M.S. in Biological Sciences


The Master's Degree in Biological Sciences is intended for students who wish to pursue graduate studies but are not ready to commit to a Ph.D. program or who are not interested in a Ph.D. degree

Students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.

After graduating, some of our M.S. students pursue additional graduate degrees in medicine or health while others pursue a career in industry, government, or academic science in a position that does not require a Ph.D.

A complete M.S. application requires identification of a UAlbany faculty member to serve as the primary mentor for M.S. work. You can find a list of all of our teaching faculty that can mentor M.S. students here and a list of faculty of faculty who are interested in mentoring M.S. students here. Students should consult with faculty members before making a formal application to the program.

The M.S. degree program in Forensic Biology does not require a prior faculty commitment.


Frequently Asked Questions

Throughout the descriptions of the M.S. programs, there are caveats about obtaining a Research advisor before applying. Why?
Unlike the M.S. programs in Forensics and in Biodiversity, the general M.S. in Biological Sciences is a program with very limited scope: It is primarily intended for students who have an existing relationship with a professor. It does not accept students without a prior commitment from that professor.
Can I apply and then seek a research advisor?>
Technically you can, but you will almost certainly not be admitted. You will have paid a non-refundable application fee with little chance of success.
Can you give an example of a person who might be appropriate to this degree?
A student who was an undergraduate research student at UAlbany and wants to stay additional time to finish an ongoing project, but has other plans that would preclude continuing for a PhD.
Isn't an M.S. degree required before continuing for a Ph.D.?
No. If your long-range plan is to continue to the Ph.D., you should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.
How can I seek commitment from a research advisor?
You would need to contact the professors directly. Start with the list of faculty who are supervising Ph.D. projects, since they are the ones most likely to be able to support your research.
If I have a commitment from a research advisor, how do I indicate that on my application?
The name of the mentor should be clearly stated in their statement of purpose on their application.

How to Apply to the Master's Program

The process for applying to a graduate program is handled throught the Office of Graduate Education. Please check the application deadlines and requirements for applying to the program.

To see detailed, instructions for the process of applying to graduate programs at the University at Albany, please see the Step-by-Step instructions for applying on the Graduate Education web site. All applications are submitted to the Unviersity through the Online Application Form.

Before applying to the general Masters in Biological Sciences, students must obtain a research mentor in the Department prior to acceptance. Although this does not apply to the M.S. in Forensic Biology or the M.S. in Biodiversity, Conservation & Policy, Students should not apply to the general M.S. program in Biological Sciences until they obtain explicit approval from a research mentor in the Department. The name of the mentor should be clearly stated in their statement of purpose on their application.

Once you have submitted your application through the Office for Graduate Education, the application will be sent to the Biological Sciences Admissions Committee for review.

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