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Master of Science

About the Program

Looking to advance your career in the biological and health sciences? In the Master of Science in Biology program at Case Western Reserve University, you’ll benefit from a supportive and collaborative environment as you complete our demanding yet flexible curriculum. Through intensive coursework, research in labs and in the field, internships and other training opportunities, you’ll broaden your understanding of biology—and you’ll be prepared for a wide range of career paths. Our recent graduates have been accepted into highly selective PhD programs and have taken on research-focused jobs in academia, industry and healthcare. 

What to Expect

You’ll work alongside dedicated faculty who have created a comprehensive curriculum on topics such as cell and developmental biology, neurobiology and neuromechanical systems, and ecology and evolutionary biology. 

We offer both thesis (Plan A) and non-thesis (Plan B) options that require a minimum of 30 semester hours of courses at the 300 level or higher. A minimum of 18 semester hours of formal coursework is required for the thesis degree, and a minimum of 24 semester hours of formal coursework for the non-thesis degree. Should you choose the thesis option, you can pursue our generalist track or specialize in entrepreneurial biotechnology, at which time you’ll focus on a real-world entrepreneurial project with an existing company or startup—connecting you with mentors, advisors, partners, funding sources and ample job opportunities. 

Becoming a scientist involves a lot of failure and even more bad ideas—two things that are encouraged in my lab. Having a lot of bad ideas means we’re one step closer to a good one, and by working together we can develop strong ideas and outcomes.

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Beyond the Classroom

At Case Western Reserve, you’ll engage in research and acquire detailed knowledge and training through faculty-student relationships, teaching assistantships, graduate student associations and mentoring. Our weekly seminar series will connect you with visiting scientists and faculty—keeping you up to date on advances in the diverse areas of the biological sciences. Plus, our collaborative research and learning space, Bio[box], will give you the opportunity to explore cutting-edge research using state-of-the-art tools with the support and guidance of faculty.

What’s more, the department is part of the BioScience Alliance, which has close partnerships with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Holden Arboretum, offering you hundreds of networking opportunities.

By the Numbers


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Admission Requirements

We welcome applicants in different stages of their academic and professional pursuits, ranging from those who are only just forming an interest in the field of biology to those working full time. As a candidate, you should have a bachelor’s degree, preferably in one of the sciences.

Tuition waivers and stipends are available for eligible MS students in good standing. Although not a guaranteed benefit, you are encouraged to ask about financial aid opportunities from faculty and staff.

When reviewing your profile for admission consideration, we require the following:

  • Completed online application
  • Statement of Objectives
  • Resume/CV
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Test Scores: TOEFL for international students (Institution code = 1105; department code = 0203). You only need to send these official documents if you are accepted; otherwise, you can upload the unofficial scores online during the application process.

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