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Biology Master’s Degree (M.S.)

To enroll in the Master of Science program, students must meet Biology Department admission guidelines and be approved by the department chair or the biology graduate program advisor, as well as the dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research.

A Thesis Option is offered for students preparing for further graduate work in biology. Students seeking admission for the Thesis Option must be accepted into the research program of a biology graduate faculty member.

A Non-Thesis Option is offered for students who want to improve their positions and skills as secondary school or junior college teachers, lab technicians, consultants or government employees.


Master of Science in biology


  • Education
  • Research
  • Government agencies
  • Biological consulting
  • Nature centers and parks
  • Environmental organizations
  • Health professions (physician, veterinarian, dentist, podiatrist, clinical lab scientist, chiropractor, optometrist)

Program Highlights

  • Research opportunities in a broad array of subject areas

  • Access to the Angelo State Natural History Collections

  • Study abroad opportunities for graduate credit

Admission Formula

60 hrs undergraduate GPA multiplied by 100 + Verbal GRE Score + Quantitative GRE Score = 565

Admission Requirements

  • GRE scores
  • All college and university transcripts
  • Essay


A Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts in biology or a related discipline (i.e., zoology, botany, microbiology, wildlife ecology) with completion of a minimum of 24 credit hours of undergraduate course work in biology, including 12 credit hours of advanced course work (to include cell biology, evolution, ecology). Your undergraduate GPA must be at least 2.5.

Application Deadlines

Spring: December 1

Fall: July 15

International Student Spring: November 1

International Student Fall: June 10

Degree Plan

  • Thesis Option

    Typically, students who plan to pursue a doctoral degree choose the thesis option. Thesis students must complete a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of graduate work, including:

    • 18-24 semester credit hours in biology graduate courses, including Biology 6301, 6302, and two hours of 6181.
    • Up to 6 credit hours in supporting electives.
    • A thesis in biology (6 additional semester credit hours in biology are awarded upon successful completion of the thesis)

    Thesis research is available in:

    • Systematics and/or ecology
    • Ornithology
    • Physiology
    • Histology
    • Microbiology
    • Molecular biology
    • Developmental biology
    • Parasitology
    • Science education

    Those interested in admission as a thesis student to the biology graduate program should first contact a biology graduate faculty member conducting research in an area of interest to the student.

    Non-Thesis Option

    A non-thesis biology graduate student (a student who either has chosen the non-thesis option or has not yet been accepted into a graduate faculty member’s research program) is required to complete 36 semester credit hours of biology graduate work, including:

    • 21-30 semester credit hours in biology graduate courses, including Biology 6301, two hours of 6181, and three credit hours of literature based research (6391)
    • Up to 9 semester credit hours in supporting electives
    • Biology 6302
    • Biology 6391 - Field or Laboratory Research

    The literature-based research includes a thorough review of the literature on a topic acceptable to both the student and the supervising graduate faculty member.

    Any non-thesis student interested in conducting additional research may seek approval from a member of the biology graduate faculty and the chair of the Biology Department. The student can then conduct additional laboratory or field-based study after the three-hour research requirement has been successfully completed.


  • Graduate
  • Research
  • Teaching

Read this assistantship information to learn more about the availability and the application process.

  • Carr Academic Graduate Scholarships

    Carr Academic Graduate Scholarships are ASU’s premier scholarships for graduate students. Awards are based on undergraduate GPA. Students are considered for the Carr Academic Graduate Scholarship upon their acceptance into the College of Graduate Studies and Research. No application is required.

Departmental Scholarships

For a complete list of available scholarships, see the Scholarship Programs website.

  •  Drs. Nusrat & Moulali Shaik Scholarship
    Donor Drs. Nusrat & Moulali Shaik
    Eligibility Students desiring to pursue an education in pre-medicine.  The student should be a junior or senior and will be chosen by the ASU Health Professions Advisory Committee
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Dr. Charles Livingston Scholarship
    Donor JoAnna Livingston Fenton
    Eligibility To be determined by the Biology Department professors
    Amount $500
    Number One per year
  • Dr. Crosby W. Jones Research Scholarship
    Donor JoAnna Livingston Fenton
    Eligibility To be determined by the Biology Department professors
    Amount $500
    Number One per year
  • Dr. Merrill W. Everhart Memorial Scholarship
    Donor Estate of Mrs. Julia Tidwell Everhart
    Eligibility Junior students majoring in one of the natural sciences with a 3.0 or better GPA
    Amount Variable
    Number One per year
  • Dr. William A. and Randi Buche Biology Scholarship
    Donor Dr. William A. and Randi Buche
    Eligibility Graduate student pursuing a Master of Science degree in Biology or Biology-Science Education.  Preference will be given to a student not receiving the Carr Scholarship.
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Elizabeth Ann H. Alexander
    Eligibility Students majoring in biology, biochemistry, chemistry or physics. Must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better and demonstrate financial need.
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Gary Sanderford Science Memorial Scholarship
    Donor Family and friends of Gary Sanderford
    Eligibility San Angelo Central High School graduates majoring in the sciences
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Head-of-the-River Ranch Scholarship
    Donor Edie and Ford Boulware
    Eligibility Students majoring in the biological sciences
    Amount $200–$1,000
    Number Two or more per year
  • James Michael Archer Biological Scholarship
    Donor Family and friends of James Michael Archer
    Eligibility Deserving junior or senior, or graduate student majoring in biology
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Lloyd R. Hershberger and Raleigh F. Trotter Scholarship For Medical Technology
    Donor West Texas Medical Laboratory Association
    Eligibility ASU senior student participating in a hospital program (internship) for medical technology
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Ruth Dempsey-Ballinger Memorial Scholarship
    Donor Family and Friends of Ruth Dempsey-Ballinger (’76, ASU-summa cum laude)
    Eligibility Deserving women students in the Biology Department/Alpha Chi for academic excellence and service to the university.
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • San Angelo Community Medical Center Auxiliary Scholarship
    Donor San Angelo Community Medical Center Auxiliary
    Eligibility Junior and senior students majoring in any medical-related field with a 3.0 GPA and who graduated from a high school in Texas
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable
  • Thelma Casey, Mary and Glenn Casey Memorial Scholarship
    Donor Danny Casey and Terry Casey
    Eligibility Junior and senior students majoring in natural sciences, 3.0 or higher GPA, with financial need
    Amount Variable
    Number Variable


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