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The University of Texas at ArlingtonThe University of Texas at Arlington

College of Science


Masters Degree - Admission Requirements

Master's Degree - Department of Biology

Master of Science

The Master of Science program is designed to prepare students to pursue careers in research, science education, industry, and government. The Department of Biology offers both thesis and non-thesis options. Courses are taught by award winning, nationally recognized research and teaching faculty and cover a range of essential topics in contemporary biology. The program can be completed within two years and offers some flexibility for working students through a combination of evening, online, hybrid, and face-to-face modalities.

Master of Science Thesis Option (MST)

The Master of Science with a major in Biology Thesis option is a 30-hour research degree that requires 24 hours of formal course work, including BIOL 5314 Biometry, BIOL 5340 Bioinformatics, and BIOL 5101 Current Topics in Biology, plus a 6-hour thesis (BIOL 5698) and additional hours to complete the degree requirements. Students have the option to conduct research leading to a thesis in a variety of specializations, including aquatic biology, ecology, genetics, evolutionary biology, genomics, microbiology, and cell biology. The thesis option is intended to prepare students for Ph.D. programs and careers in research and industry by obtaining skills such as the collection and analysis of data, evaluation of primary literature, and essential laboratory techniques. An example sequential degree plan can be downloaded here.

Master of Science Non-Thesis Option (MSNT)

The Master of Science with a major in Biology non-thesis option is a 30-hour program of formal coursework requiring BIOL 5314 Biometry, BIOL 5340 Bioinformatics, BIOL 5101 Current Topics in Biology, BIOL 5391 Individual Problems in Biology, and sufficient additional hours to complete the degree requirements. The non-thesis option is intended to meet the needs of students looking to advance in their careers or those seeking additional preparation for professional or health science programs. Graduates of this program can currently be found working in consulting, resource management, state and local agencies, and K-12 education. An example sequential degree plan can be downloaded here.

Minimal Requirement

The following are minimal requirements for entrance into the graduate program in Biology. However, satisfying or exceeding these requirements does not guarantee admission to the program. Admission to the program is determined solely by the Biology Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate School and is based on an evaluation of all pertinent aspects of an applicant's record.

(see also The Department of Biology Graduate Catalog page)

  1. A Bachelor's degree in Biology or a Bachelor's degree in some other 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. Successful students in Biology generally have a minimum combined score of 296 (1000 on the old scoring system) on the Verbal and Quantitative sections of the exam, with a strong performance on the Quantitative section.
  4. Favorable letters of recommendation from at least three individuals able to assess the applicant's potential for success in graduate school.
  5. Evidence of previous research experience may also be considered.
  6. International students whose 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: