Biology, M.S. (Online)

A master’s degree in Biology enables graduate students to increase the depth and scope of their knowledge in a wide variety of scientific disciplines and prepare for advancement in their careers from secondary school biology teachers to infectious disease leaders.

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Take the first step toward a career in Biology, ranked among the best jobs by U.S. News & World Report, and pursue the best program for these jobs at the University of Saint Joseph.

Allowing students to fit courses around their work and home schedule, students in USJ’s online Biology master’s program will learn how to identify and solve fundamental scientific problems while developing critical thinking skills through problem-based learning.

In USJ’s online graduate Biology program, students will learn to anticipate outcomes of their work while exploring new areas of science and designing, implementing, and evaluating scientific investigations. Students will practice assessing, interpreting, and understanding their data, ultimately developing the ability to comprehend and explain the principles of biology, both conceptually and quantitatively.

Students complete their 30 credits of coursework online and may transfer six credits of previous Biology-related coursework into the program. By taking courses year-round over three semesters students will be able to complete their Master of Science degree within two years. Many students add on a USJ certification in Emerging Infectious Diseases or Integrative Genomics. After graduation, individuals continue their work in a variety of industries from teaching, to virology, genetics, and microbiology.

Program Benefits

  • Flexible Schedule: Students from around the globe can participate and earn a degree in Biology at their own pace.
  • Small Classes: Our online class size is set at 20 students, encouraging thoughtful discussion and individual contact between students and faculty.
  • Opportunities to Network: Students interact with classmates through threaded discussions and group projects, meeting people from different careers and different areas of the world.
  • Faculty: Our Biology faculty members include an ornithologist, an aquatic ecologist, a cardiologist, a neuroscientist, a pharmacologist, a microbiologist and a geneticist. Many have ongoing research programs and have published their research findings in international journals.
  • Approved and Accredited: Approved by the Connecticut Department of Education and accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).

Graduates Go On To Exciting Careers

  • Many explore research and education at local and world institutions like Bayer Pharmaceuticals, Hartford Hospital, UCONN Health Center and numerous public school systems.
  • Others pursue doctoral degrees at institutions like Yale University and the University of Connecticut.
  • Alumni have also been accepted into various medical schools and physician’s assistant programs.

Program Requirements

The variety of courses gives you the ability to design a curriculum to meet your career goals.

Courses are offered in organismal, molecular, statistical and health-related fields.

There are opportunities for independent study and research.

  • Biology electives (24-30 credits)
  • Related courses (0-6 credits)
  • Students may select six graduate credits of related course work from another department or other accredited graduate program. These courses must be pre-approved by the department chair or Biology graduate program director.
  • A GPA of 2.67
  • A passing grade on the comprehensive exam

Enrollment Requirements

  • Graduate admission application and nonrefundable application fee
  • A baccalaureate degree in Biology or related field (ex: cell biology, ecology, marine biology, genetics, zoology, plant biology, evolutionary biology, microbiology) from a regionally accredited institution. If the degree is not in Biology, transcripts must reflect a B or better for a minimum of four Biology lab courses
  • Sealed official transcripts of all undergraduate work from all colleges attended (minimum GPA of 3.0)
  • Two letters recommending the candidate for graduate work at University of Saint Joseph from individuals who can comment cogently upon the ability of the candidate to perform in graduate studies
  • A letter of intent stating the reason for wanting the degree or certificate, the courses of interest, possible transfer courses to be brought into the program, and what the student will be bringing to the program
  • Planned program of study
  • If the GPA is borderline, the student must submit a 600-word essay with appropriate citations on a science topic of applicant’s choice.

Note: We no longer require the GREs for enrollment
Note: Matriculated students have priority to register for courses during the registration period.

Financial aid is only available to students who are formally accepted and matriculated.

Available Certifications

Courses & Student Workload

The online Masters Degree in Biology at the University of Saint Joseph caters to working professionals.

Comprehensive Exam

All students must pass a comprehensive examination after having completed a minimum of 24 credits in our Biology department (does not include transfer credits). Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.67 or better to take the comprehensive examination. Students in the thesis option will present and defend their thesis as a culminating activity in addition to a written comprehensive exam. All students must submit an application for the comprehensive examination.


The thesis option is for a limited number of students who must receive prior approval of their research proposal by the program director and a thesis advisor. If approved for this option, the student enrolls in BIOL 503 – Biometry and BIOL 599 – Thesis as part of the 30 credits. Students on the thesis track will present and defend their thesis as a culminating activity in addition to written comprehensive exam.


Contact Charles Morgan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biology at [email protected] or 860.231.5535

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