MS and MA Programs

The Department of Biology at Saint Joseph's University offers programs leading to the Master of Science (MS) and Master of Arts (MA) degrees in Biology. The MS program is a thesis-based, full time program and designed to be completed within two years. The MA program is course-based and accommodates both full and part time students. Undergraduate students enrolled at SJU with majors in Biology or Environmental Science may be able to complete a combined 5-year BS/MA or BS/MS degree.  

The goal of the MS and MA programs is the advanced training of students in a broad range of subjects within the life sciences. Students in both programs are required to take both lecture and seminar style courses.  Most of the lecture courses offered in the Department also have a lab component.  MS students require the completion of a research thesis, and MA students have the opportunity to conduct research for credits.

Fields of Study

The faculty in the Department of Biology teach a wide range of courses, including Advanced Cell Biology, Immunology, Biochemistry, Bacterial Pathogenesis, Microbiology, Neurobiology, Physiology, Histopathology, Comparative Anatomy, Animal Behavior, and Bioinformatics.  MS and MA students have the opportunity to conduct research in the fields of cell biology, environmental and molecular microbiology, behavioral genetics, neuroscience, mycology, paleontology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and animal behavior.

The department is well-equipped both for teaching and research at the undergraduate and graduate level. Major equipment available includes transmission, scanning and confocal microscopes, tissue culture facilities, an extensive vivarium, and sophisticated plant growth chambers as well as a rooftop greenhouse and experimental green roof.

Financial Assistance

Full-time M.S. students are eligible for graduate teaching assistantships that provide a stipend and a scholarship for tuition. Qualified students may find employment as assistants in introductory undergraduate laboratories.


The MA and MS programs have prepared many students for professional schools (PA, DMD, MD, DO) and PhD programs.  Recent graduates have moved on to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University Kornberg School of Dentistry, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Johns Hopkins University, Kansas State University, Ohio University, and Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

SJU increased research maturity and allowed me to explore what parts of science were most exciting to me.
Gregory Way (MS, 2014), PhD Candidate
Genomics and Computational Biology
University of Pennsylvania

My experience at SJU served as a great foundation to understand the technologies we're wrestling with every day -- especially the fundamentals of biologics manufacturing we learned in Biotechnology.
Carl Minniti (MA, 2013), JD, MBA

Associate, Litigation Department, Paul Hastings

SJU introduced me to a field of research that I've fallen in love with, and pursued through my graduate career and beyond.
Krishna Mudumbi (MS, 2013), PhD
Postdoctoral associate, Yale University

The SJU Grad program...prepared me for clinical research... They offered outstanding high level biology and physiology courses...refined my presentation skills... Most importantly, taught me integrity and professionalism.
Joseph Moran (BS, 2011; MS, 2013), DO
Internal Medicine Resident Physician
Lehigh Valley Health Network

Excellent mentorship from all faculty, not just my committee, coupled with their exceptional knowledge and experience, really made the difference for me.
Philip Freda (MS, 2014), PhD Candidate
Department of Entomology
Kansas State University