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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.