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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

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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’s of Science (MS) program tailored to the needs and interests of the student, in consultation with a faculty advisor.


Research (thesis) track-see Thesis track for the MS Degree- is the primary track in the MS program.  Students work with a Biology faculty advisor in developing and conducting a thorough, investigative research project leading to a thesis publication.


Students are generally full-time, and the degree is completed within 2-2.5 years for most students.  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 MS program, and all students are required to maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA throughout the program.  Track specific requirements are summarized below:


Research (thesis) MS degree:  30 credits minimum

Required coursework

  • 2 semesters of graduate seminar (BIOL 6655-1 cr. each semester)
  • 1 semester of Biological Data Analysis (BIOL 6764-3 cr.)
  • 1 semester of Principles of Biological Research (BIOL 5705-2 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 (when: by the end of the second semester in the program)
  • Thesis and Thesis Defense (when:  last semester in the program)


More detailed information regarding the Biology MS program requirements can be found in the Biology MS 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.