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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 MD, DDS and PhD. It is a comprehensive biological science program in which a student may concentrate primarily 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.

The emphasis of the MS Biology degree program is to develop practical research skills and a broad 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 graduate school, professional school or the workforce.

The program is course-based and includes a one-semester research experience. Students who are prepared for advanced 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 study 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.
  • Expanded Resume: Students should provide a detailed account of their academic and extracurricular experiences. Discuss any employment, teaching, leadership and research experiences along with a brief description of what was learned from each experience.
  • Personal Statement: The 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, they may submit this statement.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation appropriate for a professional school application.
  • 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.


Prerequisite coursework

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 fulfilling 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 six semester hours.


Program Requirements

The MS in Biology requires a minimum of 36 semester hours, at least 30 of which must be completed at Roosevelt University. Students may concentrate their studies in cellular and molecular biology, physiology and developmental biology, conservation ecology, or biochemistry.

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.

Research opportunities

All students must complete three semester hours of research by enrolling in Research in Biology (BIOL 492) or in Research Methods (BIOL 468). It is recommended that BIOL 492 be taken for 3 semester hours, but it may be taken in increments to total 3 semester hours.

Following the initial research experience, qualified students may pursue advanced study toward a Master’s thesis by enrolling in 3-6 additional credits of Thesis (BIOL 485). These credits are included in the total graduate credit hours.

A student who has completed at least one semester of full-time graduate study (or 9 credit hours) with a grade average of 3.0 (B) or higher should consult with members of the department faculty to select a research advisor.

Recommended courses

The remaining coursework may be chosen from the appropriate list below or from other scheduled courses, in consultation with a graduate advisor. Other courses, including select courses at the advanced undergraduate level, may be taken as a course-by-arrangement with instructor and advisor approval. No more than 10 semester hours of course-by-arrangement will be included in the 36 semester hour minimum.

300-level courses

  BIOL 310 Fundamentals of Behavioral Neuropsychology .....3
  BIOL 324 Marine Biology .....3
  BIOL 360 Microbiology .....5


  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
  BIOL 491 Medical Internship .....3

Cellular and Molecular Biology

  BCHM 420 Physical Chemistry for Bioscience .....3
  BCHM 454 Experimental Methods in Biochemistry and Biotechnology .....2
  BCHM 457 Advanced Biochemistry .....3
  BIOL 404 Histology and Ultrastructure .....5
  BIOL 451 Advanced Genetics .....5
  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 458 Cell Biology .....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 432 Ecology of the Tallgrass Prairies .....4
  BIOL 451 Genetics .....5
  BIOL 456 Developmental Biology .....3
  BIOL 465 Aquatic Toxicology .....5
  BIOL 467 Immunology .....5
  BIOL 492 Research Methods .....3

Physiology and Developmental Biology

  BIOL 404 Histology and Ultrastructure .....5
  BIOL 430 Physiology: Mechanisms and Disorders .....3
  BIOL 438 Organ Systems Physiology .....5
  BIOL 453 Molecular Biology .....5
  BIOL 456 Developmental Biology .....3
  BIOL 458 Research Methods .....5
  BIOL 467 Immunology .....5
  BIOL 491 Medical Internship .....3