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Online Master’s Degree in Biology

An online masters degree in biology can be a great option for an individual already possessing a bachelor’s degree in biology, or related field, to build on their existing knowledge of the subject. The degree provides advanced theoretical knowledge in the field of biology, and can be a great option for someone pursuing a career in biological research, or as a college professor. Students enrolled in an online masters degree program in biology program gain an advanced understanding of living organisms from the cellular level to the makeup of animal, plant, fish, and human life.

Classes for an Online Masters Degree in Applied Biology

An online masters degree program in biology requires that students complete a great deal of reading, and from these readings, they must create original research and writings to reflect their understanding of specific topics within the field. Students in an online program will study current issues in biology such as the conservation of plant, animal, and marine life, in addition to gaining a better understanding of biological functions in humans and animals. Students can also choose to study very specific fields such as the study of biology in a certain regions of the world, or through the specific study living things, like reptiles or fungi. Some classes you can expect to see are:

  • Issues in Bioethics
  • Insect Diversity
  • Immunology
  • Hawaiian Biology
  • Evolution of Epidemics

Most online biology masters degrees will require students to complete lab work on campus, and almost all will require the student to complete their own independent research for their final thesis. Students must select a certain topic or project to pursue through independent or small group work, and usually must be approved by a professor, or department head. Once the proposal has been approved, students must defend their thesis before a faculty panel.

A Career as a Graduate with an Online Masters Degree in Biology

There are a number of different careers that a graduate of an online masters program in biology can pursue, but one example is a wildlife biologist. Wildlife biologists, also known as zoologists, perform a variety of scientific tests and experiments. For example, they use geographic information systems, modeling software, and other computer programs to estimate populations of certain animal, plant, and fish species, in addition to tracking the behavioral patterns wildlife. They usually work with specific organizations to gain a better understanding a certain species, or develop wildlife management and conservation plans to ensure certain species or ecosystems are protected. Most split their time between working in offices or laboratories, and gathering data and studying species in the field.

In most cases, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum education experience level required to gain entry into the field, but as the field grows, a master’s degree in biology is becoming more in-demand, and is often needed for advancement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, zoologists and wildlife biologists held approximately 19,800 jobs in 2010. The BLS also reports that employment for wildlife biologists are expected to grow by only 7% through the year 2020, which is slower than the average of all occupations. This will put individuals possessing at least a master’s degree in high demand.

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