Academics

Biology, MS

Program of Study | Research Facilities | Admission Requirements | Transfer Credit Policy | Costs and Financial Aid

The Master of Science Program in Biology

This master's program is designed to accommodate students with various backgrounds in science who wish rigorous training leading to the MS degree. It offers research and study in a wide variety of areas. Faculty have expertise in the following areas: cell biology, microbiology, molecular biology, neurobiology, physiology, plant sciences, population biology, and evolutionary biology.

Prospective applicants may also be interested in several academic offerings involving cooperation between the Biology Department and the School for the Environment. In addition, the Biology Department offers a master of science program in biotechnology and biomedical sciences.

Program of Study

Students in the MS Program in Biology must complete 30 graduate credits (20 in course work and 10 in research) which generally culminates in a research based thesis. A faculty advisor assists each student in selecting a cohesive program of study. We have a diverse faculty with strong and active research programs in molecular biology, cell biology, environmental biology, organismal biology, and evolutionary biology. Please review our faculty interests and course offerings to see if our program fits your needs.

Research Facilities

Extensive resources are available to students in the program for advanced study in behavior, biochemistry, conservation biology, cytology, developmental cell biology, genetics, ecology, microbiology, molecular biology, and plant and animal physiology.

Among the program's facilities are research laboratories, instrument rooms, warm and cold environment rooms and growth chambers, greenhouses, animal quarters, and vehicles and boats for field work. The Biology Department manages the University Environmental Genomics Center with DNA sequencing, Phosphorimaging and Real-time PCR capabilities. Biology also manages the new Biology Imaging Center with confocal and fluorescent as well as transmission and scanning electron microscopy. Research labs are well equipped with a variety of standard and specialized equipment including chromatographs, mass spectrometers, a variety of spectrophotometers, an amino acid analyzer, preparative and ultracentrifuges, beta/gamma counters, filmless autoradiography, tissue culture facilities, cryogenic and ultra cold storage, and a CO2 gas analyzer. A wide variety of microcomputers and printers is available throughout the University.

The university's campus is on Boston Harbor, where programs focusing on the biology of the harbor environment and terrestrial biology are emphasized. The university's Nantucket Field Station offers further resources for research in aquatic and terrestrial biology.

Admission Requirements

  • Submission of the graduate admissions application form.
  • A distinguished undergraduate transcript; competitive students generally have at least a 3.0 overall GPA although lower grades can be acceptable.
  • A bachelor's degree or its equivalent, from a 4-year college or university of recognized standing.
  • Official transcripts of all graduate and undergraduate work. (Two copies of each transcript must be sent directly to the University's Office of Graduate Admissions. A final transcript showing that the bachelor's degree has been awarded must be received before the student can enter the program.)
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Submissions of scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Combined Aptitude Test.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL official test score) is required for international applicants. For more information regarding minimal TOEFL scores go to Graduate Admissions.
The stated interests of a prospective student must coincide to an acceptable degree with the faculty specialties represented in the program. The Biology Graduate Committee in conjunction with the Director of Graduate Programs in Biology is responsible for reviewing applications and for recommending candidates to the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Transfer Credit Policy

Applicants who have completed appropriate graduate course work at other accredited institutions may transfer the equivalent of six credits toward UMass Boston graduate degree requirements from courses in which the applicant received a grade of B or higher, provided these are courses that have not been used to fulfill requirements for another degree, and were completed no more than seven years before the applicant's matriculation at UMass Boston.

Transfer credit is subject to the final approval of the graduate program director and the dean of graduate studies.

Costs and Financial Aid

As a public university, the costs of attending UMass Boston are moderate, especially for students who qualify as residents of Massachusetts. Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, and a limited number of assistantships that provide a stipend and remission of tuition.

For information about financial assistance please see the graduate assistance page, or write or call:

Office of Financial Aid Services
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
617.287.6300

Further Information

Please consult the frequently asked questions (FAQs) at the bottom of the preceding Graduate Programs home page.

Please note:
All information on this website is subject to change.
This website is neither a contract nor an offer to make a contract.