Biology M.A. or M.S.

Rooted in Research, Customized for Your Career Goals

The cornerstone of the graduate biology programs at Saint Joseph's University is scientific research.  These programs offer small, hands-on learning environments and afford students the choice of earning a Master of Science (M.S.) or a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in Biology.

The M.S. program is full-time and designed to be completed within two years, while the M.A. program accommodates both full and part-time students. 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.

M.S. Program

The M.S. program focuses on not only increasing students’ factual understanding of a wide range of life science topics but also on developing and refining their skills as experimental scientists. Therefore, all M.S. students are required to conduct original research under the guidance of a biology faculty member. This research project typically spans two years. M.S. students then prepare a written thesis and give a public presentation of their findings as a department seminar.

M.A. Program

The M.A. program is focused on traditional coursework. M.A. students are often seeking to improve their academic credentials in order to pursue admission to a professional school program, for promotion within the secondary education system, or within corporate settings. While the M.A. program is designed around traditional classroom experiences, students are also encouraged to participate in original research with biology faculty members.

Exposure to Wide Range of Disciplines

Research and courses are offered in wide range of biological disciplines, including:

  • Molecular biology
  • Microbiology
  • Environmental biology
  • Anatomy
  • Behavior
  • Plant biology
  • Physiology
  • Developmental biology
  • Computer modeling
  • Mycology


Equipped for Cutting-Edge Curriculum, Research

The department is well-equipped both for teaching and research. 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.


Ready to Learn More?

For more information about the Biology graduate program, contact the Graduate Program Director Edwin Li, Ph.D. at or 610-660-1888.

Program Success Message: 

A Program with Proven Results

  • SJU Biology grads were about twice as likely to be employed in STEM jobs compared to national averages*
  • Two-year graduation rate was also nearly double that reported for STEM programs by the Council of Graduate Schools*
  • About one fourth of our graduates go directly into the STEM workforce, while about half continue their education in doctoral programs of various kinds.  The remainder go into science education and a variety of other fields.*

** Based on a six-year evaluation