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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.)

Application Deadlines

March 1 for fall semester admission
November 1 for spring semester admission​

Course Requirements

View course details.

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.​​​​ ​​

Program Goals

A student graduating with a Master of Arts in Biology will acquire expertise in a specific area of biology, and skills in critical-thinking and science communication through a student-developed, faculty-mentored research project.

Students in the M.A. in Biology program will:

  1. Critically evaluate and synthesize scientific literature.
  2. Design an original, rigorous research project.
  3. Master a set of laboratory or field skills, and apply analytical methods to interpret results.
  4. Effectively communicate scientific knowledge and research through oral defense and written thesis.
  5. Be prepared to pursue graduate and professional programs in human and veterinary medicine, and careers in industry, government, non-government organizations and academia.

Page last updated: January 24, 2020