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What does it cost?

Check out our cost calculator or visit student financial services for information on estimated costs.

How long will it take?

A minimum of 32 semester hours of applicable graduate coursework must be completed. It is possible to complete the program in one year, but most students take two years (four semesters).

Where will I take classes?

Application Deadlines View Admissions Requirements

  • Fall: February 15
  • Spring: September 1
  • Summer: Does not admit

Biology, M.S.

Kristanna Barnes, College Advisor
[email protected]

Earning an M.S. degree in biology can be a stepping stone to a career in the biosciences or in preparation for a professional degree. Georgia State's Master of Science (M.S.) in Biological Sciences is designed to offer a flexible program to suit students with a wide variety of interests in biology. In addition to the general program, concentrations are offered in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Research.

Students may apply under a specific area/concentration, though a concentration is not required. Upon admission, a master's student is assumed to be non-thesis until acceptance into the thesis option. The non-thesis program emphasizes coursework, and a capstone paper or project is required. The capstone can either be literature-based or laboratory-based.

The thesis option emphasizes research. Acceptance into the thesis option requires approval of a thesis proposal. Completion of the thesis option requires an approved thesis as well as a successful defense of the thesis. The thesis option is only recommended for students who are planning to pursue a Ph.D.

For information about the M.S. in Medical Sciences in Biology program, which is designed for students who plan to apply to medical school, go to https://cas.gsu.edu/program/medical-sciences-in-biology-ms/.

Program Details

In addition to the online graduate application, the program has the following requirements:

  • An undergraduate or master’s degree in the biology, chemistry or a related field
  • A minimum GPA of 3.00/4.00
  • Transcripts of all past academic performance
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation (Two of the three must be academic references)
  • For non-native speakers of English, official scores on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System)

A Master of Science Degree in Biological Sciences offers students opportunities to explore a variety of fascinating topics in the study of life sciences. The Master of Science Degree program in Biological Sciences at Georgia State University has number of distinct options for students to select with distinct curricula as described below. The Master of Science Degree in Biological Sciences (no concentration) is designed to offer a flexible program to suit students with a wide variety of interests in biology. Concentrations are offered in Biotechnology, Bioinformatics and Research. Students interested in the M.S. in Medical Sciences in Biology program should go to https://cas.gsu.edu/program/medical-sciences-in-biology-ms/.

Total credit hours: 32

Biology Core: 13 credit hours

  • BIOL 6564 – Advanced Genetics- Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Genetics aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 6800 – Principles of Cellular Biology- Cell & Molecular Biology aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 8710 – Concepts in Molecular Genetics (2)

Foundations in Molecular Biological Techniques

  • BIOL 6000 – Life Science Professional Skills (1)
  • BIOL 8700 – Biology Graduate Seminar (2)

Elective Courses: 15 credit hours

1 Course from the following list (4)

  • BIOL 6045K – General Ecology (4)
  • BIOL 6074 – Developmental Biology (4)
  • BIOL 6100 – Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience (4)
  • BIOL 6240 – Endocrinology (4)
  • BIOL 6248 – Cell Physiology (4)
  • BIOL 6278 – Immunology (4)
  • BIOL 6458 – Microbial Ecology and Metabolism (4)
  • BIOL 6575 – Virology (4)
  • BIOL 6580 – Microbial Pathogenesis (4)

11 credit hours BIOL 6000- or 8000-level classes except for BIOL 6900. BIOL 7000-level courses are not applicable.

  • Up to 4 credit hours may come from BIOL 6916 Internships in Biology.
  • Up to 9 credit hours may come from coursework outside of Biology. Such coursework will require the approval of the M.S. Program Director.

Non-Thesis Capstone

  • BIOL 6996 – Non-Thesis Capstone Lit Review (4)
  • BIOL 6997 – Non-Thesis Capstone Internship (4)
  • BIOL 6998 – Non-Thesis Capstone Project (4)

Total credit hours: 36-37 credit hours (38-39 credit hours if deficient in CS background.)

Biology Core: 13 credit hours

  • BIOL 6564 – Advanced Genetics- Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Genetics aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 6640 – Fundamentals of Bioinformatics (4)
  • BIOL 8710 – Concepts in Molecular Genetics (2)

Foundations in Molecular Biological Techniques

  • BIOL 6000 – Life Science Professional Skills (1)
  • BIOL 8700 – Biology Graduate Seminar (2)

Biology Elective: 4 credit hours

Select one of the following:

  • BIOL 6800 – Principles of Cellular Biology- Cell & Molecular Biology aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 6458 – Microbial Ecology and Metabolism (4)
  • BIOL 6400 – Human Genetics (4)

Computer Science Core: 12 credit hours

Students deemed deficient in CS experience may need to take CSC 2720- Data Structures (2)

  • DSCI 1301/ CSC7350 – Programming for Bioinformatics (4)
  • DSCI 1302/ CSC 7352 – Systems Programming for Bioinformatics (4)
  • CSC 6520 – Design & Analysis of Algorithms (4)

CS/Math Elective: 3 to 4 credit hours

Select one of the following:

  • CSC 6710 – Database Systems (4)
  • CSC 6730 – Data Visualization (4)
  • CSC 6740 – Data Mining (4)
  • CSC 7351 – Systems Programming for Bioinformatics (3)
  • CSC 8540 – Advanced Algorithms in Bioinformatics (4)
  • MATH 6544 – Biostatistics (4)
  • MATH 6547 – Introduction to Statistical Methods (4)
  • MATH 6751 – Mathematical Statistics I (4)
  • MATH 6752 – Mathematical Statistics II (3)
  • MATH 6435 – Linear Algebra II (3)
  • MATH 8535 – Applied Matrix Algebra (3) (MATH 6435 is a prerequisite)

