M.S. Program in Biology

The Department of Biology offers programs leading to a Master of Science degree. Thesis research is a major component of the MS program. Students who are not interested in research should investigate other programs with a non-thesis option or simply register for courses as a non-degree seeking graduate student. Areas of specialization include molecular and cellular biology, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, evolutionary biology, physiology, and developmental biology. In addition to the courses offered by the Department of Biology, graduate students may request departmental permission to enroll in graduate courses offered by the Environmental Studies Program and courses offered at the VCU Medical Center in the departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Biostatistics, Human Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology, Pathology, Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Physiology.

Upon completion of the M.S. in Biology, students will:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a chosen subfield, including the most recent advances in research
  • Apply appropriate research techniques (i.e., field or lab)
  • Effectively communicate research and findings in a professional context
  • Effectively write papers for publication

Admission Requirements

M.S. Program Requirements


Electronic Thesis/Dissertation Approval Form - Provided by the VCU Graduate School

Graduate Forms A-D

Below are forms pertaining to the M.S. program in biology. These forms are available in the offices of the Department of Biology and the director of the graduate program. When completed, all forms must be submitted to the director of the graduate program.

We are in the process of enhancing the electronic versions of these forms to provide better accessibility to all of our students.  During this process, the electronic versions of the forms are not publicly available.

  • Form A: Request for Committee is required for estaplishment of the graduate committee.
  • Form B: Plan of Study enables the student to plan course work and research credit.
  • Form C: Thesis Proposal indicates thesis committee approval of the thesis research project and must be accompanied with a copy of the thesis proposal.
  • Form D: Graduate Independent Study is for independent study projects not directly related to thesis research.