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Master of Science in Biology

Major: BIOL
Degree Awarded: MS
Unit: GA
Program Webpage:

Program Information

The degree program is available to qualified individuals possessing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.

A biology undergraduate major is preferred. However, other majors containing sufficient biology, chemistry and math may be acceptable.

The Department of Biology offers master’s degrees with programs of study tailored to the needs and interests of a diverse student population. Students may enroll on a full or part-time basis. The Department of Biology offers both thesis and non-thesis options.

The thesis option is generally chosen by students with career goals which include a research emphasis. Students choosing this option take course work and carry out an intensive independent research project under the supervision of a member of the Graduate Faculty, culminating in a written thesis based upon the research project.

The non-thesis option is usually chosen by those who wish to advance their knowledge of biology but are not sure of a specific career goal or do not anticipate a research emphasis in their future.

Students who wish to pursue an accelerated non-thesis Master’s Degree in Biology (BA-BS/MS) will be allowed to apply up to nine (9) hours of coursework taken for graduate credit while enrolled as an undergraduate. An additional twenty-four (24) hours of graduate coursework will constitute the minimum number of credit hours for obtaining the non-thesis master’s in the accelerated program.

Program admission requirements and application requirements can be viewed on the Department of Biology web site at  Questions can be addressed to or further information obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Perri K. Eason, at (502) 852-5936 or

Program Admission Procedure

The following requirements must be met to be admitted to the M.S. program in the Department of Biology:

1.  The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree with a major in Biology or an acceptable sub-discipline;

2.  The applicant must meet the following admission standards:

  • an undergraduate GPA of 3.0/4.0 or higher,
  • a composite score of at least 300 on the general test (verbal + quantitative sections) and 3.5 on the analytical writing section of the GRE. Composite MCAT or DAT exam scores which indicate the national average or higher are acceptable alternatives,
  • for foreign students, a TOEFL score of 83 on the internet-based exam or 6.5 on the IELTS.

3.  Applications will be complete when the following have been received (final action on applications will not be taken until complete):

     Send to the Office of Graduate Admissions, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292:

     a.  a completed application form and fee;

     b.  one official transcript of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework;

     c.  official GRE, MCAT or DAT exam scores;

     d.  two or more letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic performance and capabilities; and

     e.  official TOEFL or IELTS scores if required.

     Send to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biology:

     f.  a completed Department Application Form, available at (this form is submitted electronically when completed).

Deadline for Completed Applications: July 1 for Fall admission, December 1 for Spring admission.


Requirements for the M.S. degree in Biology and for the Accelerated BA-BS/MS in Biology

One course to be selected from each of two (thesis option) or three (non-thesis option) of the following four categories of General Background courses:

  Thesis Non-Thesis
General Background Courses (500 or 600 level)    
1.  Cellular/Physiology
3 - 4
3 - 4
2.  Subcellular/Genetics
3 - 4
3 - 4
3.  Evolution or Systematics
3 - 4
3 - 4
4.  Population, Community, or Ecosystem Ecology
3 - 4
3 - 4
6 - 8
9 - 12
Other Coursework
Statistics (Biology 650)
11 - 14
13 - 17
Thesis Research (600 level)
Research Experience (Biology 516, 608, 664 or 691)
3 - 4
Minimum Total

NOTE: A minimum of 12 (thesis option) or 17 (non-thesis option) semester hours, exclusive of thesis credit, must be in courses at the 600 level. Students intending to seek a Ph.D. degree later are advised to take as many of their courses as possible at the 600 level or above.

Departmental Faculty

Ronald D. Fell

Chair and Professor

Ronald M. Atlas


Gary A. Cobbs


Lee A. Dugatkin


Perri K. Eason


Paul W. Ewald


William D. Pearson


Michael H. Perlin


Joseph M. Steffen


James E. Alexander

Associate Professor

Margaret M. Carreiro

Associate Professor

Cynthia Corbitt

Associate Professor

Sarah Emery

Associate Professor

Arnold J. Karpoff

Associate Professor

Susanna K. Remold

Associate Professor

David J. Schultz

Associate Professor

Jennifer Mansfield-Jones

Assistant Professor

Tommy Parker

Assistant Professor

Mark Running

Assistant Professor

Micah Worley

Assistant Professor

Stephen Yanoviak

Assistant Professor

Charles V. Covell, Jr.


William S. Davis


Roger G. Lambert


Varley E. Wiedeman


Contact Information

Biology - MS

Perri K. Eason, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies

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