Biological Sciences (PhD, MS, MA)

Program Overview

With programs leading to a research Master of Science (MS), a non-thesis Master of Arts (MA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), the Department of Biological Sciences provides students the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue successful careers in the life sciences. Offering a competitive breadth of knowledge while remaining sensitive to the needs of individual students, the department delivers a diverse academic experience that includes extensive faculty-student interactions and freedom to undertake interdisciplinary studies.

The graduate program in biological sciences has two tracks: biochemical, cell and molecular biology (BCMB) or ecology, evolution and behavior (EEB). These tracks can be combined or pursued concurrently with other academic interests. A 4+1 BA + MS degree and certificate programs are also available. Students are encouraged to explore faculty profile and research areas before applying.

Degrees Offered

  • PhD in Biological Sciences
  • MS in Biological Sciences
  • MA in Biological Sciences

Internships, Research Opportunities and More

Students in the BCMB track are trained in fundamental research approaches and techniques encompassing a diverse range of research topics. Research programs are problem-oriented, rather than driven by a single, specialized laboratory technology. Students may work in two or three laboratories simultaneously to pursue a research question. Students may conduct research on-site at biotechnology companies across the nation on a contract basis.

EEB students receive a well-rounded and vibrant academic experience without the dangers of overspecialization. In addition to opportunities for cross-departmental research, students can also take advantage of the University’s unique interdisciplinary Evolutionary Studies (EvoS) program and take courses on evolutionary studies or even earn a certificate in conjunction with their master’s or doctoral degree.

After You Graduate

Recent graduates are employed in positions with relevant life science businesses and organizations such as the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Kinsey Institute. Alumni have also pursued postdoctoral positions in institutions such as University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M Health Science Center, the Michigan School of Public Health and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

An undergraduate major or substantial course background in biology or chemistry desirable for admission. For the MS and PhD programs, specific Binghamton University faculty member sponsorship/support is recommended. See the advising webpage for details.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official GRE scores
    • Domestics applicants: optional
    • International applicants: required

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • Biological sciences minimum TOEFL score: 100 on the iBT
    • Biological sciences minimum IELTS score: 7.0
    • Biological sciences minimum PTE Academic score: 68
    • Biological sciences minimum Duolingo score: 120
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2022 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.


Degree Fall Spring
Biological Sciences (PhD)December 15 (Recommended) / January 15October 15 (Recommended) / December 15
Biological Sciences (MS)December 15 (Recommended) / January 15October 15 (Recommended) / December 15
Biological Sciences (MA)Rolling (January 15 Recommended)Rolling (October 15 Recommended)

Accelerated/4+1 Degrees

You may also be interested in our accelerated/4+1 degree programs which allow students to complete their bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in just 5 years!

For more information, visit the Biological Sciences website.