The mission of the graduate program in the Department of Biological Sciences is to foster the development of the next generation of scientists by providing a strong technical background, a sound grasp of current scientific problems, and the analytical skills needed to address such problems. We want to instill a motivation for continued learning, which will allow the student to define and solve new kinds of research problems during a professional career.
The Department of Biological Sciences enrolls ~80 students each year across a wide range of biological disciples. Approximately 20% of our graduate students are funded by externally funded research projects, like the NSF and NIH.
UA biology faculty are world-class researchers and teachers ready to provide you with the foundational skills you need to succeed both in and outside of the classroom.
Students graduating in our program go on to postdoctoral fellowships at other academic institutions, as well as positions at various governmental, non-governmental and private institutions, such as the USDA and EPA.
The Department of Biological Sciences offers programs leading to the Master of Science (MS) in Biological Sciences, Master of Science in Marine Science (MSMS), Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Biological Sciences degrees, and Master of Arts (MA) in Biological Sciences.
The MS and MSMS in Biological Sciences are research-intensive degrees designed to prepare students for careers in the life sciences or further training in preparation for pursuing a PhD in the biological sciences. Students are required to conduct their own independent research.
The MA in Biological Sciences is a course-work only degree which does not require the traditional intensive commitment to data-driven research.
The Master of Arts (MA) in Biological Sciences is a coursework only degree designed for individuals who wish to enhance their knowledge of foundational concepts in Biological Sciences and gain practical hands-on training in controlled laboratory exercises, data analysis, and presentation as well as scientific-pedagogical practices. This degree does not require the traditional intensive commitment to data-driven research that is the hallmark of the Master of Science (MS) degree in Biology.
The Master of Sciences (MS) in Biological Sciences is a research-intensive degree designed to prepare students for careers in the life sciences or further training in preparation for pursuing a Ph.D. in the biological sciences. Students are required to conduct their own independent research while participating in either the Plan I (with thesis) or Plan II (without thesis) degree tracks leading to the MS in Biological Sciences.
The Master of Science (MS) in Marine Science (also referred to as Master of Marine Science; MMS) is a research-intensive degree designed to prepare students for careers in marine science or further training in preparation for pursuing a Ph.D. in the biological or marine sciences. The graduate Marine Science Program is a dual-campus program of the Department of Biological Sciences at The University of Alabama and University programs at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, a facility of the Alabama Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium.
Students are required to conduct their own independent research while participating in either the Plan I (with thesis) or Plan II (without thesis) degree tracks leading to the MS in Marine Science.
The PhD program is an intensive, research-based curriculum that builds on the strengths of the master’s degree program by concentrating on a particular research emphasis led by one of our many diverse faculty members. The doctoral program is designed to prepare graduates with the skills needed to move easily into either academic or non-academic positions.
The Accelerated Master’s Program is intended for gifted and highly motivated candidates for bachelor’s degrees at The University of Alabama. In the Biological Sciences AMP program, students apply to begin graduate study at the end of their junior year. While an AMP student, up to 12 hours of graduate courses can count towards both your bachelor’s and graduate degrees.
AMP students are required to take Introduction to Graduate Studies (BSC 505; 2 credits) during the first fall semester following their admission to the AMP program. During each semester of AMP, students must register for the Biological Sciences Seminar (BSC 601; 1 credit). Although AMP students will typically complete the requirements for the bachelor’s degree prior to the graduate degree, such a program may lead to simultaneous completion of requirements for both graduate and bachelor’s degrees.
The BSC AMP requires a minimum GPA of 3.7 and the commitment of a faculty advisor to serve as mentor. Find more information on applying, see the UA Graduate School’s AMP page.
SUBAREAS OF STUDY