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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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Biology Master of Science

Degree Requirements


A master’s degree in biology prepares students for graduate study in PhD and MD programs, teaching, research, or careers in industry or government.  The Department of Integrative Biology offers a Master of Science (MS) program tailored to the needs and interests of the student, in consultation with a faculty advisor.


Research (thesis) track-see Biology Master of Science Program Graduate Student Handbook - is the primary track in the Master of Science program.  Students work with a Biology Master of Science Program Faculty advisor in developing and conducting a thorough, investigative research project leading to a thesis publication. A course work based option is also available.


Students are generally full-time, and the degree is completed within 2-2.5 years.  The degree must be completed within 5 years for all students.


All students  must complete the General Biology Preliminary Exam administered near the beginning of the Biology Master of Science program, and all students are required to maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA throughout the program.  Track specific requirements are summarized below:


Research (thesis) Master of Science degree:  24-27 coursework credits plus 3-6 thesis credits for Research Program

Required coursework

  • 2 semesters of graduate seminar (BIOL 6655-1 cr. each semester)
  • 1 semester of Biological Data Analysis (BIOL 6764-3 cr.)
  • 2 semesters of Workshop In Biology (BIOL 6705-3 cr.)
  • 4 credits of thesis research (BIOL 6950)
  • No more than 7 credits of independent study/internship can be applied toward degree
  • Proposal and Proposal Defense (completed by the end of the second semester in the program)
  • Thesis and Thesis Defense (completed during last semester in the program)


More detailed information regarding the Biology Master of Science program requirements can be found in the Biology Master of Science Program Graduate Student Handbook​.  Additional information regarding Graduate School requirements can be found in the University of Colorado Denver Graduate School-Denver Campus Graduate Student Handbook.