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Online Masters Degree in Biology

Although it is possible to earn accredited online master’s degrees in biology, it is not advisable for most students. A graduate biology degree from a traditional brick-and-mortar university is typically much more beneficial for future employment or admission into a doctoral program in biology. While an online master’s degree biology program does teach theoretical knowledge, it does not provide students with essential hands-on training in the lab or the field. Additionally, these programs do not offer training in the use of cutting-edge scientific equipment or research and data collection methods. Consequently, an online biology degree may not provide the full complement of skills demanded in the workplace. For these same reasons, an online bachelor’s degree in biology and an online PhD in biology are also poor options for most students.

What are the admission requirements for an online master’s in biology?

For admissions purposes, students applying to top online masters degree programs in biology may be required to submit the following:

  • Application form
  • Undergraduate transcripts
  • Personal statement or Essay
  • Letters of recommendation

A bachelors degree in a biology related field is normally required of candidates for these programs. These fields may include:

  1. Zoology
  2. Microbiology
  3. Biochemistry
  4. Veterinary Science
  5. Physiology

What types of online master’s degrees in biology can students pursue?

A variety of online masters degrees in biology are offered by accredited online schools.

Specialties are often pursued by students, in order to become an expert in a specific area.

Popular online areas of focus include:

  • Biomedical Science:  As part of this biology masters degree online concentration, students conduct research projects and study pharmacology, biotechnology and healthcare. A biomedical science concentration is designed to prepare students for medical school or other advanced degrees.
  • Ecology and Conservation: In this online master in biology specialization, students study the biological consequences of climate change and survey current research on how to slow or reverse these consequences. Emphasis is given to forest ecology, tropical ecology and evolution.
  • Neurobiology: Students seeking this online master degree in biology concentration study physiology, neuroscience, cell biology and animal behavior. They gain an understanding of how neural circuits in the brain continually restructure themselves during a person's development to inform behavior and generate thoughts and memories.
  • Marine Biology:  Students pursuing a marine biology concentration study marine animals, including their behaviors and environments, as well as biological oceanography and molecular biology. Students also gain an understanding of the ocean's importance in sustaining human life.
  • Behavioral Biology: In this online biology masters degree program, students study evolution, ecology, philosophy and neurobiology in order to better understand how human and animal behavior has evolved.  Students research how biological functions such as reproduction, aggression and brain formation have developed over time.

What can students expect to learn in an online biology master’s degree program?

The best online master’s degree programs in biology cover a wide range of studies within the field, including biotechnology, cancer research, genetic engineering and biomedical research. Students learn how to conduct advanced research in the lab and out in the field, and are trained to use sophisticated biotechnology equipment.

Top online masters programs in biology offer students a variety of courses, including:

  1. Pharmacology: Students study how to use drugs to achieve a desired therapeutic effect. Focus will be given to studying diseases and disorders, learning the molecular and cellular consequences of drugs and identifying the side effects that might occur.
  2. Advanced Genetics: This: online masters degree biology course, which includes significant lab work, explores genetics as it relates to humans, animals and plants. Students learn to analyze gene functions at the cellular, organism and population levels.
  3. Proteins: Structures and Molecular Properties Using both ancestral and contemporary proteins as models, students learn about the development stages of protein in the body. Emphasis is given to protein composition, biosynthesis, protein engineering and protein interaction.

What careers can students pursue after graduating from biology masters programs online?

Biology online masters programs graduates can consider a wide spectrum of careers.

Graduates can choose from the following careers, amongst others:

  1. Epidemiologist: Epidemiologists study diseases with the intention of curing them and preventing them from spreading. Their average annual salary is $63,010. Projected job growth in this field is 24%, almost twice the growth rate for all jobs in the economy.
  2. Biological Technician: These technicians assist biological and medical scientists in the laboratory and out in the field. They make about $39,000 per year on average.  Biological technician jobs are expected to grow 14% in the coming decade, about average for the economy.
  3. Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist: These biologists focus their expertise on the characteristics, behavior and habitat of animals. They work to increase humanity’s understanding of animal life and to help develop wildlife conservation measures. On average they make $57,430 a year. Job opportunities in this field are expected to grow about 7%.
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