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Master of Science in Biology

Cleveland State University has teamed up with department faculty and staff members of The Lerner Research Institute (LRI) at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) to work in cooperation to offer graduate training in a broad range of biological sciences. For example, molecular and cell biologists at both Cleveland State and the LRI study regulation of signal transduction and gene transcription in cell division, programmed cell death, and cell differentiation in the context of normal development and disease states that include cancer, cardiovascular disease, and autoimmune and neurological disorders.

Other Cleveland State faculty participate in several programs focusing on local ecological and environmental issues that provide opportunities for graduate research. These include the Cuyahoga River Watershed Project and the OhioView consortium on remote sensing. 

The non-thesis Masters program offers as a possible specialization a track in Museum Studies for Natural Historians. The graduate program is open to full-time and part-time students as well as to non-degree students who are preparing themselves for entry into degree programs or are seeking to keep abreast of new developments in their fields of interest.

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Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental Sciences
Phone: 216.687.2440


Admission Requirements

  • Application Form
  • Application Fee
  • Undergraduate Transcripts
  • Two letters of recommendation
    • From individuals who are familiar with your work and can assess your academic preparation, abilities, and accomplishments. These may be from previous instructors, supervisors or professional colleagues who are familiar with your recent activities.
  • GRE Test Scores
  • Statement of Personal Career Goals & Research Interests

*Admission to the program is based on a combination of a candidate’s undergraduate GPA and the GRE score.  

-International students are required to have met at least one of the following English language proficiency requirements:

  • TOEFL iBT (Internet-Based): 78 & at least 17 in each section
  • TOEFL PBT (Paper-Based): 550
  • IELTS: 6.0 and at least 5.0 in each section
  • PTE (Pearson’s Test of English): 50
  • iTEP: 3.8

Admission Deadlines

All applications must be submitted and complete on the following application deadline dates:

  • Domestic Students
    • Rolling
  • International Students
    • Fall Semester - July 21st
    • Spring Semester - December 10th
    • Summer Semester - April 14th

Program Requirements

  • BIO 500 - Graduate Orientation
  • BIO 502 - Graduate Orientation
  • BIO 504 - Biological Chemistry
  • BIO 540 - Biostatistics or an equivalent college statistics course
  • BIO 688 - Graduate Seminar (M.S.) (at least three completions)
  • BIO 684 - Research Seminar

Each student formulates an individual plan of study in consultation with the Major Advisor and the Advisory Committee. This includes areas of course-work concentration as well as any additional elective courses needed to fulfill degree requirements. Finally, the degree requires a thesis, based on original scientific research of sufficient quality for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Did You Know?

Employment of biological technicians is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics


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Career Outcomes

  • Graduates are employed in research, teaching, and administrative positions in private industry, hospitals, governmental agencies, environmental action groups, and colleges and universities in the Cleveland area, throughout the United States, and abroad. The graduate program also attracts established teachers, research scientists, and management and staff in diverse businesses with a biological or biomedical focus.
  • Positions graduates can obtain include: biological research supervisor, research associate, bioinformatics technician, instructor, molecular biologist, research assistant, and professor.
  • These are some of the local companies that are hiring CSU grads: Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University, Agricultural Research Center, Battelle, ScottsMiracle-Gro, and ComResource.