Graduate: Biology


Girard School of Business


Master of Science in Biology graduate degree requirements

Merrimack’s Master of Science in Biology features a project-based curriculum that combines classroom coursework with mentoring and hands-on experience in experimental research. Students will not only deepen their knowledge of a biological discipline, but also graduate with the leadership skills to succeed in either an advanced graduate degree program or the growing life sciences field.

The Master of Science in Biology degree requires a minimum of 32 credits of course work, including:

  • 16 credits from the core curriculum,  8 of which are from faculty-mentored graduate experimental research
  • 16 elective credits, which may optionally be focused on a concentration in either Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences or Environmental Biology

In order to complete the master’s program in one calendar year, students must take at least two courses during the summer.

Core Courses (16 credits)

BIO 6001: Survey of Methods in Biological Sciences (4 cr)

Graduate students will survey different methods in research as they work closely with various faculty members of the Department of Biology in intensive laboratory and/or field-based project settings. They will learn how to execute experiments in various disciplines and the theory behind the use of standard and cutting-edge techniques and equipment. For example, in a cell biology focused project, students would learn to operate the confocal laser scanning microscope, fluorescent microscope, automated cell counter, UV/vis gel and chemiluminescent detection systems; UV/Vis automated spectrophotometer; nanodrop spectrophotometer, thermal cycler, qPCR lightcycler, microtome, and plate reader. In addition, students would learn to prepare chemical and biological reagents necessary to use these instruments and execute experiments. Safe research practices will be emphasized.

BIO 6011-13: Graduate Research (two semesters, 8 cr)

Research is the underpinning of modern biological sciences. This course features an intensive independent and faculty directed research experience involving bench or field work, literature review, experimental design, data analysis and presentation.

BIO 5501: Research Seminar (2 cr)

Students will gather weekly to discuss their ongoing research projects, delve into the literature related to their research, and critique poster and oral presentations of their projects for public venues.

BIO 5502: Careers in Biology (2 cr)

An exploration of the diverse fields into which biologists might find career paths. Graduate students will be involved in running the course with an instructor. Invited speakers, field trips. Undergraduates may also enroll.

Electives (16 credits)

General Biology Electives

The following electives fitbothconcentration categories.

  • Mathematics and Statistics in Biology
  • Embryonic Development
  • Evolution
  • Human Physiology and Anatomy
  • Microbiology
  • Natural Medicine
  • Phytotechnology
  • Special Topics
  • Graduate Research (third semester)

Environmental Biology Electives

  • Plant Biology
  • Plant Physiology 
  • Animal Behavior
  • Marine Biology
  • Conservation and Restoration Biology

Biotechnology and Biomedical Science Electives

  • Immunology
  • Human Genetics and Personalized Medicine
  • Cancer Biology 
  • Cellular Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
  • Cell Biology

See for more detailed course descriptions.

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