Biology (MS)

Master of Science in Biology

Department of Biology
College of Arts & Sciences

Zack Murrell, Interim Chair and Professor

Ece Karatan, Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor

The Department of Biology offers the Master of Science in Biology (207*/26.0101) with concentrations in

  • Cell and Molecular Biology (207B)
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (207D)
  • General Biology (207C)

The graduate program is designed to prepare men and women for competitive careers and continued training in the field of biology. Our students graduate with the scientific skills for careers in environmental, biomedical, and educational fields and with foundational training for further education at the doctoral and professional levels. The program provides students with a comprehensive knowledge of broad fields and disciplines in biology while also allowing specialization in an area of their choice. In recent years, the Graduate Program in Biology has been twice named the Outstanding Graduate Program at Appalachian State University, and our graduate students routinely compete for and are awarded grants or scholarships for their proposed and ongoing research. The quality of thesis research conducted by biology graduate students is regularly recognized by the university, and our students often receive thesis awards from the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies.


Admission Requirements: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; complete application to the Graduate School; official general GRE exam scores; statement of interest and intent; commitment from a Biology faculty member to chair the applicant's thesis committee**.

*The three required letters of recommendation should be written by persons familiar with the applicant's academic performance.
**Applicants are encouraged to contact the program director as early as possible regarding thesis research interests.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. In addition, applicants must receive a minimum GRE analytical writing score of 4 to be considered for normal admission and assistantships. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission.

Location: On Campus

 Course Requirements for the Master of Science in Biology
Semester Hours Required (minimum): 30
Required Courses
  • BIO 5000: Bibliography and Research (4)
  • BIO 5999: Thesis (4-8)
8 to 12
Concentration (CHOOSE ONE)

Cell and Molecular Biology Concentration (Code: 207B)

  • BIO 6615: Current Topics in Molecular Biology (6-18)
  • One of the following courses:
    • BIO 5650: Bioinformatics (3)
    • BIO 5777: Biostatistics (4)
  • 0-13 s.h. of graduate elective courses chosen in consultation with the major advisor

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Concentration (Code: 207D)

  • BIO 5250: Current Topics in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (6-12)
  • BIO 5777: Biostatistics (4)
  • 2-12 s.h. of graduate elective courses chosen in consultation with the major advisor

General Biology Concentration (Code: 207C)

  • BIO 5777: Biostatistics (4)
  • 14-18 s.h. of graduate elective courses chosen in consultation with the major advisor
18 to 22

Other Requirements for the MS in Biology:

  • Thesis: Required
  • Proficiency: Not required
  • Candidacy: Required; awarded upon approval of thesis committee and prospectus
  • Comprehensive: A written comprehensive examination and an oral defense of the thesis
  • Product of Learning: Not required

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