Close Menu

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.

A Master of Science in Biology student must complete 32-34 credit hours of approved graduate work in one of the areas of specialization listed below. This will include 25-30 credit hours of coursework and one credit hour of BIOL 595 colloquium. Two options are available to complete the M.S. degree requirements: a thesis option and a non-thesis option.

The thesis option is designed for individuals planning careers as experimental biologists in academia, government or industry, including those who may wish to pursue a Ph.D. This option is available on a competitive basis. Students choosing the thesis option must complete six credit hours of thesis research (BIOL 591). Students must also prepare a written thesis based on 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. Students who elect the non-thesis option 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.

Students must pass the written M.S. comprehensive examination in their respective area of specialization: biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, or microbiology. Students with a specialization in biotechnology may choose any of the three examinations.

Apply Online »



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

GRE minimum scores:
Ph.D.: 310 (quantitative and verbal) 3.0 (analytical writing)
MS: 305 (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 recommendations letters and personal statement. Upon admission graduate students are assigned an academic adviser who will serve as an initial point of contact. 

Apply Online »