The Biology Department offers students opportunities to study in the field or in modern facilities with up-to-date instrumentation and resources, including a DNA-sequencing unit, an integrated microscopy facility, high-speed digital networks and computing centers, a GIS lab, greenhouses, wet labs, and extensive plant, animal and paleobotanical collections.
Graduate study in biology integrates classroom and field or laboratory experience to help meet the current and future scientific needs of society.
Contact The Graduate College for general questions about getting started with your application, funding your degree, and more.
If you have program-specific questions after reviewing the program details, we encourage you to contact the following:
“The degrees I received from Texas State prepared me well, in terms of basic knowledge and professional development, for a long career in the health professions, as well as my present teaching position. Even today I count professors in the department among my close friends.”
— Kort A. Angerstein, A.P. Biology Teacher, Victoria I.S.D.
Students can pursue either the master of science (M.S.) in biology (thesis or non-thesis) or the master of arts (M.A.) in biology (thesis-based). Students who choose the 30-credit-hour, thesis-based M.S. program are usually preparing for professional careers, advanced graduate work, or advanced training for technology-related industries. The thesis-based M.A. program also requires 30 hours but permits non-science minors. Students who choose a non-thesis degree, such as secondary science teachers, may prefer to receive broad training in biology without a formal research experience. The non-thesis M.S. degree requires a minimum of 45 semester hours, including at least one semester of a supervised research course.
|Degree||Hours||Thesis Option||Minor Option|
|M.A.||30–31||Thesis||Minor from outside College of Science|
|M.S.||30–31||Thesis||Science or Geography minor required|
Current students are widely recognized for their research and scholarship accomplishments at both the national and state levels. Graduates have been very successful in pursuing professional careers or further education.
The goal of the Department of Biology is to attain national and international prominence through the integration of graduate and undergraduate education with a variety of basic and applied multidisciplinary research programs.
The Department of Biology faculty consistently has been recognized with the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Research, Teaching, and Service, the most prestigious awards offered by Texas State. Under close faculty guidance, graduate students execute their research projects and are encouraged to publish and present their work at professional conferences. Research opportunities are available in many different areas of specialization, including aquatic biology, conservation biology, behavioral and evolutionary ecology, population biology and genetics, cell and molecular biology, microbiology, plant biology, science education, and wildlife ecology.
The master’s degrees in biology help to prepare students for:
- professional training in medicine, dentistry, and other health-related fields
- Ph.D. level training in biological research
- careers in teaching at the secondary or community college level
- management and advanced technical positions in bioscience industries
- participation in society as biologically literate professionals in non-biological careers
This program has a flexible deadline, which means applications received after the posted deadline may be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, with no guarantees for admission consideration.
Applications must be complete by the priority deadline to be considered for certain types of funding.
This program reviews applications on a rolling basis.
The items required for admission consideration are listed below. Additional information for applicants with international credentials can be found on our international web pages.
Transcripts & GPA
- baccalaureate degree in biology or a related field from a regionally accredited university
- a copy of an official transcript from each institution where course credit was granted
- minimum 3.0 GPA in your last 60 hours of undergraduate course work (plus any completed graduate courses)
Review important information about transcripts. Official transcripts, sent directly from your institution, will be required if admission is granted.
- GRE not required
- statement of purpose describing your professional aspirations and rationale for pursuing graduate study in biology
- three letters of recommendation addressing the substance and quality of your preparation for graduate study
- thesis students only: mentor recommendation letter from a current Texas State faculty member in the Department of Biology. Visit the faculty list for current faculty and their research interests and contact information. Your mentor must email their letter of support directly to The Graduate College at firstname.lastname@example.org. This letter must be on file before the program's deadline.
Review important information about documents.
TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS Scores
Applicants are required to submit TOEFL, PTE, or IELTS scores that meet the minimum program requirements below unless they have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a country on our exempt countries list.
- official TOEFL iBT scores required with a 78 overall
- official PTE scores required with a 52 overall
- official IELTS (academic) scores required with a 6.5 overall and
- minimum individual module scores of 6.0
Review important information about official test scores.