Best Online Master’s in Biology

Best Online Master’s in Biology

Find top-ranked online master’s in biology degree programs to prepare students for roles as marine biologists, biochemists, educators, public health officials, and more.

A master’s degree in biology is an advanced degree designed for students who plan to work in fields like pharmacology, healthcare, environmental sciences, epidemiology, science education, and more. This advanced degree is typically research-intensive, and provides students the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and understanding in a specific area of biology such as biophysics, microbiology, biochemistry, marine biology, genetics, and much more.

The master’s degree in biology can usually be earned either online or in-person, though your program may require some in-person practicum or laboratory work. In most cases, students will earn the required 30-50 credits over a period of one to two years. Graduates will qualify to work as science educators, post-secondary adjuncts, researchers, forensics experts, public health officials, and much more.

Best Online Master's in Biology Degree Programs
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How do we determine the best online biology master's degree programs?

Methodology

Pursuing your degree online doesn’t mean you need to settle for an inferior school. Today, most universities and colleges offer online degrees, and many respected schools are seeing significant growth in their numbers of online students.

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence — i.e., the academic impact of faculty and alumni associated with a school — gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. The combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. For our online degree rankings, we focus on the academic influence of faculty and alumni in the specific disciplines we’re ranking.

If you are serious about finding the best online colleges, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Best Online Master’s in Biology Degree Programs

  1. #1

    University of Missouri

    Columbia , MO
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    82%

    Graduation

    73%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1230/26

    Online Degrees

    MS in Biological Engineering (Non Thesis)
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. #5

    Nova Southeastern University

    Fort Lauderdale , FL

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/24

    Online Degrees

    MS in Biological Sciences
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #7

    West Liberty University

    West Liberty , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    68%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Biology
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MA in Biology
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #10

    Troy University

    Troy , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    Online Degrees

    MS in Environmental and Biological Science
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #11

    University of West Alabama

    Livingston , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/20

    Online Degrees

    MS in Conservation Biology
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: 1-2 years
    • Format: Online
  6. #12

    Stevenson University

    Stevenson , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Online Degrees

    MS in Forensic Science Plus Biology Bs+Ms Program
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    MS in Healthcare Management Plus Biology Bs+Ms Program
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #13

    Lewis University

    Romeoville , IL

    Tuition + fees

    $35K

    Acceptance

    66%

    Graduation

    70%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/24

    Online Degrees

    MS in Data Science

    Concentrations

    • Computational Biology And Bioinformatics
    • Computer Science
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  8. #14

    University of Saint Joseph

    West Hartford , CT

    Tuition + fees

    $43K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    56%

    Student body

    2K

    Online Degrees

    MS in Biology
    • Required Credits: 30-36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Best Online Master’s in Biology Education

  1. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1363/28

    Online Degrees

    MEd in Education

    Concentrations

    • Secondary Education (Biology, Chemistry, English Language, History, Mathematics, Physics) 6-12
    • Required Credits: 33
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  2. Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1055/21

    Online Degrees

    MEd in Secondary Education

    Concentrations

    • Specialization: Biology
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  3. #5

    Troy University

    Troy , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    Online Degrees

    MEd in Secondary Education

    Concentrations

    • Biology, General Science, Mathematics, Social Science (6-12)
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    MS in Environmental and Biological Science
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  4. #6

    Concord University

    Athens , WV
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    91%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1000/20

    Online Degrees

    MA in Teaching

    Concentrations

    • Biological Sciences 9-Adult
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  5. #7

    Stevenson University

    Stevenson , MD

    Tuition + fees

    $38K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    62%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Online Degrees

    MEd in Integrative Learning Plus Biology Bs+Ms Program
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Teaching Plus Biology Bs+Ms Program
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: 4-5 years
    • Format: Online
    MA in Teaching

    Concentrations

    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Earth And Space Science
    • Physical Science
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Required Credits: None Reported
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  6. Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    58%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1100/21

    Online Degrees

    MEd in Adolescence Education

    Concentrations

    • Biology
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 2-3 years
    • Format: Online
  7. #9

    Columbia College

    Columbia , SC

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    97%

    Graduation

    66%

    Student body

    1K

    Online Degrees

    MBio in Biology For Science Educator
    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 20 months
    • Format: Online
  8. #10

    Columbus State University

    Columbus , GA

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    78%

    Graduation

    38%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/20

    Online Degrees

    MAT in Secondary Biology
    • Required Credits: 39
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  9. #11

    Faulkner University

    Montgomery , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    Online Degrees

    MEd in Curriculum And Instruction

    Concentrations

    • Elementary K-6
    • Secondary 6-12 Biology
    • Secondary 6-12 History
    • Secondary 6-12 Mathematics
    • Secondary 6-12 English/Language Arts
    • Required Credits: 36
    • Completion time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
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Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require some adjustment. While you’ll generally learn the same content and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, the medium will likely require you to manage much of this experience independently. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, your ability to harness the technology at your fingertips, and your ability to focus on the lectures, lessons, and assignments at hand. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take it upon yourself to build relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

No. The only part of online education that’s easier is actually getting there. Taking the commute out of the equation means getting to class should be a lot more manageable. But that’s where it ends. In general, your online courses will incorporate the very same materials, concepts, and testing methods as would a traditional classroom.

And in many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning or working with remote learning technology for the first time, online college may even be a little more challenging for you. For a few insights on how to manage this new experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable institutions and less-than-reputable for-profit schools. Accreditation gives you the power to differentiate between the two. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency which indicates that a college or university is meeting standards of quality, credibility, and currency. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

Attending a college or university which is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. When seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that students opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree.

As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited, you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer. In many cases, you will be required to navigate a bureaucracy in which some of your credits will be transferred and others will be jettisoned. However, provided that you have attended an online school with the proper regional accreditation, you should have plenty of options for transfer.

In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript or resume differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

While some employers may express concern about making the adjustment from online education to in-person workplace collaboration, many other employers will view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st Century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will require some adjustment.

While there is much that can be supplanted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing which can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual classroom setting. As you make the adjustment to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face is overcoming this difference in order to the get the most out of your classes. Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

The advantages of online classes are many. First and foremost, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities—educational experiences that you can complete on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

Resources for Prospective Grad Students