Biology (MSBio)

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Biology (MSBio) Overview

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.  

Degrees Offered
  • MS
Program School
Application Deadlines

Varies by Term

Recommended deadlines:
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. 

Credits Required


The program can typically be completed in two years. 

Cost Per Credit


Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.

Career Opportunities

Successful Outcomes

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 but the level of scientific inquiry is more applied than the basic research that is 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.

  • Completed application for admission, including:
    • Online application
    • One to two page essay on career plans and reasons for pursuing a master’s degree in biology
    • 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 biology, biochemistry, or psychobiology.
  • Additional research intentions statement that includes your preference for a faculty mentor. 


Admissions materials may be submitted to:
Chatham University
Office of Graduate Admission
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Fax: 412-365-1609
BIO 512 & 512L: Advanced Human Gross Anatomy and Lab

An in-depth study of both regional gross human anatomic structures and cellular-level tissue. The course is clinically oriented with emphasis on the musculoskeletal, neuromuscular, gastrointestinal, cardiopulmonary, urinary, and reproductive systems. Regional study of the head/neck, trunk, and upper/lower extremities is accomplished through human cadaver dissection.

BIO517: Genetics

A study of the modern concepts of the gene. Lectures stress theory and experimental evidence relating to the structure of the gene, heritability of characteristics, and the behavior of genes in populations.

View Full Curriculum

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 succesful because of the high success rate of our graduates. 

— LISA LAMBERT, PH.D, professor of biology and AVP for Undergraduate Learning

Our Faculty

Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.

Full Faculty

Cadaver Lab

Chatham has a state-of-the-art cadaver lab, offering a unique experience for a liberal arts university.  

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.

Learn More

Healthcare Informatics Certificate

By choosing four of the five electives in approved Healthcare Informatics courses, students in the non-thesis track can earn a Healthcare Informatics Certificate in addition to the MS degree.

Student Success

We have a greater than 90% success rate for student placement in advanced degrees after completing our program.

Alumni Profile: Grace Wanwan Zhang '12

“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