The world of biology is constantly evolving; those who work in any aspect of the profession must always be ready to gain new skills to stay relevant in the industry. An advanced degree will help you gain a better understanding and knowledge of a particular field or industry. You will be able to learn the knowledge and skills required to advance your career and earning income. A masters degree program is an investment in you and into your career.

Graduate Degree Benefits:

  • Get a competitive edge
  • Master managerial skills
  • Learn new skills and knowledge
  • Career progression
  • More job opportunities

Career Options with a Graduate in Biology:

  • Biology Manager in Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) - $88,950
  • Biology Manager in Scientific Research and Development Services - $101,050
  • Biology Manager in Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $71,140
  • Biology Manager in Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services - $91,410
  • Biology Manager in Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing - $90,010

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Biology Managers, on the Internet at (visited March 24, 2022).

Graduate Degree Types for Biology Concentrations:

  • M.S. in Biology
  • M.A. in Biology
  • MBA in Biology

Find an online bachelor's or master's degree:


Your path to graduate is personal and individual. While someone else may graduate later even though they started school when you did, they may have had other academic commitments to satisfy. Others may be able to finish their programs sooner than you because they don't have to deal with Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) or work during their college years.

Look at how many credits are required for masters. This is usually between 36-54 semester credits, which equals 12 to 18 college courses. Depending on how many credit hours you can take each semester will determine if you will graduate with a masters in 2 or 3 years. If you can take more classes, this will shorten the time you're in school. Don't forget to seek information from your assigned advisor. Doing so means you're less likely to miss a required class, which could delay your graduation.

Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.

As you begin exploring colleges and universities, you may already know what you want to major in. If you have a biology graduate concentration in mind, look through the graduate catalog, either online or a copy of the book and browse the majors offered by that college. If you find this major, this will be one school you'll want to consider attending; if not, then cross the school from your list and move on to the next.

If you're uncertain what biology masters specialty degree you're interested in, try to find a school with a robust variety of courses, that will let you experience a few varied lower level classes and allow you to figure out what you enjoy while you work through your general education.

The two most prominent types of master levels in biology are: Master of Arts degree (MA degree) in biology and a Master of Science degree (MS degree) in biology. An MA degree normally requires pupils to take fewer concentration courses as well as to focus more on discovering about biology. These students have a little bit more flexibility when it pertains to customizing their education to meet their occupation objectives as well as goals.

The Master of Science degree in biology, on the other hand, is much less concentrated on exploration and even more targeted to a specific focus. Master of Science students, usually, focus specifically on the area of their major and have a tendency to be more career focused. Master's degrees in the clinical field, for example, are most likely to be a Master of Science degree. You can find some sample classes for doctoral below:

  • Introduction to Genetics and Evolution
  • Biology Everywhere
  • Biology Meets Programming: Bioinformatics for Beginners
  • Introductory Human Physiology
  • Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation
  • Fundamentals of Immunology
  • Introduction to Chemistry: Structures and Solutions
  • Industrial Biotechnology

Only 61% of students actually manage to finish their doctorate degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:

Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.

Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full masters course load as 9 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 12 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.

Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.

Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.

Accreditation is a very important facet of your career since, if the college you attend is accredited by a reputable association, the doctoral degree you earn from that college will have more value and some employers include this information when evaluating you for employment.

The reason why accreditation is so important is that, without it, it's hard to determine what kind of standards the training programs hold and if they are up to date with technology and innovation.

A college gets accredited voluntarily by an association of their choice. The association will interview and inspect the college thoroughly to see if they meet their standards of everything from cleanliness to academics and, if the college passes the inspection, the association puts their stamp on them as an assurance that they meet all their requirements.

Employers today want only the best of the best working for them. Some businesses are even willing to pay for the education of potential candidates. So, when it comes to degrees, most employers look at the accreditor of the school you earned your degree from, since this says a lot about the kind of education you acquired. If an employer is willing to go so far as to pay for a student's education, imagine what kind of salary they will offer to those holding a degree from a highly reputable association.

Depending on your school and if you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, biology master's degree can cost as little as $30,000 or as much as $300,000. The key difference in the price will depend on whether you attend a public, in-state school, a private school, or an ivy league school. Note that if you attend a public school in another state that you will probably pay twice (or more) of the base tuition. Private schools can be more or less expensive depending on the prestige of the school for biology or if they are charging additional fees for out-of-state students to attend the college.

We recommend that students make a specific inquiry about job placement assistance programs at any school they consider for a doctoral degree program. Advanced institutions incorporate career planning into the two or three-year course of study for a master's or doctoral degree in biology. The school may host job fairs, business community awareness communications, and host interviews for employers from across the region.

The school of biology, college, or university is a broad community of alumni, business sponsors, and corporate partners. Both new and established schools often have extensive local, regional, and national networks. The overall resources of the biology school and the larger schools can potentially assist in producing high levels of job opportunities and hires for recent graduates.

Some schools pair students with advisers, career counselors, and job coaches at various stages of their academic careers. Observers can see the results in annual satisfaction surveys, and the numbers of students that get interviews and offers of employment.