Master of Science Program

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Biology at the University of Texas at Arlington is designed to prepare students to pursue careers in research, science education, industry, and government. Courses are taught by award winning, nationally recognized research and teaching faculty and cover a range of essential topics in contemporary biology. The UTA Biology Department offers two distinct Master of Science in Biology programs: the Master of Science with Thesis option (MST), and the fully online and asynchronous Master of Science without a thesis, or “non-thesis,” option (MSNT).


Wondering why you should choose UTA Biology for your Master’s degree? Or which degree option would be best for you? See the FAQ, below, for answers to these and other common questions about the UTA Biology Master of Science program.




The Master of Science in Biology Non-Thesis option is 100% online and asynchronous. The requirements include a capstone course (BIOL 5392) and 27 additional hours of 5000 level Biology courses (see below). The non-thesis option is intended to meet the needs of students looking to advance in their careers in private and government sectors, biology teachers wishing to expand their knowledge or be qualified to teach dual credit, or those seeking additional preparation for professional or health science programs. Students have the flexibility to choose from a range of courses that align with their career and educational goals. All courses are taught using the same, high-quality curriculum and by the same instructors as the campus versions.

Students in the MSNT program can be part-time or full-time. A full-time student could complete the MSNT program in 18 months.  


Required Courses

  • BIOL 5392 Master’s Non-Thesis Capstone

Select 9 From:

  • BIOL 5303: Microbiomes: Health and the Environment
  • BIOL 5304: Virology
  • BIOL 5307: Neurobiology
  • BIOL 5309: Immunology
  • BIOL 5321: Advanced Problem Solving in Biology (test preparation course)
  • BIOL 5335: Genomics
  • BIOL 5340: Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 5341: Histology 
  • BIOL 5349: Cooperative Program in Biology
  • BIOL 5353: Fundamental Medical Mycology
  • BIOL 5354: Limnology
  • BIOL 5355: Toxicology
  • BIOL 5359: Medical Molecular Biology
  • BIOL 5366: Advanced Organismal Physiology 



The Master of Science in Biology Thesis option is a campus-based Master’s program intended to prepare students for careers in research, government agency, and industry. MST students obtain skills such as data collection and analysis, evaluation of primary literature, and contemporary laboratory techniques. MST students conduct research leading to a thesis in one of the five concentrations: Cell Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Ecology and Evolution, Bioinformatics, or Microbiology. All MST students complete a master’s thesis and 30 credit-hours of advanced biology coursework, including the required courses listed below. Typical time to completion is 2 years for a full-time student.

The MST degree is not a prerequisite for admission to the Ph.D. program. Students who are interested in a Ph.D. should apply directly to that program. 



  • BIOL 5314: Biometry 
  • BIOL 5340: Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 5698: Thesis 

Select 1 From:

  • BIOL 5370: Thesis Research in Cell Biology
  • BIOL 5371: Thesis Research in Ecology and Evolution
  • BIOL 5372: Thesis Research in Bioinformatics
  • BIOL 5373: Thesis Research in Microbiology
  • BIOL 5374: Thesis Research in Genetics and Genomics
Select 5 From: 

  • BIOL 5303: Microbiomes: Health and the Environment
  • BIOL 5304: Virology
  • BIOL 5307: Neurobiology
  • BIOL 5309: Immunology 
  • BIOL 5311: Evolution
  • BIOL 5314: Biometry 
  • BIOL 5317: Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • BIOL 5319: Human Genetics
  • BIOL 5335: Genomics
  • BIOL 5336: Molecular Evolution
  • BIOL 5341: Histology
  • BIOL 5342: Developmental Biology
  • BIOL 5353: Fundamental Medical Mycology
  • BIOL 5354: Limnology
  • BIOL 5355: Toxicology
  • BIOL 5359: Medical Molecular Biology

Subject to written approval by the Graduate Advisor and within the limitations stated in the General Graduate School Regulations, a student may take up to nine hours of coursework from courses listed under Biology at the 3000 or 4000 levels in support of career goals.



