Contemporary biology is built on understanding life at the molecular, cellular, organismal, population and community levels. The Department of Biology is dedicated to providing a unified and comprehensive view of biological processes for our students.

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Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395

M.S. in Biology
The primary goal of the M.S. program is to develop the student's ability to think creatively and critically about a range of biological subject matter and to become familiar with current research in biology. This is done principally through graduate courses, seminars, and research experience with a faculty member. 
Our program offers two options for the M.S. degree:
  • Open Choice M.S. 
  • Thesis M.S.
Open Choice M.S. - This program is designed for students wishing to upgrade their expertise in the biology professions, explore or expand their interest in research, or broaden their base for making future career choices in the biological sciences. 
Thesis M.S. - This program is designed for students who wish to gain an in-depth research experience.
Ph.D. in Biology
The primary goal of the department's doctoral program is to develop independent, creative research scientists. This is accomplished through research training, graduate-level courses, seminars, and teaching experience. Entering students are assigned an advisory committee of three faculty members who work with the student to plan a suitable program based on the student's experience and interests.
The graduate program in biology is arranged into five concentrations, each with an advisor and a core of faculty researchers:



Sergei Mirkin
Professor and Chair
Ph.D. , Russian Academy of Sciences
Genetics and Molecular Biology, DNA structure and functioning
Harry Bernheim
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Michigan
Human Physiology and Immunology
Elizabeth Crone
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Duke University
Population ecology and dynamics
Erik B. Dopman
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Cornell University
Evolution and Genetics of Natural Populations
George S. Ellmore
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of California, Berkeley
Experimental Plant Anatomy and Morphology
Susan G. Ernst
Ph.D. , University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Developmental Biology
Stephen M. Fuchs
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chemical Biology and Molecular Biology
Juliet A. Fuhrman
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Johns Hopkins University
Immunology and Infectious Disease
Julia Gouvea
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , University of California, Davis
Biology education
Michael Levin
Ph.D. , Harvard Medical School
Morphological and behavioral information processing in living systems
Sara M. Lewis
Ph.D. , Duke University
Evolutionary and Behavioral Ecology
Kelly McLaughlin
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Molecular Development (Organogenesis)
Mitch McVey
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Molecular biology, genomic instability
Colin M. Orians
Ph.D. , Pennsylvania State University
Plant Ecology and Plant-Herbivore Interactions
Jan A. Pechenik
Ph.D. , University of Rhode Island
Invertebrate Zoology and Marine Biology
J. Michael Reed
Ph.D. , North Carolina State University
Avian ecology and conservation biology
L. Michael Romero
Ph.D. , Stanford University
Physiology and Neuroendocrinology of Stress in Vertebrate
Philip Starks
Associate Professor
Ph.D. , Cornell University
Animal Behavior: Recognition systems, evolution of sociality, parasite and host relationships, behavioral and chemical communication, invasion genetics
Barry A. Trimmer
Ph.D. , University of Cambridge, England
Neurobiology: Cellular and Molecular Processes in Behavior
Eric D. Tytell
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Biomechanics and Neural Control of Locomotion
Benjamin Wolfe
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Ecology and evolution of microbial communities

Application Deadline

Fall: December 15 (MS Thesis and PhD) and February 15 (Open Choice MS)
Spring: October 15 (Open Choice MS)


> Application Fee
Personal Statement
Official GRE required

GRE Subject Test in biology, biochemistry*, or chemistry strongly recommended

* The biology department is aware that the Biochemistry Subject Test was discontinued in December 2016. Scores may still be reported for five years after the testing date.

> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
Three Letters of Recommendation

For questions about this program, including scholarships and assistantships, please contact the graduate program director, Professor Catherine Freudenreich.

Department of Biology
163 Packard Ave.
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.3195
Fax: 617.627.3805