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Charles E. Schmidt College of Science


Masters in Biology Programs


The Biology Department of Florida Atlantic University offers two Masters degrees: M.S. and M.S.T. The program is tailored to the needs and interests of the student, in five areas: Biotechnology, Microbiology, Ecology, Marine Biology, and Environmental Sciences. Students may enroll on a full or part-time basis; all receive guidance from a faculty advisor. Normally, the degree is completed within two years full-time or four years part-time. A Masters degree in biology prepares students for graduate study in Ph.D., health profession programs, teaching, research, or careers in business or government.

MS Degree: Thesis Option

The thesis option is designed for students whose career goals include a research emphasis, including the possibility of enrolling in a Ph.D. program.  Students who choose the thesis option take 36 credits of course work; Up to one third of  those hours devoted to independent research under the supervision of a faculty member, culminating in a thesis. Students may choose advisors from the Biology faculty, or from other faculty members who have affiliate appointments within the department.  See the Graduate catalog for more details.

MS Degree: Non-Thesis Option # 1

The non-thesis option is designed for students interested in the field of medicine, education at the elementary, middle and high school level, or those who simply wish to further their knowledge of biology. Non-thesis students are required to complete a minimum of 36 semester hours of course work and complete a written comprehensive examination, administered by a minimum of three-faculty members with interests in the student’s field of specialization (typically, organismal or molecular biology). Although not required for the non-thesis option, the faculty encourages independent research.


MS in Teaching Degree: Non-Thesis Option #2

The Masters of Science in Teaching is designed for graduate students who are interested in furthering their knowledge in biological sciences for a career in teaching at various levels, including Elementary, Secondary, Early Childhood Education and Community College. MST graduate students work closely with an advisor to develop a program of courses that best fit their needs and interests. MST students are required to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work. In addition, students must take 6 credits in approved courses in education or another cognate field if they plan to teach in high school and hold a rank III secondary certificate, or if they intend to teach in a community college. Six additional credits (beyond the 30 credits minimum) of education internship are required, except for those students with two years of teaching experience or who have completed student teaching or a teaching internship at a secondary school or junior college level. Students must pass a written comprehensive examination administered by the student’s committee (a minimum of three-faculty members) covering biological sciences.  Students must also take approved courses in education (or another cognate field) if they plan to teach in high school and hold a rank III secondary certificate or if the student intends to teach at a community college.

BS/MS Fast Track Program

South Florida is on a path toward new employment opportunities in the area of biotechnology. The world-class Scripps Research Institute is building a new campus (Scripps Florida) in Jupiter. Other established biomedical research institutes, as well as start-up companies, are either planning or exploring the possibility of relocating to south Florida. All of these institutes and companies will be recruiting research associates. The Department of Biological Sciences has recently initiated a fast-track program leading to the Masters degree in five-years. Competition for jobs with these institutes and companies will be keen; Our Masters degree will be designed to make students more competitive for  these positions. The key to this program is the requirement that the student take 12-credits of graduate-level courses while still an undergraduate. These 12-credits are applied to both the undergraduate degree requirements and the first 12-credits required in the graduate program. This makes it possible for  students  to complete their Masters degree within five years after entering the University as a freshman. The successful student must also meet all of the admission requirements (including a minimum of 1000 on the GRE and a 3.0 GPA) for the Masters program. Therefore, the program is targeted for the highly motivated and academically talented student with a strong interest in going directly into a position with a biotechnology-oriented company or institute. This program also provides an excellent foundation for pursuing the PhD degree.


Certificate Programs

Neuroscience Certificate Program

Neuroscience constitutes a truly interdisciplinary area of scientific study and research that incorporates physiology, molecular and cellular biology, pharmacology, development, psychology and cognitive sciences, computer sciences and network modeling, biochemistry and behavior. FAU offers a graduate Certificate Program in Neuroscience that has been designed to provide incoming Masters and PhD students with an integrated background in the Neurosciences. This is a 14-credit graduate certificate program that provides students with an understanding of the essential principles of neuroscience and elective concentrated study in Theoretical and Dynamical, Molecular and Cellular, Cognitive, and Behavioral Neuroscience. While administered through the Dean’s Office of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, the program consists of a multi-departmental curriculum comprised of selected courses from Departments within the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

If you have additional questions, contact the Director of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience: Janet Blanks, Ph.D. Phone: 561-297-4310 Email: blanks@ccs.fau.edu

(Program page)

(Rules and Regulations)


Application Requirements for Master's Program

In order to speed the application process, please send the following official documents to the university address listed below, also a copy of the completed application package should be submitted to the department of biology.  (Please DO NOT send the departmental supplemental application to graduate admission).

I. Send the following documents to Graduate College:

  • University Application Official Transcripts.
  • Official GRE scores
  • $30. 00 application fee
  • Official TOEFL scores (international students only)

Mailing Address: FAU University Graduate College 777 Glades Road SU 80, Rm 101 Boca Raton, Florida 33431

The materials listed below are processed within the department in parallel to the Graduate College’s office.

II. Send the following documents to the Biology Department:

  • Supplemental Information Form
  • 3 letters of recommendations
  • Statement of Research Interest/Career Goals
  • Sponsor Letter (faculty advisor)
  • Copies of Transcripts from All Universities Attended
  • Copy of GRE Score

Check with Graduate College for any additional requirements. (graduatecollege@fau.edu)

* The Graduate Committee will not review your file until all requirements have been completed


FAU Campuses: Boca Raton/Davie/Dania Beach/Fort Lauderdale/Jupiter/Treasure Coast/Harbor Branch