Student research in RNA lab in the Life Sciences building

Master of Science 


Program of Study

When you enroll in the master’s in biology program at UAlbany, you will choose between two concentrations:

  1. Molecular, Cellular, Developmental and Neural Biology (MCDN)
  2. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB)

The MCDN concentration focuses on concepts like neural development, molecular virology, mutation, and gene flow and cell biology.

Through the EEB concentration, you will explore the impact that climate change, man-made disasters, deforestation and other events have on environments, ecosystems and species.


MCDN Core Biology Courses

  • Cell Biology I and II
  • Biochemistry and Biomolecular Structure
  • Advanced Molecular Biology


EEB Core Biology Courses

  • Integrative Principles of Evolution
  • Integrative Principles of Ecology and Behavior

Additional Coursework

  • Responsible Conduct and Skills in Research
  • Responsible Conduct and Skills in Scientific Communication
  • At least 3 additional credits at the 500 level or above (not including Master’s Research)

Master’s Research Thesis

Supporting courses in anthropology, mathematics, chemistry, physics and psychology as advised

Satisfactory completion of core and final examinations in biology


See the Graduate Bulletin for details.

For more information about Molecular, Cellular, Developmental and Neural Biology, contact Marlene Belfort at


For more information about Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, contact Ing-Nang Wang at



You will perform hands-on research and deliver presentations about your findings in the field of your choice.  The research you conduct may involve concepts like new approaches to cancer drug discovery, viral pathogenesis, host-parasite interactions, animal ecology and behavior, cell signaling, and RNA folding.

UAlbany’s collaborative relationship with nearby facilities like the Wadsworth Center from the New York State Department of Health, Albany Medical Center (AMC), Neural Stem Cell Institute (NSCI), and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) will give you the unique opportunity to pursue your research in a professional context.  These facilities may also lead to internships, participation in field studies, and ultimately job opportunities.

Researcher in the molecular core facility in the Life Sciences Research Building


Career Outcomes

With your master’s degree in biology you will have the training and skills to excel in a wide range of biology-related careers.  

With the growth of life science occupations in the healthcare, business, government, and academic sectors, you can pursue a career as a:

  • Lab Technician and Manager
  • Research Scientist
  • Bioanalytical Scientist
  • Science Writer/Journalist
  • Conservation Scientist
  • Environmental Consultant

Graduates may also use their biology training to go on to professional schools including business, law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and veterinary schools.

Researcher in the molecular core facility in the Life Sciences Research Building


"I've always wanted to do research in Africa. Now I am able to work in Namibia and South Africa on large animals. This is absolutely a dream come true.”

- Yen-Hua Huang, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate student

Admissions Requirements

Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: Not Available
  • Spring: Not Available
  • Summer: Not Available

 No Departmental Assistantship Consideration

  • Fall: Rolling
  • Spring: January 31
  • Summer: Not Available
Required Application Materials
  • Transcripts from all schools attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of goals

The statement is generally one to two pages discussing what you have to offer the program and what you wish to get out of the program.  It should include a brief description of the applicant's field of interest, related background, desired area of study and research emphasis or career goals. 

Student Learning Objectives

Learning objectives that UAlbany students are expected to attain through their course of study within their academic program.

Master of Science
  • Design experimental protocols in order to contribute to the solution of an important scientific problem.
  • Obtain general knowledge of scientific fields such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, and biology with a detailed knowledge of one area of interest.
  • Integrate factual knowledge and problem solving skills.
  • Demonstrate oral, and visual communication skills.
  • Demonstrate written communication skills.
  • Read and understand the primary scientific literature, to keep abreast of major developments, and to synthesize and integrate the literature in their chosen area of expertise.
  • Understand a scientific problem and conduct experiments that would make a substantial contribution to its solution.
  • Understand scientific ethics as practiced in Western societies, including the topics of human subjects, animal use in research, and plagiarism.