Biology, Master of Science

Department of Biological Sciences

College of Engineering, Forestry, and Natural Sciences

This thesis-based Master's degree allows the student great flexibility in determining his/her course of study, with the guidance of an engaged research committee. NAU's well-known biology program and solutions-oriented professors provide a multitude of pathways through which to approach research and experimentation. This degree also prepares students for future Ph.D. work, either here, at NAU, or elsewhere.

  • To receive a master’s degree at Northern Arizona University, you must complete a planned group of courses from one or more subject areas, consisting of at least 30 units of graduate-level courses. Many master’s degree programs require more than 30 units.

    You must additionally complete:

    • All requirements for your specific academic plan(s). This may include a thesis.
    • All graduate work with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0.
    • All work toward the master degree must be completed within six consecutive years. The six years begins with the semester and year of admission to the program.

    Read the full policy here.

In addition to University Requirements:

  • Complete individual plan requirements.

Minimum Units for Completion 32
Additional Admission Requirements

Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

Thesis Thesis is required.
Oral Defense Oral Defense is required.
Research Individualized research is required.
Progression Plan Link View Program of Study

Additional Admission Requirements
  • Individual program admission requirements over and above admission to NAU are required.

  • The NAU graduate online application is required for all programs. Admission to many graduate programs is on a competitive basis, and programs may have higher standards than those established by the Graduate College.

    Admission requirements include the following:

    • Transcripts.
    • Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale ("A" = 4.0), or the equivalent.

    Visit the NAU Graduate Admissions website for additional information about graduate school application deadlines, eligibility for study, and admissions policies.

    Ready to apply? Begin your application now.

    International applicants have additional admission requirements. Please see the International Graduate Admissions Policy.

    • GRE® revised General Test
    • Three letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement or essay
    • All applicants are expected to make email contact with potential faculty members in the department BEFORE APPLYING. Applicants should only apply if a mentor agrees to support the applicant.
    • Knowledge of biology at the baccalaureate level.
Master's Requirements
  • Take the following 32 units with a minimum GPA of 3.0:

    • Biology and/or one or two related fields, with the recommendation of your research committee (29 units)
    • BIO 699, for the research, writing, and oral defense of an approved thesis. Please note that you may only count 6 units of thesis credit toward your degree. However, Master's students in biology end up taking an average of 14 units because they must register for it each semester while they are working on their thesis. (3-6 units)
    In addition, please be aware that you must complete one academic year of residency.

  • Be aware that some courses may have prerequisites that you must also successfully complete. For prerequisite information, click on the course or see your advisor.