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Master of Science in Biology

A master of science degree in biology may expand your career opportunities in healthcare, biochemistry, biotechnology, patent law, genetics, or other fields. Illinois Tech offers a small, caring faculty; personal attention; and the ability to shape your degree to suit your needs, whether in industry, business, law, policy, administration, or research, either as a terminal degree or as preparation for a Ph.D. or other professional degree.

Specializations are available in Applied Life Sciences, Cell and Molecular Biology, Computational Biology, or Microbiology. A master’s degree Molecular Biochemistry and Biophysics is also available and described here.

You will be required complete 32-34 credit hours of approved graduate work in one of the specialization areas listed below. This will include 25-30 credit hours of coursework and one credit hour of BIOL 595 colloquium. You may choose a thesis option or a non-thesis option to complete the M.S. in Biology program.

The thesis option is designed to prepare you pursue a career as experimental biologists in academia, government or industry, as well as a path to a Ph.D. This option is available on a competitive basis. You must complete six credit hours of thesis research (BIOL 591). You also must prepare a written thesis based on your laboratory research.

The non-thesis option is intended as a degree to meet the needs of science administrators, policy makers in the life sciences, patent attorneys and others. Should you elect the non-thesis option, you must complete a library research project in one of the following courses: BIOL 572 Literature in BiochemistryBIOL 574 Literature in BiotechnologyBIOL 576 Literature in Cell and Molecular Biology, or BIOL 578 Literature in Microbiology; or a laboratory research project in BIOL 522 Research Techniques in Biological Sciences plus BIOL 597 Special Topics.

You will be required to pass a written M.S. comprehensive examination in your respective area of specialization: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, or microbiology. If you choose a specialization in biotechnology, you may choose any of the three examinations.

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Cumulative undergraduate GPA minimum : 3.0/4.0
TOEFL minimum: 80

GRE minimum scores:
299 (quantitative and verbal) 2.5 (analytical writing)

Meeting the minimum GRE and GPA standards does not guarantee admission into the program. Other factors that will be considered prior admission are letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Upon admission, you will be assigned an academic adviser who will serve as your initial point of contact. 

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For more information, please contact:

Program Director
Tanya Bekyarova, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Department of Biology
Program Director of M.S. and Ph.D. Programs, Department of Biology (excluding Pre-health and Applied Life Sciences programs)