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Master's Programs in Biological Sciences

The objective of this program is to foster critical thinking and to develop skills needed for independent laboratory study. This is accomplished, in part, by offering advanced lecture, seminar and laboratory courses.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers two options for master's degrees:

  • The Master of Science in Biological Sciences General Option offers flexibility so students can create a program that fits their educational and employment goals.
  • The Master of Science in Biological Sciences - Biotechnology Option focuses on training essential to employment in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.

See also the graduate catalog for details on both options. View the biology graduate course listing.

Additionally, the UMass Intercampus Graduate School offers an M.S. degree in Marine Science and Technology or Biomedical Engineering and Biotechnology. Contact David Ryan regarding marine science and Stephen McCarthy regarding biomedical engineering.

While it is possible to complete M.S. requirements without the thesis or project option, participation in a research project or thesis is a key activity that can distinguish graduate from undergraduate education. All full-time M.S. degree students are, therefore, strongly urged to elect thesis or project options.

If you have admission questions and inquiries send an e-mail to

Please note that the deadlines for receipt of complete applications are Oct. 15 and Jan. 10 for the following spring and fall semesters, respectively.

Matriculated students with specific questions about our master's program should contact Jeffrey R. Moore, our graduate coordinator.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers four Professional Science Master's (PSM) degree options: Applied Biotechnology, Biosafety, Environmental Biotechnology, and Project Management for Life Sciences. See the graduate catalog for details. PSM's maintain a strong science core while incorporating professional communication (oral, written) skills, multidisciplinary training, management courses, and a professional internship into the curriculum. Applicants to PSM's include individuals with baccalaureate degrees currently employed at science companies, as well as new bachelor's degree recipients from the United States and abroad who desire to combine in-depth science training with workplace skills important for their career advancement.

Please note that there are no deadlines for receipt of complete applications for the PSM programs. However, it is recommended that complete applications be submitted several months prior to expected matriculation.

For admission questions and inquiries send an e-mail to

The Department of Biological Sciences offers three graduate certificates:

  • Biotechnology and Bioprocessing
  • Environmental Biotechnology
  • Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology.

For general information about admissions and courses, see the graduate catalog.

For detailed information for incoming and current graduate students, see the graduate student manual (PDF).

  1. Submission of the Graduate Application (check Graduate Admissions website for additional information).
  2. Statement of Purpose. For students interested in a project- or thesis-based Master’s degree, it is highly recommended that the student contact a professor prior to application to evaluate the possibility of research collaboration.
  3. A bachelor's degree or its equivalent with a minimum 3.0 GPA or international equivalent of a 3.0 GPA. All international transcripts may be evaluated by the Center for Educational Documentation (CED) to verify the degree and calculate an American equivalent GPA if none is provided. The expense of a CED evaluation ($100-$200) is the responsibility of the applicant.
  4. Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  5. Graduate Record Examination scores for the General Exam. A minimum score of 300 for the computer-based examination is preferred, with minimum scores of 150 verbal and 150 quantitative.
  6. A TOEFL score or IELTS score is required for international applicants. This score may be waived for applicants from countries where English is the official language. 

For the latest course and admission requirements please consult the UMass Lowell Graduate Academic Catalog.

UMass Lowell undergraduate students with a 3.0 GPA or better have the opportunity to save time and money by earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in a little as five years. Students can continue from bachelor’s to master’s level studies within their own department. Or students can apply to a program in a different department to create a set of skills to meet emerging needs in the workplace and their own academic interests.
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Please refer to the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog for the latest information about admission, courses, retention, degree and thesis requirements.