MS in Biological Sciences
The MS degree is aimed at students with an undergraduate education in Biology or a
related discipline who want to develop their research skills as well as their knowledge
base. The MS degree often provides the best preparation for students who want to work
as research technicians, teach biology at the high school or community college level,
or are interested in refining their research interests before progressing to a PhD.
Graduates of our MS program work as research technicians for local, state and federal
agencies (e.g., the North Slope Borough, Yukon River Intertribal Watershed Council,
Alaska Department of Fish and Game, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey);
for environmental consulting and nonprofit organizations (e.g., The Audubon Society,
The Nature Conservancy, Alaska Sea Life Center, Ducks Unlimited, Defenders of Wildlife),
in private industry (e.g., Zymogenetics), and as teachers in high schools and educational
outreach programs (e.g., the Alaska Coastal Institute).
The MS degree combines coursework with independent research. Students work with a small graduate advisory committee to develop a research program and generate a course plan that supports their research interests. An MS thesis is expected to include at least one manuscript suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The MS degree can be completed in about two years, although students with field-based research who start in the fall may take longer.