2020 Best Online Master's Degrees in Biology
The 16 schools on this list are the best value options for obtaining an online master's degree in biology based on alumni salaries and low tuition rates. Texas A&M University-College Station is the #1 school, with an average alumni salary of $120,371 and an annual tuition rate of $16,526 for its programs. At #13, Indiana State University has the least expensive tuition on the list, charging only $5,951 per year for its Master of Science in Biology.
2020 Online Colleges Offering Biology Degrees - Ranking Details
Master's programs in biology are competitive, and a certain amount of knowledge and experience is assumed, so students should ensure that they have taken enough classes to build the basics if they did not major in a related field. Graduate degrees are recommended only for those who are planning on participating in research projects, generally, as they are expensive and require a strong commitment to mastering original content and ideas. A typical 36-credit master's program can be completed in two years of full-time study.
Students enrolled in a biology degree program take a core of classes in topics like current issues in biology, biological research methods, and statistics. Other courses in the program may look at plant pathology, conservation of birds and mammals, human genetics, animal behavior, principles of ecology, human evolution, or essential human anatomy. Most master's programs in natural science areas require the completion of a thesis or a comprehensive exam. The thesis requires students to conduct original research into a particular biological question. Depending on the student's interest area and the degree focus, they may do field work or conduct experiments in a lab.
Depending on the focus of their master's program, graduates can begin careers as microbiologists, epidemiologists, medical laboratory technologists, natural science managers, or wildlife biologists. Graduates may also pursue various research-based careers in biochemistry, biology, chemical engineering, consumer products, forensic chemistry, geochemistry, hazardous wastes, or material science. The master's degree in biology also qualifies graduates for teaching positions in some community and junior colleges. Others may go on to earn a teaching certificate and become biology teachers in public high schools.