M.A. in Biology

The mission of the Master of Arts program in Biology is to provide an opportunity for individuals with an undergraduate foundation in life science to broaden and deepen their knowledge base, to obtain experience in independent research and data analysis, and to develop advanced written and oral communication skills in science.  Successful completion of this program will prepare graduates for doctoral programs in biological/biomedical sciences, professional programs in human and veterinary medicine, or careers in biotechnology, industry, government or academia.

Learning Outcome Statements

Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Biology at Rhode Island College can expect to acquire:

  • Advanced knowledge of biological sciences extending beyond that required in an undergraduate curriculum
  • Experience in designing and executing a meaningful original field- or laboratory-based research project
  • The ability to conduct literature searches on timely biological topics and to evaluate and synthesize primary source materials
  • The written and oral communication skills necessary to interact effectively with fellow scientists in the professional arena

Admission Requirements

  1. A completed application form accompanied by a fifty-dollar nonrefundable application fee.
  2. Official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate records.
  3. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale in undergraduate course work.
  4. A minimum of 24 credit hours of courses in biology, including those courses required of RIC undergraduate biology majors.
    Specifically these courses must include:
    • Introductory Biology (2 Semesters with Lab)
    • Genetics (1 Semester with Lab)
    • Cellular and Molecular Biology (1 Semester with Lab)
    • Ecology (1 Semester with Lab)
  5. Biology majors. Six to 8 credit hours of courses in physics. Sixteen to 24 credit hours of courses in chemistry, including organic chemistry.
  6. An official report of scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), including the general test and the subject test in biology. (This may be waived for RIC graduates in biology.)
  7. Three letters of recommendation.
  8. A plan of study approved by the advisor and appropriate dean.
  9. An interview. (This may be waived for RIC graduates in biology.)

Course Requirements

Course No. Course Title Credits
BIOL 560Graduate Seminar (taken twice)2
BIOL 651-654Advanced Topics in Biology1-4
BIOL 691-696Directed Research6
Additional courses in science at the graduate level (of which 12 to 15 credit hours must be in biology for a total of 24 credit hours of biology courses)18-21
Written thesis based on research done in BIOL 691-6960

Total Credit Hours


Note: The M.A. in biology does not lead to teacher certification. Students interested in certification to teach should refer to Secondary Education in the Feinstein School of Education and Human Development.

Page last updated: January 21, 2014