The following are minimal requirements for entrance into the graduate program in biology:

(see also The Department of Biology Graduate Catalog page)

  1. A bachelor's degree in biology or a bachelor's degree in a related discipline with at least 12 hours of advanced level coursework (junior or senior level courses) in biology.
  2. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, as calculated by the Graduate School. Applicants' GPA in the Sciences will also be considered.
  3. International students whose home country’s native language is not English must provide a score on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) of at least 45, a minimum score of 23 on the Speaking portion of the TOEFL iBT exam, or a minimum score of 7 on the Speaking portion of the IELTS exam. See the following website for complete details:
  4. OPTIONAL: GRE. Students may submit GRE scores, although they are not a requirement for admission

How To Apply

First, read the general instructions for applying to the graduate program and download the checklists available on the Office of Graduate Studies webpage:

The list below contains additional information required by the Biology Department.

Required Materials

For the MSNT and MST programs you will need to submit the application and your official transcripts through the UTA Office of Graduate Studies.

There are no additional materials required to apply to either program.


Application Schedule 

  • For entrance in the Summer or Fall semester:
    Completed applications will be under review starting January 10 (e.g., January 10, 2024, for Fall 2024 entry). Applicants are notified of admissions decision typically in the January through March time frame.
  • For entrance in the Spring semester:
    Completed applications will be under review starting September 15 (e.g., September 15, 2024 for Spring 2025 entry). Applicants are notified of admissions decision typically in the September through November time frame.

Check your application status: You can check your application and admissions status through the MyMav student portal, where you can also review if you have any missing items needed to complete your application.  CHECK YOUR STATUS IN MYMAV.



Email with any remaining questions you have about the M.S. program in biology. Current UTA students should include their UTA student ID number in the email.


Frequently Asked Questions

UTA is an R1 (highest research activity) institution, which means you can take courses or participate in research with faculty who are experts in their field. Courses are designed with student success in mind and provide opportunities to learn contemporary techniques and skills that are in-demand by employers. Students take courses with faculty who are trained in high impact teaching practices that emphasize engaged and active learning. Many of the courses are small so students can engage with peers and faculty in environments that support the development and application of critical thinking and scientific skills.

Students in the MST program have access to excellent research facilities and a wide range of campus resources. Online, asynchronous options offer flexibility for working students enrolled in the online MSNT degree program. All students are supported by a team of advisors and faculty.

Employers are looking to hire Master’s level professionals. Employment trends show an increase in occupations such as Laboratory Research Associate, Biological Technicians, Clinical Laboratory Technicians, Data Scientists, Environmental Scientists and more. A Master’s with Thesis degree from UTA can help you advance your career by providing both the foundational knowledge and the research skills employers are looking for. Our Master’s Non-Thesis degree provides relevant coursework for educators or those seeking additional qualifications for advancement in their careers.

Graduates can be found employed as consultants, educators, research managers, and environmental scientists. Just a few examples: GHD Consulting, Beauty Manufacturing Solutions Corporation, SWCA Environmental Consultants, Texas Parks and Wildlife, City of Mansfield Stormwater Coordination Division, Garver, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Alcon, UT Southwestern.
Students conduct research in one of five areas of concentration: Cell Biology, Genetics and Genomics, Ecology and Evolution, Bioinformatics, and Microbiology. Through a combination of laboratory and/or field experience and coursework, students learn essential skills and techniques that employers are looking for in biological professionals. You’ll work with faculty and peers to complete an original research project leading to a thesis.
Yes! The Biology Master’s program includes courses geared toward preparing you for a pre-clinical career. In addition to courses that focus on essential health-based topics, such as immunology and histology, we also offer a test preparation course to provide you with tools to help you success in your admissions exams. Advanced coursework emphasizing contemporary concepts in human health – cancer biology, molecular biology of diseases, and microbiomes – provide an opportunity to learn at a deeper level topics that underly human diseases.
All courses are offered in the 16 week length during fall and spring semesters. Summer courses are offered in the 5 week format. See the course schedule for the most current information on course offerings and schedules.