M.S. in Biology | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Master of Science in Biology

There has never been a more exciting time to be a biologist. Every day, life-changing discoveries are made in basic science and health care. In many professions, the master's degree is now the minimum requirement for either employment or advancement. Many students have used our Master of Science in Biology as a stepping stone to careers in research and the health professions. We are proud of our 90% success rate for student placement in advanced degrees after completing our program.

Non-thesis option (Accelerated plan available)

The MS Biology-non-thesis track is available as a one-year, accelerated degree, primarily for students heading to medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, physician assistant programs, etc., who wish to improve their credentials and/or complete requirements. Students will complete a total of twelve courses (33-34 credits), five of which are electives, allowing the program to be adapted to meet the needs of many different career goals. Although the non-thesis option can be pursued at an accelerated rate, students can also pursue their degree as part time students. Required courses include:

  • Human Anatomy (with cadaver lab)
  • Human Physiology
  • Neuroscience
  • Biostatistics
  • Methods of Biological Research

Thesis Option

The MS Biology-thesis track typically takes 4-5 semesters to complete and provides the research experience needed for students who wish to apply to Ph.D. programs or who wish to teach or look for research positions. Students must complete a total of ten courses (33-35 credits), three of which are electives, allowing the program to be adapted to meet the needs of many different career goals. Here are some examples of thesis titles from our graduates:

  • "Quantitative Assessment of Brain Iron Changes in Parkinson's Disease Using Susceptibility Weighted Imaging"
  • "Evolution of Hemojuvelin in the Repulsive Guidance Molecule Family and Its Role in Iron Transport"
  • "The Effects of Resveratrol on ENaC Activity in Mouse Cortical Collecting Duct Cells"
  • "The Effect of a Specialist Seed Weevil Cleopomiarus hispidulus on Lobelia cardinalis populations in two western Pennsylvania Wetlands"

General Information

Students may apply at any time of year and are admitted on a rolling basis until classes fill. The GRE is not required, but students must have a 3.0 GPA, an undergraduate degree in biology, or an equivalent program, and supporting letters of recommendation. Neither degree option requires a capstone comprehensive exam. Students may transfer in up to six graduate level credits taken at other graduate schools prior to matriculation.

Students who do not have an undergraduate degree in biology, or have not had strong academic performance in their undergraduate biology degree, may be provisionally admitted to the MSBIO program, on the condition that they successfully complete the HMX Fundamentals online courses in immunology, physiology, genetics, and biochemistry offered through Harvard Medical School's Office of Online Learning.

For more information about the program, contact a Chatham graduate admissions representative at graduate@chatham.edu.