2 years
Aug Jan
Study mode
Tuition fee (entire course)
Foreign students
USD 40,000
Other costs
Other costs apply

About this course

The biological sciences department offers a MS in Biology with both Thesis and Non-Thesis Options. Courses are available in biotechnology, molecular and cellular biology, microbiology, human biology, and ecology. Graduate level elective courses are offered in the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters, making it possible to graduate with a non-thesis option in just three semesters. A diverse course schedule accommodates both full-time and part-time students. Our MS degree program provides an exceptional opportunity for professional development as well as a bridge to doctoral or health professional programs. 

The thesis option should be strongly considered by students interested in eventually applying to Ph.D. programs. A thesis student may take fewer courses but more research credit under the supervision of a major professor.    Areas of specializations include Biotechnology (focusing molecular biology or genetics), Physiology/Cell Biology, Microbiology, or Ecology.  Fifteen credits in formal courses, one credit in seminar and fourteen credits in thesis research.  Up to three credits of thesis research can be substituted by special assignment (independent study, research and reading).  Students exercising this option must submit a formal research proposal, conduct the research, write a thesis, and pass an oral defense before a faculty committee.

Entry Requirements

Statement of purpose:
  • Submit a statement of 300-500 words concerning the applicant’s purpose for undertaking or continuing graduate study, reasons for wanting to study at Purdue, and professional plans, career goals, and research interests.  Applicants may also explain any special circumstances applicable to their background and elaborate on their abilities, awards, achievements, scholarly publications, and/or professional history.
  • Submit two official transcripts from all universities listed on the application.  The Department will not accept a 3 year international baccalaureate degree.
Graduate Record Examination (GRE):
  • Applicants are required to submit GRE scores from their general GRE test including: verbal, quantitative, and analytic writing sections.
  • Test applications are available from Educational Testing Services (ETS) and should be submitted to the students to ETS before the examination.   

The Graduate School accepts valid TOEFL scores earned through the paper-based test and Internet-based test.  Institutional TOEFL scores (ITP) are not accepted. The minimum paper-based test score required for admission is 550. The minimum Internet-based test scores required for admission are the following:

  • Writing 18
  • Speaking 18
  • Listening 14
  • Reading 19
  • Total 77