Non-Thesis Capstone: 4 credit hours

  • BIOL 6996 – Non-Thesis Capstone Lit Review (4)
  • BIOL 6997 – Non-Thesis Capstone Internship (4)
  • BIOL 6998 – Non-Thesis Capstone Project (4)

Total credit hours: 32

Biology Core:13 credit hours

  • BIOL 6564 – Advanced Genetics- Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Genetics aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 6800 – Principles of Cellular Biology- Cell & Molecular Biology aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 8710 – Concepts in Molecular Genetics (2)

Foundations in Molecular Biological Techniques

  • BIOL 6000 -– Life Science Professional Skills (1)
  • BIOL 8700 – Biology Graduate Seminar (2)

Biotechnology Core: 4 credit hours

  • BIOL 6696 OR BIOL 6905 (4) – Lab-Based Research/Experimental Design Course

Biotechnology Electives: 11 credit hours

Select 11 credit hours from the following list of courses. Up to eight of these credit hours may also come from coursework outside of Biology. Such coursework will require the approval of the M.S. Program Director.

  • BIOL 6248 – Cell Physiology
  • BIOL 6278 – Immunology
  • BIOL 6284 – Medical Biochemistry in Health and Disease
  • BIOL 6438 – Applied Microbiology
  • BIOL 6458 – Microbial Ecology and Metabolism
  • BIOL 6630 – Enzymology
  • BIOL 6640 – Fundamentals of Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 6696* – Laboratory in Molecular Techniques
  • BIOL 6744 – Biostatistics
  • BIOL 6905* – Course-Based Research Experiences
  • BIOL 6448 – Human Microbiome

Program Relevant 8000-level Biology Topics/Concepts Courses: 1-2 credit hours

* If taken as an Elective, lab-based course must be different from the one taken for the Biotechnology Core.

Non-Thesis Capstone: 4 credit hours

  • BIOL 6996 – Non-Thesis Capstone Lit Review (4)
  • BIOL 6997 – Non- Thesis Capstone Internship (4)
  • BIOL 6998 – Non- Thesis Capstone Project (4)

Total Credit Hours: 32

Biology Core: 13 credit hours

  • BIOL 6564 – Advanced Genetics- Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Genetics aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 6800 – Principles of Cellular Biology- Cell & Molecular Biology aimed at graduate students (4)
  • BIOL 8710 – Concepts in Molecular Genetics (2)

Foundations in Molecular Biological Techniques

  • BIOL 6000 – Life Science Professional Skills (1)
  • BIOL 8700 – Biology Graduate Seminar (2)

Responsible Conduct in Research

  • BIOL 8000- RCR (1 credit hour)
  • Biology Electives (7 credit hours): BIOL 6000- or 8000-level classes except for BIOL 6900. BIOL 7000-level courses are not applicable.
  • Research Paper (12 credit hours): Research (BIOL 8800) and Capstone (BIOL 8888)

Tuition:
Students are charged graduate tuition and fees. A breakdown of the fees can be found on the Student Financial Services site. In-state tuition and fees are about $16,000+ per year. Out-of-state tuition is about $45,000+ per year.

Student Funding Support:
The department offers competitive graduate assistantship opportunities, which include a stipend and tuition waiver. If you are interested in these graduate assistantship opportunities, please apply as early as possible.

Upon completion of this degree program, graduates will be well versed in research in their area of focus and able to:

  • Apply critical thinking.
  • Ask scientific questions and offer educated hypotheses.
  • Describe the role that their area of focus and biology have in the biosciences.
  • Apply scientific approaches to their work.
  • Communicate biological concepts and applications.

Scholarships:
The Scholarship Resource Center offers guidance and support to students seeking financial assistance through scholarship opportunities, including this scholarship library.

Fellowships:
The department periodically offers fellowships, which are announced to all students.
The Office of Graduate Programs’ Fellowship Advisor works with students interested in applying for nationally prestigious and competitive fellowships.

Cost Calculator:
Our calculator can help you get an idea of the costs associated with attending the university.

Description

Careers

Master of Science (M.S.) in Biological Sciences can be a stepping stone to a career in the biosciences or in preparation for a professional degree.

  • biochemist
  • microbiologist
  • biological technician
  • medical technician
  • medical manager
  • lab manager
  • phlebotomist
  • environmental scientist
  • food scientist
  • forensic scientist
  • teacher
  • dental hygienist
  • physician
  • surgeon
  • science journalist

Contacts

Master’s Director
Dr. Matthew Nusnbaum
404-413-5401
[email protected]

Graduate Co-Directors
Dr. Kuki Chin
404-413-5401
[email protected]

Dr. Eric Gilbert
404-413-5401
[email protected]

Biology Main Office Location
Petit Science Center
100 Piedmont Ave SE
Suite 495
Atlanta, GA 30303

Office of Graduate Services
Petit Science Center
25 Park Place
Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30303

College of Arts & Sciences Lockup25 Park Pl NE #2500
Atlanta, GA 30303

The information shared provides an overview of Georgia State’s offerings. For details on admissions requirements, tuition, courses and more, refer to the university catalogs.