Close Menu

Master of Biology Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can I start?
If the prerequisites have been met, you may begin your graduate studies in fall, spring, or summer semesters.
2. Can I take all of the Master of Biology courses online?
Yes, all of the required courses are offered online. Laboratory courses are available as electives, but are not required.
3. How long will it take?
It depends entirely on how many courses you take per term. Part-time students who take one course per term generally take a little over three years to finish, assuming they take one course in each fall, spring, and summer semester. Part-time students who take two courses in fall and spring and one course in two summer semesters can finish in two years. Full-time students can earn the degree in less than two years, for example, by taking three courses in the fall, three courses in the spring, one course in the summer, and three courses the following fall.
4. I am an international student, can I take classes part-time?
If you are an international student in the professional science master's program you must take a minimum of nine credit hours in the fall and spring semesters, and a minimum of six credit hours in the summer. Details can be found on IIT's International Center website.
5. What are the requirements to earn the Master of Biology degree?
To earn the Master of Biology degree you must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours (a minimum of 10 courses) from the list of courses approved by your advisor while maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0/4.0 (“B” average). You are also required to pass a comprehensive exam known as the Profex.
6. What does the Profex cover?
The Profex consists of two parts. The first part covers material from BIOL 504—Biochemistry, and BIOL 515—Molecular Biology. The second part corresponds to your program of study. See Past Biology Profex Exams for more information.
7. When may I take the Profex?
We recommend you take the Profex after completing your core biology classes. For most students the appropriate time is after completing two full semesters of study. Exceptional students may attempt the Profex after just one full semester.
8. How do I sign up to take the exam?
You will receive an announcement from your advisor about signing up for the exam.
9. How often is the Profex offered?
The exam is offered twice a year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters.
10. Do I need to be registered to take the Profex?
If you are enrolled in at least one course during the semester that you are taking the exam, no special registration is required. If you are not taking any classes then you must register for GCS 600, a discounted one credit-hour course, to ensure active status.
11. If I fail the Profex, may I retake it?
You are allowed two attempts at passing the Profex. If you do not pass the exam on the second try, you may petition the department to allow you to take it one more time, which will be your final attempt.
12. Does IIT have a Code of Academic Honesty?
Yes, IIT takes academic honesty very seriously. You can find the Code of Academic Honesty and information about other important policies and services on the Office of Student Affairs website.
13. What will my diploma state as the degree earned?
Your diploma will state that you have earned a Master of Biology.
14. Can I transfer between degree programs?
Switching from the Professional Science Master of Biology to the Master of Science in Biology or vice versa, or either of those two programs to a Ph.D. program, would be considered a transfer of program and would necessitate a new application to the Graduate College for admission.
15. Where can I find additional information about IIT's policies and procedures?
▸  For dates & deadlines, registration, tuition, fees, and financial aid visit the Graduate College.
▸  For program of study, add/drop, withdrawal, leave of absence, and course repeat forms, academic probation contract, and application for graduation, visit the Office of Academic Affairs.
▸  For inquiries about course delivery, course access, and exam proctors visit IIT Online.
▸  For course descriptions see the Graduate Bulletin.
▸  For information on housing, health insurance, immunization requirements, student ID cards, parking permits, and additional steps for international students, visit the Office of Graduate Admission.