M.S. Biology

The School of Biological Sciences offers two distinct programs leading to the M.S. in Biology degree. The M.S. in Biology (non-thesis) is intended for students who need advanced training in some aspect of modern biology but do not intend to pursue a career in research. The M.S. in Biology (with thesis) is intended for students wishing to obtain a strong background in modern biology and independent research experience in preparation for a technician-level job or further training leading to the PhD in biology.

Quick Facts
  • Masters with Thesis offers research without full commitment to PhD program.
  • Masters students do not receive stipends or tuition waivers.
General Inquiries
  • Chung Kim
    Academic Program Coordinator
    Email | 404.385.4240 | EBB2009
Areas of concentration:
  • Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior including population and evolutionary ecology; community ecology; aquatic chemical ecology; ecological genomics; sensory ecology; evolution of development, behavior, and sociality; biological oceanography; environmental microbiology; theoretical ecology.
  • Molecular and Cell Biology including eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell biology; molecular physiology; molecular biophysics and structural biology; animal, plant, and microbial molecular genetics; human genomics; molecular evolution.
  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (with available M.S. and interdepartmental PhD programs in Bioinformatics) focusing on DNA and protein sequence analysis; comparative genomic analysis; macromolecular structure modeling including protein-protein, protein-nucleic acid, and protein-small molecule interactions; molecular evolution.
Masters (non-thesis) Program Overview:
Credit Hours
Biology graduate courses (BIOL 6000-9000) with a letter grade 15
Other graduate courses (6000-9000) with a letter grade. These may be taken in biology or other departments 9
Other biology courses (4000 or higher) with a letter grade 6
Special Problems – Research (BIOL 890X)* 4
Biology Seminar (BIOL 8002 and BIOL 8003)* 2
Total Required 36
Students in the M.S. (non-thesis) program in Biology take coursework full or part-time over 3-5 semesters (example shown above). Up to 6 credit hours of graduate coursework may be transferred from another institution, upon petition to the graduate committee after entering the program. It is possible to be employed elsewhere while pursuing the M.S. (non-thesis) degree, although it should be noted that we offer very few evening or summer graduate courses.
Masters with Thesis Program Overview:
Credit Hours
Biology graduate courses (BIOL 6000-9000) with a letter grade 12
MS thesis (BIOL 7000) 9
Special Problems – Research (BIOL 890X) 7
Biology Seminar (BIOL 8002 and BIOL 8003) 2
Other biology courses (4000 or higher) with a letter grade 6
Total Required 36

The Masters with Thesis in Biology requires 36 credit hours(for students starting their MS in Summer 2018) consisting of 12 hours of graduate-level coursework and thesis research hours performed under the mentorship of a faculty advisor and thesis committee. Up to 6 credit hours of coursework can be transferred from another institution, by negotiation upon entrance to the program. In order to be accepted into this program, a student must have the prior agreement of a faculty member in the School of Biological Sciences who will act as thesis advisor. Students who enter the M.S. (non-thesis) in Biology program can transfer to the M.S. with thesis program upon agreement from such an advisor and the graduate committee. It is possible, although challenging, to maintain part-time employment elsewhere while pursuing the M.S. with thesis degree in Biology.

Choosing between the Ph.D. and Masters Programs

Our graduate program is primarily focused on the PhD which prepares students for careers in scientific research and employment in academia, industry, or government. Students who are not yet sure of their interest in scientific research or are interested in other kinds of professional development should consider the M.S. degree in Biology or Bioinformatics.

Georgia Tech provides application fee waivers to advance diversity, recognize outstanding undergraduate achievement, and engage prospective students in recruitment events where Georgia Tech is affiliated. Such fee waivers are currently available only to domestic applicants.