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Biology

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  • Biology
    202-885-2176
    Fax: 202-885-2182
    biology@american.edu
    Hurst, Room 101

    Mable-Young, Wanda
    Senior Administrative Assistant

Mailing Address

MA in Biology

The biology master of arts is a non-thesis degree for students seeking a career in various life science professions, for those seeking additional training for admission to professional schools, or for those seeking an intermediate degree before pursuing further graduate study. The program of study for MA students is similar to that for MS students. While MA students may pursue lab or field research, no research thesis is required. Instead a literature-based review paper is the culminating product of the program. Students in the MA program are not eligible for support through teaching assistantships.

Admission to the Program

In addition to meeting the minimum university requirements for graduate study, applicants must take the Graduate Record Examination, including the General Test and the Advanced Test in Biology. International applicants whose first language is not English are required to submit results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation. The application deadline to be considered for a merit award is March 1.


Degree Requirements

  • 30 credit hours of approved graduate work 
  • Comprehensive examination 
  • Directed literature research (BIO-790) resulting in a significant paper reviewing some aspect of life science; the subject of this review paper is selected by the student subject to approval by the graduate studies committee and the chair of the department 
  • An oral report presented in the form of a public seminar on the topic of the review paper 

Course Requirements

  • BIO-566 Evolutionary Mechanisms (3) 
  • BIO-583 Molecular Biology (3) 
  • BIO-697 Research Methods in Biology (3) 
  • BIO-790 Biology Literature Research (3) 
  • STAT-514 Statistical Methods (3) (satisfies tool of research requirement) 
  • An additional 15 hours of approved graduate course work