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What Are the Courses in an Online Biology Master's Degree Program?

A person pursuing an online biology master's degree may have several options for coursework, including the option of writing a thesis or taking additional elective courses. Read on for the core courses in an online biology master's degree program.

Online Biology Master's Degree Overview

Online master's degree programs are available in biology as well as specific areas of study within the science, such as biotechnology or microbiology. They may be intended for those working in the sciences or designed to further the educational needs of in-service teachers. In addition, some of these programs may require a thesis, while others might offer a non-thesis option. Most of these programs require a minimum of 30 credits.

Important Facts About Online Biology Master's Degrees

Degree Master of Science (M.S.); Master of Arts (M.A.)
Concentrations Biodefense, bioinformatics, biotechnology enterprise, medical biology, biochemistry
Key Skills Reading & writing comprehension, problem-solving, statistical analysis
Possible Careers Biologist, teacher, arborist, water quality specialist
Median Salary (2018)$82,550 (Postsecondary Biological Science Teachers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)15% growth (Postsecondary Biological Science Teachers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Core Courses

Introductory courses include graduate studies and research in biology. The required coursework focuses on thesis research and writing, along with classes on biological inquiry. Students also do research in faculty-approved subjects that focus on the student's area of interest. In the degree programs intended for educators, students may be required to complete applied teaching projects in the classroom.

Electives

Students who opt to write a thesis typically take a prescribed number of electives that allow for more in-depth study of selected topics. In these electives, students might study topics like virology, human genetics, and molecular embryology.

Requirements for Admission

Students interested in taking a master's degree program typically must hold a bachelor's degree from a college of recognized standing. Some schools may require the bachelor's degree to be in biology, while others may require students to pass a basic skills test to prove their competency. Some schools also consider prior teaching experience, although this is not required.