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Biology (MSBio) Overview
As of 1.1.22, the MSBIO program is no longer accepting applications. All currently enrolled students will progress through the program to completion. Students interested in this program should explore our Master of Arts in Biomedical Studies program.
There has never been a more exciting time to be a biologist. Every day, life-changing discoveries are made in basic science. In many professions, the master's degree is now the minimum requirement for either employment or advancement. Many students have used our Master of Science in Biology as a stepping stone to careers in research, teaching, and advocacy. With the flexibility of two tracks, the MS Biology program mentors students through the completion of either an independent research project or a formal thesis.
Varies by Term
Fall entry: April 1
Spring entry: October 1
Summer entry: March 1
We will continue to accept applications after recommended deadlines if there is space in the program.
The program can typically be completed in two years.
Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.
We are proud of our 90% success rate for student placement in advanced degrees after completing our program.
Explore the Master of Science in Biology Degree:
The thesis track provides the research experience needed for students who wish to apply to Ph.D. programs, teach, or work in research positions. Students complete two thesis courses, a course in research design, a course in biostatistics, and nine courses related to research interests.
The non-thesis track is similar to the thesis track and also takes two years, but the scientific inquiry can be an applied research project, rather than the pure, basic research required for a thesis project. For example, a student might wish to explore different pedagogical strategies for teaching high school students, or perform environmental monitoring. Students complete an independent study project, a course in study design, a course in biostatistics, a course in scientific dissemination, and nine courses related to biological interests.
The MSBIO program is no longer accepting applications. All currently enrolled students will progress through the program to completion. Students interested in this program should explore our Master of Arts in Biomedical Studies program.
- Completed application for admission, including:
- Online application
- Admissions Essay
- Additional research intentions statement that includes your preference for a faculty mentor.
- Curriculum vita or resume
- Two letters of recommendation (three if GPA is less than 3.0). At least one recommendation must be from an academic source, preferably from a math or science professor.
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
- Overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale and overall science grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale, for all transcripts (undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, and graduate). Admission for students with less than a 3.0 overall and science GPA is rare but possible with clear evidence of improved academic or professional development (e.g. research or work experience, GRE scores, MCAT scores, etc.)
- Possession of a baccalaureate degree in biology or a related field from an accredited college or university. At a minimum, students should have successfully completed the following:
- 1 year introductory biology (with lab)
- 1 year introductory chemistry (with lab)
- 1 semester organic chemistry with lab (2 semesters preferred)
- 1 course in statistics
- 1 additional college-level mathematics course
- 3–4 upper level courses in human biology, biochemistry, or psychobiology.
Students who are admitted conditionally may be required to enroll in the online Harvard HMX Fundamentals courses in immunology, physiology, genetics, and biochemistry prior to starting the program.
For more information about the Harvard HMX program, please email Admissions.
Admissions materials may be submitted to:
Office of Graduate Admission
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
BIO508 | Developmental Biology
A study of the embryonic and post-embryonic development of animals, with special emphasis on humans. The morphogenesis, growth and mechanisms of differentiation are stressed. Other topics include cancer, regeneration, cloning, hormones as mediators of development, and developmental genetics.
BIO514 | Adavanced Human Physiology
An in-depth study of the mechanisms of human body function, emphasizing cells, genetic control of protein synthesis, transport across membranes, contraction and excitation of muscles, the physiology of cardiac muscle, and rhythmical excitation of the normal heart.
BIO532 | Biostatistics
The study and application of biostatistics and probability distributions in biology, for students who already have a working knowledge of statistics and want to understand the place and application of biostatistical methods in science. Topics include hypothesis testing, analysis of variance for one and many variables, and linear and nonlinear regression. Three hours of class per week.
Chatham's primary mission is teaching, so we offer our MSBio program because we know there is a need for it in our community. We know the program is successful because of the high success rate of our graduates.
— LISA LAMBERT, Ph.D., professor of biology and AVP for Undergraduate Learning
Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.
Engaging in guided research projects, students have opportunities to learn cutting edge theoretical and practical skills, while exploring interests in human physiology, evolution, microbiology, environmental chemistry, computational modeling, and more. Click the button below to read more about our faculty members' current research topics. We encourage students to identify with a faculty member's research interests first, then to email their graduate admission recruiter to discuss applying.Explore Faculty Research : Checkerboard 1 - Research Opportunities
Help Funding Your Degree
Admitted students who plan to start in the fall term may apply for one of the limited number of assistantships available, typically to provide research assistance, lab assistance, or teaching assistance to undergraduate courses. Graduate assistantships offer funding in the form of tuition remission in the fall and spring terms.View Funding Opportunities : Checkerboard 2 - Help Funding Your Degree
MA in Biomedical Studies
Looking to enhance your credentials to apply to medical, dental, physician assistant, or veterinary schools? Chatham offers a one-year Master of Arts in Biomedical Studies (MABS) degree offering professional preparation for success in health science programs.Learn About MABS : Checkerboard 3 - MA in Biomedical Studies
Outcomes & Student Success
We have a greater than 90% success rate for student placement in advanced degrees after completing our program, and recent graduates have gone on to hold the following positions: Ph.D. Pharmacology graduate student at Duquesne University, newborn audiologist at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, science education and research coordinator at Phipps Conservatory, medical laboratory scientist at Perkin Elmer Genetics.
Alumni Feature: Sabina Spigner, MSBIO '18
“Because Chatham is such a tight-knit community, I was really able to make deep connections with my peers and professors. I loved the material, I loved learning it, I loved feeling like I was smart again. I didn’t know if I was capable of being a good enough student to succeed in med school, so Chatham really helped build my self-esteem back up. I had a great two years.”
Alumni Profile: Alysha Slater, MSBIO '19
“After graduating from undergrad and working as a vet technician, I decided to pursue a PhD program in ecology, behavior and evolution with an emphasis on animal sociality and dominance,” Alysha Slater, MSBIO '19 says. “I found Chatham’s MSBIO program, and thought it would be a good way to get more experience with research, since I didn’t have too much as an undergrad.”
What Our Students Say
“My experience at Chatham was exactly what I needed to help me succeed in getting into dental school. I was accepted at my top two choices soon after I graduated, and I know that I couldn't have succeeded without Chatham's MS biology program.”—Grace Wanwan Zhang '12