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Biology, MS


The Master of Science program in Biology prepares students for employment in a variety of professional settings and for further study toward doctoral degrees such as the PhD, MD, DDS and DVM. It is a comprehensive biological science program in which students may focus their studies in cellular/molecular biology, physiology/developmental biology, conservation ecology, or biochemistry. The program is appropriate for students holding a baccalaureate degree in biology, health science, or related sciences, or for those who have taken the prerequisite undergraduate courses (see prerequisites below).

The emphasis of the Biology MS degree program is to develop practical research skills and a thorough conceptual foundation in the field of biological science. Students in the program receive:

  • Graduate-level coursework in a rigorous, yet flexible and broad-based curriculum.
  • An academic environment that fosters collaboration among students.
  • Personal attention from experienced faculty.
  • Advising and mentoring in academic, volunteer, research and internship opportunities that enhance student skills before transitioning to doctoral programs, professional school or the workforce.

The program is course-based and includes a one-semester research experience. Students who are prepared for additional research training may pursue a master’s thesis under the sponsorship of a department faculty member.


Applicants should consult the general requirements for admission to graduate programs in the College of Arts and Sciences covered on the Roosevelt University web site. Graduate faculty members will evaluate each applicant’s individual record of academic achievement, professional experience and self-assessment. Weakness in one or a few areas of preparation will not preclude a positive admission decision.

Application materials

  • Graduate application: Application to the College of Arts & Sciences at Roosevelt University.
  • Official transcript(s): Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  • Resume/Curriculum vita: Students should provide a detailed account of their academic and extracurricular experiences. Include employment, teaching, leadership and research experiences as appropriate.
  • Personal statement: This brief (one-page) personal statement conveys the student's motivation for his/her chosen career. If the student has a personal statement from a central admissions service, this may be submitted.
  • Two letters of recommendation: Two letters of recommendation appropriate for a professional school application. Referees may include professors, academic advisors, employment supervisors or others familiar with students' preparation for graduate study.
  • Official GRE, MCAT, PCAT or DAT score (recommended): Official score in one of the graduate admissions tests that is no more than three years old.


New students must consult with the graduate program director upon admission to the graduate program. Each graduate student is required to meet with a graduate advisor at least once each semester to select appropriate courses for the following semester. Students who have completed at least one semester of graduate study (or 6 semester hours) with a grade average of 3.0 or higher should consult with their advisors to discuss research and independent study opportunities.


Applicants to the MS Biology program must hold a baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (4.0 scale) and must have completed the academic requirements described below.

  • Mathematics through integral calculus
  • Chemistry through the second semester of organic chemistry
  • Physics through the second semester of physics with calculus
  • Biology through introductory biology

Students lacking these prerequisites may be admitted provisionally until they have been completed satisfactorily (grade of B- or better). None of the prerequisite courses may be used toward fulfillment of the requirements for the master's degree.

Graduate transfer credit toward the degree must be approved by the faculty in each concentration and is limited to nine semester hours.


The MS in Biology requires a minimum of 36 semester hours, at least 27 of which must be completed at Roosevelt University. Students may focus their studies in the areas of cellular and molecular biology, physiology and developmental biology, conservation ecology, or biochemistry. See below for recommended courses in each area of focus.

Research and independent study opportunities

All students must complete three semester hours of research training by enrolling in either Research in Biology under the sponsorship of a faculty member (BIOL 492) or in the scheduled Research Methods course (BIOL 468). It is recommended that BIOL 492 be taken for three semester hours in a single term, but it may be taken in increments to total three semester hours. Following the initial research experience, qualified students may pursue advanced study toward a Master’s thesis by enrolling in 3-6 additional semester hours of Thesis (BIOL 485).

Independent study in literature research (BIOL 495) and course by arrangement options are also available. These options are included in the total graduate semester hours but do not substitute for research requirements. No more than 10 total semester hours may result from independent study or research, unless approved by the graduate program director.

Recommended courses

The remaining coursework may be chosen from the appropriate list below or from other scheduled courses in Biology, Biochemistry or Chemistry at the 400-level. Select cross-listed courses at the advanced undergraduate level may be taken with instructor and advisor approval. No more than 10 semester hours of cross-listed coursework will be included in the 36 semester hour minimum.


  BCHM 420 Physical Chemistry for Bioscience .....3
  BCHM 444 Bioinorganic Chemistry .....3
  BCHM 454 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 457 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  BCHM 464 Protein Structure Determination .....3
  BCHM 493 Biochemistry Seminar .....1
  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 458 Cell Biology .....5

Cellular and molecular biology

  BCHM 454 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 457 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  BIOL 449 Intro to Bionanotechnology .....3
  BIOL 451 Genetics .....5
  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 458 Cell Biology .....5
  BIOL 460 Microbiology .....5
  BIOL 461 Information Technology for Biosciences .....3
  BIOL 467 Immunology .....5

Conservation biology

  BIOL 414 Quantitative Ecology and Conservation .....5
  BIOL 422 Botany .....4
  BIOL 424 Marine Biology .....3
  BIOL 432 Ecology of the Tallgrass Prairies .....4
  BIOL 451 Genetics .....5
  BIOL 456 Developmental Biology .....3
  BIOL 465 Aquatic Toxicology .....5

Physiology and developmental biology

  BIOL 430 Physiology: Mechanisms and Disorders .....3
  BIOL 443 Clinical Bioethics and Medical Literature .....3
  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 456 Developmental Biology .....3
  BIOL 458 Cell Biology .....5
  BIOL 467 Immunology .....5