Biology

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

Master's programs are available both full-time and in a part-time format designed for working professionals. The part-time program allows working professionals to work full-time while attending courses during the evening and can be completed in two years or less. 

Graduate students in a biology lab at Tufts University
  • Degree Offerings
  • Full-Time and Part-Time M.S. Tracks
  • Faculty
  • Application Requirements
  • Contact the Department

Apply Now

Request Information

Questions about your application?

Contact us:

Office of Graduate Admissions
Bendetson Hall
Medford, MA 02155
(617) 627-3395
gradadmissions@tufts.edu

M.S. in Biology
Tufts' master's program in biology develops the student's ability to think creatively and critically about a range of biological subject matters and to study current research in biology through graduate courses, seminars, and research experience.  
 

All courses are taught by leading researchers in topics ranging from macromolecules and gene expression. Students learn state-of-the-art laboratory skills that drive translational research, bridging theory to application.

Applications for the master's degree programs are accepted for fall or spring semester, and students are eligible for tuition scholarships from the university. 
 
Our program offers two options for the M.S. degree:
 
  • Open Choice M.S. 
  • Open Choice M.S. with a Focus on Functional Genomics
Open Choice M.S. - The Open Choice M.S. is designed for students wishing to upgrade their expertise in the biology professions, explore or expand their interest in research, and/or broaden their base for making future career choices in the biological sciences. 
 
Open Choice M.S. with Functional Genomics Focus This part-time track of the Open Choice M.S. program offers a focus in Functional Genomics and is designed for students who wish to work full-time while completing their degree. It is an excellent fit for professionals in Boston’s robust biotechnology industry. The Functional Genomics track equips graduates with the skills needed to contribute effectively to enterprising research on genomic, biomedical, or commercial projects.
 
M.S. in Biology Learning Objectives
  • Develop thorough competency in a specific area of study to drive their selection of career concentration
  • Engage in advanced study on a topic; present an organized professional talk on a current scientific topic supported by critical analysis of data from primary literature
  • Update and/or upgrade professional credentials in support of career development and promotion
  • Accelerate career development by attending professional development workshops, such as those presented by GSAS
  • Show awareness of their professional behavior and responsibilities (integrity, ethical behavior, timely e-communication, and ability to work with diverse groups of people) and the importance of engaging professionally with all constituent groups, including students, faculty, and the public.

 

Ph.D. in Biology
The primary goal of the department's doctoral program is to develop independent, creative research scientists which 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:
 

 

Open Choice M.S. Track 

The Open Choice M.S. in Biology requires 30 semester hour units (SHUs) typically earned from ten courses of 3 SHUs each, and can be completed either full-time or part-time. One of the ten courses must be a seminar. 

Pathways to Tufts: Part-Time Open Choice M.S. with a Focus in Functional Genomics

Using a trimester format for graduate coursework, the part-time Open Choice M.S. in Biology with a focus in Functional Genomics allows working professionals to work full-time while attending courses during the evening, allowing completion of the program in less than 2 years. Credit requirements are the same as the full-time track Open Choice M.S. program.

Sample Part-Time Schedule*

Term
Courses
Offered
Fall Semester Programming & 'R' for Biologists

Advanced Genomics OR Regenerative Biology
Monday, 6-9PM


Evening
Spring Semester BME 262: Molecular Biotechnology

BIO 196: Advanced Genetics & Genome Editing
Monday, 6-9PM

Tuesday and Thursday, 6-9PM
Summer Session 1 BIO 168: Biotech Process Project Lab Monday and Wednesday, 6-9:30PM
Summer Session 2 BIO 152: Biochemistry & Cellular Metabolism Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30-9:30PM
Fall Semester BIO 132: Biostatistics

Elective (E.g. Immunology or Regenerative Medicine)
Thursday, 6:30-9:30PM

Evening
Spring Semester BME 154: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

PSY 111: Psychiatric Meds in Children
Tuesday, 6-9PM


Monday, 6:30-9PM

 

*This is a sample schedule. Course offerings and schedule are subject to change. 

Faculty

Eric Tytell
Eric D. Tytell
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Biomechanics and Neural Control of Locomotion
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
Professor
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 - Professor
Michael Levin
Vannevar Bush Professor
Ph.D , Harvard Medical School
Developmental Biology: Morphological and behavioral information processing in living systems
Sara M. Lewis
Professor
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
Sergei Mirkin
White Family Chair in Biology
Ph.D. , Russian Academy of Sciences
Genetics and Molecular Biology, DNA structure and functioning
Colin M. Orians
Professor
Ph.D. , Pennsylvania State University
Plant Ecology and Plant-Herbivore Interactions
Jan A. Pechenik
Professor
Ph.D. , University of Rhode Island
Invertebrate Zoology and Marine Biology
J. Michael Reed
Professor
Ph.D. , North Carolina State University
Avian ecology and conservation biology
L. Michael Romero
Professor
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 Trimmer - Professor
Barry Trimmer
Professor
Ph.D , University of Cambridge
Neurobiology, Neuromechanics and Biorobotics
Benjamin Wolfe
Assistant Professor
Ph.D. , Harvard University
Ecology and evolution of microbial communities

Application Deadline


Fall: December 1 (Ph.d.) and February 15 (Open Choice M.S.)
Spring: October 15 (Open Choice M.S.)

Fall Pathways M.S. Part-time Track: June 1
Spring Pathways M.S. Part-time Track: December 1

Doctorate:

> Application fee
Resume/CV
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
Transcripts
Three letters of recommendation

Masters:

> Application fee
> Resume/CV
> 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.)
- GRE scores are not required for current Tufts undergraduates applying for Open Choice M.S

> Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
> Transcripts
> Three letters of recommendation

For questions about this program, including scholarships and assistantships, please contact the graduate program director, Associate Professor Eric Tytell.

Students interested in part-time study should contact pathwaysgsas@tufts.edu

Department of Biology
163 Packard Ave.
Medford, MA 02155

Office: 617.627.3195
Fax: 617.627.3805