Pursuing your graduate degree in biological sciences can open the door for career opportunities in a number of areas. Ecology, population and environmental biology, microbiology and genetics are just a few of the possibilities.To get started, you need to choose a higher education program that offers the degree and any subareas you wish to explore.Location and prestige are often major factors in selecting a college, and there are a few schools in different regions of the U.S. that stand out in academic excellence for biological sciences.
It’s no surprise that Princeton and MIT are two of the best graduate schools in the northeast for biological sciences. At Princeton, students can seek their master’s in molecular biology with concentrations in areas like genetics, neuroscience and cell biology. In addition to rigorous academics, the department is also known for its successful outreach program that works to educate local students and community members in biological science. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge also offers an excellent biological sciences program, with specialties in biochemistry, microbiology and neurobiology. In addition to classroom experiences, first-year grad students spend much of their time rotating among labs to discover their unique interests before choosing a concentration.
Duke University in North Carolina is ideal for students interested in obtaining their master’s degree en route to their doctorate. As one of the top biology departments in the nation, Duke offers a number of diverse specialties in different areas of ecology and biology, and grad students here can tailor their academic program to their particular interests. The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas is another prestigious option for graduate students interested in biomedical science. UT Southwestern has received several awards for excellence, and the distinguished faculty includes five Nobel Laureates. There are 14 degree programs available, so students can concentrate their studies in a particular sub-field within this branch of biological science.
The Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago uses an interdisciplinary approach to give students a wide base of knowledge and skills, regardless of their specialty area within the department. Joint degrees are offered, and the university is also partnered with different science and medical institutes to give students even more academic opportunities. The program at the University of Wisconsin in Madison prides itself on taking students’ career aspirations into account, working with students individually to create academic plans that align with their professional goals. The department is also renowned for its top-of-the-line labs and cutting edge research.
Stanford University in California holds the top spot for graduate biological science studies, and its biology department has four major research areas: molecular biology, plant biology, marine biology and population and evolutionary biology. The master’s program consists of course and lab work at both the Stanford campus and the Hopkins Marine Station. The University of Washington offers a broad-based biology department for graduate students, with excellent flexibility in creating customized academic plans. Its location in Seattle, which is one of nation’s largest intellectual hubs for biology, also gives students access to top-notch labs and other facilities.
- Princeton University Molecular Biology: Graduate Program in Molecular Biology
- MIT Department of Biology: Life as a Biology Graduate Student
- Duke University Biology Department: About the Department
- University of Texas Southwestern Medical School: Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
- University of Chicago Biological Sciences: Education
- University of Wisconsin Madison: Program Strengths
- Stanford Department of Biology: Why Coterm in Biology?
- University of Washington: Why choose UW-Biology?
Suzy Kerr graduated from Grady School of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Georgia. She completed her Master's degree in Nutrition Sciences, also at the University of Georgia. Suzy has been a successful health, fitness and nutrition writer for more than 10 years, and has been published in various print and online publications.