six students, allowing for close mentorship. QSB students can participate in an optional seven-month internship and are eligible for 36 months of voluntary practical training work.

Founded in 1851, Northwestern has campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and in Doha, Qatar. The University's 12 schools and colleges include the School of Communication, Pritzker School of Law, and Feinberg School of Management. Northwestern is nationally and internationally recognized for offering quality education. In fact, the U.S. News & World Report ranks Northwestern as a Top 10 National University. The University features over 50 research centers, and through Northwestern, $702.1 million is sponsored in research every year.

Net Price: $26,099
Score: 77.72

31. Auburn University - Auburn, AL

Master of Science Biological Sciences


Auburn University's Master of Science in Biological Sciences is a two-year degree available, both, with and without a thesis requirement. During this 30-credit program, students must present at least one departmental seminar focusing on the research they have performed. Students may pursue interdisciplinary minors in biochemistry, cell/molecular biology, ecology, environmental studies, and plant, animal, or microbial molecular biology. Program applicants should have an undergraduate degree in a related field, as well as training in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. GRE scores are also required, and it is suggested that students have minimum scores of 500 on GRE verbal and quantitative tests.

Auburn's campus was established in 1856 and now encompasses 1,841 acres and 427 buildings. Auburn's 2018-2019 academic year enrollment was over 30,000 students, including more than 4,700 graduate students. Ninety-percent of the University's faculty holds a terminal degree in their field. \Auburn also offers a study abroad program, and more than 1,300 students study abroad each year.

Net Price: $22,613
Score: 76.42

32. Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Molecular and Cellular Biology Master's Program


Johns Hopkins University offers a unique Molecular and Cellular Biology Master's program that allows students to build on their previous academic experience, earning a master's degree in only one year. The program is only available to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in biology or molecular and cellular biology from Johns Hopkins University. During the program, students receive mentorship from university faculty, participate in specialized seminars, leadership, and teaching experience as laboratory teaching assistants, and complete an independent research process. The program culminates with the development of a written thesis and an oral presentation.

Founded in 1876, Johns Hopkins University holds the distinction of being the first research university in the country. Today, 24,000 students are enrolled across the University's nine academic divisions where they pursue over 260 educational programs. The University has led in federal research and development funding every year since 1979, and students work alongside faculty to make discoveries and develop inventions including CPR, Dramamine, and water purification. Notable alumni include former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, film director Wes Craven, and United States president Woodrow Wilson.

Net Price: $29,066
Score: 77.73

33. University of Massachusetts Amherst - Amherst, MA

Master of Science in Plant Biology


University of Massachusetts Amherst's Master of Science in Plant Biology program is a suitable option for students with many different career plans. Students must complete a thesis based on independent research and will select a thesis advisor by the end of their first semester in the program. Students should complete the master's degree within two years, and there is a three-year statute of limitations on the degree. Students are not guaranteed to fund for their education, and they should discuss funding with their advisor before applying to the program.

UMass Amherst encompasses nine schools and colleges offering 109 bachelor's, five associate's, 77 master's, and 48 doctoral degrees. More than 30,000 students were enrolled at the University as of Fall 2018, including more than 7,000 graduate students. The University library has over seven million items, and UMass Amherst is home to 21 athletic teams competing at the NCAA Division I level. The U.S. News & World Report ranked UMass Amherst at No. 26 for its ranking of 700 public, four-year educational institutions in America.

Net Price: $21,281
Score: 77.51

34. Clemson University - Clemson, SC

Master of Science in Biological Sciences


Clemson University's Biological Sciences, Master of Science degree program is offered with emphasis areas in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, and Comparative Organismal Biology. The program requires students to complete a research thesis, though a non-thesis option is also available for K-12 teachers. This non-thesis program requires students to present a research proposal and project, but the scope of the project is less than the thesis required of students in the traditional MS program. Program applicants must have a bachelor's degree, and previous training in biology, as well as have taken courses in organic chemistry, physics, calculus, and more.

Clemson was founded in 1889 and offers more than 120 graduate degrees across seven colleges. Nearly 20,000 undergraduates and over 5,000 graduate students pursue their education at Clemson, where they have access to valuable resources such as over 3 million print and electronic books housed in the Clemson libraries. Clemson is a public research university, and in 2018, the University received $150 in external research funding. Students at Clemson can participate in the 500 student clubs and organizations, play 34 club sports or 17 intramural sports, or take part in the six on-campus media organizations.

Net Price: $18,757
Score: 78.03

35. Northwest Missouri State University - Maryville, MO

Master of Science in Biology


The Master of Science in Biology program, offered by Northwest Missouri State University, is a 32-credit program that develops students' problem-solving skills, research skills, and overall content knowledge. Students may specialize in cellular/molecular biology, ecology, organismal biology, or environmental science, and have the choice to pursue a thesis option or a scholarly paper option. The thesis option maximizes a student's hands-on research experience, while the scholarly paper option emphasizes traditional classroom coursework over hands-on research.

NMSU offers 127 undergraduate and 40 graduate degree programs. All full-time students at Northwest receive a laptop to use during the school year, and students can rent their textbooks and pay just $6 per credit for those rentals. Approximately 7,000 students currently attend the University, where a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio means that students can receive individualized feedback and support. The U.S. News and World Report rank Northwest as the Top Moderately Selective Regional University in the state in its 2015, 2016, and 2018 Best Colleges list.

Net Price: $11,778

Score: 80.12

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