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Estimated Completion

32-36 credit hours (18+ months)

Application Process

  1. Admission to Tarleton State University – Graduate Studies
  2. Undergraduate major in Biology (Those lacking the desired background will be require to complete appropriate leveling work.)
  3. Additional Program Application Requirements


Locations Available



M.S. in Biology


The Master of Science in Biology degree program at Tarleton offers a customized set of courses and experiences – unique to each student. This degree will enhance your biological knowledge and skill set, preparing you for leadership roles in a wide variety of careers. The Department of Biological Sciences offers the Master of Science in Biology degree with three concentrations:

  • Thesis
  • Non-thesis
  • Non-thesis Life Science Education

Designed with You in Mind

Students pursuing an M.S. in Biology, especially those with the thesis option, work directly with a faculty mentor to design and complete a research project that fits their academic and personal needs.

Degree plans for both thesis and non-thesis students are flexible and can be tailored to meet specific student interests.

The non-thesis Life Science Education option is designed for students who want to teach Life Science at the secondary level. In partnership with the College of Education, students participate in the Tarleton Model for Accelerated/Alternative Education (TMATE) program. The result is a dual-credit certified teacher!

Why pursue a master's degree in Biology?

Biology is a dynamic, ever-changing discipline, with discoveries being made every day. A master’s degree in Biology places you right where the action is, enabling you to learn about and understand new discoveries and even participate in making them. This degree is a portal to advanced career options such as:

  • Environmental Scientist
  • Field Biologist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Laboratory Supervisor
  • Secondary or Post-secondary Educator
  • Medical Professional

A master’s degree also prepares you for a Ph.D. in Biology or a related discipline.


Related Programs

Not what you were looking for? Tarleton State University offers over 100 different degrees and certifications that may be of interest to you, including:

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Plan Your Future

Career Opportunities

Career Opportunities

Students who earn an M.S. in Biology have a wide range of career options open to them, such as:

  • Environmental Consultant
  • High school Science Teacher
  • Community College Instructor
  • Biologist
  • Research Scientist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Microbiologist

And much more!

Career Services

Start Networking

Our department strongly encourages students to get connected with like-minded peers and industry experts through organizations such as:

And many more!

Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta)


Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) is a national organization whose purpose is:

  • To honor biology students who have achieved scholastic standards
  • To stimulate interest, scholarly attainment and investigation in the biological sciences
  • To promote the dissemination of information and new interpretations among students of the life sciences

Request more information about this program in:

Program Objectives

  • Provide small class sizes that will give students the benefit of individual attention from their professors.
  • Provide students with hands-on experience in biological techniques and instrumentation that is used by biologists throughout the world.
  • Students will actively engage in the research of scientific areas including Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Genetics, Microbiology, Physiology, and Virology.

Coursework Highlights

Class Number Class Name
BIOL 5086 Biological Problems
BIOL 5302 Ecological Plant Physiology
BIOL 5309 Cellular Biology
BIOL 5320 Environmental and Restoration Biology
BIOL 5361 Evolutionary Biology
BIOL 5398 Research, Design, and Analysis

For more information on courses, please refer to the university catalog.

Facilities and Features

Tarleton Environmental Society

Tarleton Environmental Society

This organization is devoted to helping minimize the impact of human activities on the environment. The Society provide a platform to spread public awareness of contemporary issues and engages students in hands-on activities. Community service and educational outreach are significant components for the Tarleton Environmental Society as well. 

Group of Students at Timberlake Ranch

Timberlake Ranch

Located on the banks of the Colorado River Timberlake Ranch provide an outdoor classroom for Tarleton students. This Biological Field Station supports a unique variety of species, diverse ecosystems and opportunities to explore ecosystem interactions as well as ecological and environmental impacts of changes in land use practices. For more information about the Timberlake Ranch, check out their website.

Tmate teacher with kids playing bingo

Tarleton Model for Accelerated Teacher Education

Highly motivated individuals with a bachelor's degree can join the TMATE program and become certified teachers at all levels. Through the TMATE program, students can work toward their master's degree while earning their Teacher Certification. Learn more about the TMATE requirements.

Tarleton Student Wildlife Society

The Student Wildlife Society

The Student Wildlife Society is the Tarleton student chapter of The Wildlife Society (TWS). TWS is an international, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization comprised of nearly 9,600 member from 60 countries. TWS represents professionals and students dedicated to the sustainable management of wildlife resources and their habits. Check out our student chapter page to learn more. 

Alpha Epsilon Delta

Alpha Epsilon Delta

Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) is an honor society for health pre-professionals. AED is dedicated to the encouragement and recognition of excellence in scholarship, including, but not limited to:

  • Medicine
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Podiatry
  • Optometry
  • Physical Therapy
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Nursing
Female student in lab looking through microscope.

Genetic Research Laboratory

In this lab, students use thermal cyclers and DNA sequencing to compare genetic relationships between a variety of organisms. This facility provide students with several opportunities to gain hands-on experience that will not only be applicable to coursework, but to their future career.

Dr. Nelson reading book on trees while outdoors with students.


In the Tarleton Herbarium, students are able to gain hands-on experience by adding dried plants to the university's collection of over 7,000 specimens, as well as by observing and documenting the distribution of existing samples.

Female student taking notes in a lab. Male student in the background.

Animal Collection

In our Animal Collection Lab, students document distributions of mammals and birds using the university's collection, which is utilized for teaching, hands-on experience for students, and as vouchers for student research.

Students stop on big rock in Puerto Rico; to have their picture taken.

Study Abroad

Our most recent study abroad trip took students to beautiful and tropical Puerto Rico. Through this program, students are introduced to diverse ecosystems, where they gain hands-on experience in Ecology field techniques, as well as learn how to maintain the sustainable use of important ecological systems.