Apply Now
Department of Biology
258 Science Building
Cheney, WA 99004
phone: 509.359.2339

Master of Science - Biology

The Master of Science in Biology program provides a demanding and rewarding experience in biology, leading to competent scholarship and research capability. The department emphasizes research as a basic component of graduate study. A variety of research specialties are available within the department, including aquatic and riparian ecology, fisheries biology, embryology, physiology, exercise physiology, wildlife biology, mycology, plant ecology,microbiology, and immunology. Faculty Research Interests and Biology Faculty home pages provide more information on faculty research interests.

Graduates of the biology program either continue in PhD programs, or are employed in various biological fields with federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, environmental consulting firms, private conservation organizations, public and private schools or private industry.

Admission to the Program

Applicants to the MS in Biology must hold a four-year baccalaureate degree in biology, or related natural science, from an accredited college or university. Students, who have deficiencies for admission or deficiencies, as determined by their graduate committee, may be allowed to make up deficient course work while enrolled in graduate school.

Admission to the program will be considered when applicants;

If you have questions regarding the Master's program, please contact

Applicants who wish to be considred for a Graduate Teaching Fellowship must submit an Graduate Fellowship Application by 20 February.

What will I study?

The Master of Science in Biology curriculum includes core courses in Biological Research Methods; Graduate Seminar; Current Topics in Ecology/Evolution, Physiology, Cell/Molecular, Biology and Growth of Biological Thought; elective courses in advanced topics; and research thesis. 

Graduate Core Requirements (16 credits)
  • BIOL 500 Research Seminar  (1 credit; enroll 2x for a total of 2)
  • BIOL 501 Seminar Programming
  • BIOL 510 Biological Research Methods I (4)
  • BIOL 511 Biological Research Methods II (4)
Choose 6 credits of "Current Topics" from at least 3 different disciplines in the following list:
  • BIOL 512 Current Topics in Physiology (2)
  • BIOL 513 Current Topics in Cell and Molecular Biology (2)
  • BIOL 514 Current Topics in Ecology/Evolution (2)
  • BIOL 515 Growth of Biological Thought (2)
Graduate Electives (16 credits)

Determined in consultation with student's graduate committee. Courses must be 400 level or above. If Biology courses are listed as both 400- and 500-level, students must enroll in the 500-level.

Graduate Thesis (14)

BIOL 600 - Thesis Research Project
A minimum of 14 thesis credits are required. The content, scope, and timeline of the thesis project (original research) are determined in consultation with student's graduate committee.

Other Graduate Requirements

All Master of Science in Biology students are required to either teach at least one quarter as a paid teaching assistant, or arrange a teaching experience in consultation with his/her graduate committee. Students who do not have a paid teaching assignment may arrange to receive BIOL 595 credit for the development and execution of this teaching experience.

The prospectus is an opportunity for graduate students to present their research hypothesis and study methodology to their graduate committee and to the EWU Department of Biology. This is a great opportunity to have the full attention of Biology faculty and to receive valuable feedback on the student's intended research project. Graduates typically present their prospectus during Spring Quarter of their first year.

Students apply for candidacy after: (1) they have successfully presented their prospectus; (2) the student's graduate committee has agreed upon the proposed research plan; and (3) the student has outlined (with committee approval) the courses remaining in their curriculum. The candidacy application should be submitted before the student has earned half of their 50 graduate credits.

Final Comprehensive Examination
The final comprehensive examination for the Master of Science in Biology consists of a research seminar and an oral defense of the master's thesis presented to the department. Immediately following the student's seminar, an oral examination is administered by the student's graduate committee, which is composed of 2-3 department faculty members and a faculty member appointed by the Graduate Program Office. The focus of the examination is the student's thesis and general biology knowledge.

Emphases / Concentrations:

  • Become proficient in oral communication about biology in general and their research area in particular
  • Be informed, critically thinking scientists who can design, execute and communicate original research in the field of biology
  • Expand and deepen their knowledge of biology and integrate that knowledge in their specialization
© 2015 Eastern Washington University
EWU expands opportunities for personal transformation through excellence in learning.