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MS in Biology

The biology master of science degree program is a research degree that prepares students for a variety of careers in the life sciences and may also serve as an intermediate degree for those intending to pursue further graduate study. Graduate students have the opportunity to gain experience in scientific methods and experimental design in the laboratory and in the field.  

The Department of Biology offers courses and research opportunities in the life sciences, with an emphasis on:

  • evolution and development
  • phylogenetics and systematics
  • molecular biology, genetics & genomics
  • microbiology
  • cell biology
  • ecology
  • neurobiology

Biology master’s students conduct their own research projects and benefit from one-on-one faculty mentorship. The Department of Biology is a thriving group of young, dynamic faculty and students who work with a strong collaborative spirit on many diverse research projects. 

Research and teaching laboratories are well-equipped and constantly updated. Students also have the opportunity to collaborate with investigators at some of the nation's most prestigious biological research centers, including the National Institutes of Health and the Smithsonian Institution. 

More than 95% of American University biology graduate students have assistantships, stipends, or other financial aid and finish the program in less than two years. Detailed information about assistantships can be found on the graduate research funding webpage.

To visit the department and meet with graduate students and faculty, email Dan Fong at dfong@american.edu or Nancy Zeller at nzeller@american.edu to set up a time. Please see also Admission and Degree Requirements for the MS in Biology.

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Professor Katie DeCicco-Skinner wins NIH grant to investigate why lack of a gene causes skin cancer in mice.

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