Find out everything you need to know about Master of Biological Sciences prerequisites, degree requirements, plans B and C, and courses.

Prerequisites

You will need to have completed general courses in science at the undergraduate level in biology and chemistry. These may be completed at the University of Minnesota or another educational institution.

  • Biology: One general biology course
  • Chemistry: Chemistry coursework through the first semester of organic chemistry, usually two semesters of general chemistry followed by one semester of organic chemistry.

As part of your degree requirements, you may need to complete additional coursework in molecular bioscience, cellular and organismal biology, or environmental and population biology. Talk to your academic advisor about which would work best for you.

For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Plan Requirements

You can choose to follow Plan B (Research with a Final Project) or Plan C (Coursework Only).

Courses Credits Plan B Plan C
MBS 6001 Introduction to Research in the Biological Sciences 1 Required Required
BIOC 6021 Biochemistry 3 With evidence of proficiency, may be substituted with another 3-credit course With evidence of proficiency, may be substituted with another 3-credit course
Final Project Course 3 MBS 6002 required MBS 6003 required
MBS 6110 Graduate Seminar Series 1 Optional Required
Core Courses 17-23 Will be selected with advisor help. May include directed research or directed study. Will be selected with advisor help. May include directed research or directed study. MBS 8110 credits count toward these requirements.
Elective Courses outside the Biological Sciences 0-6 May be taken to support career goals. May be taken to support career goals.
Total Credits   30 30

 

Sample Specializations

One of the MBS program's strengths is its flexibility. The program allows you to take courses across a variety of disciplines, like biotech, biomedical, and environmental specialties. The program areas described below are suggestions. Pursue your own interests and objectives and talk with your academic advisor to map out your plan.

Female student with microscope and headphones

Biotechnology

For students who want to learn more about how biology can be applied in industry, like the production of biologics, brewing, or biofuels.

 

Woman working at computer in office space

Computational Biology and Genomics

For students interested in large-scale data analysis. You'll learn to apply these skills to genomics, proteomics, and evolutionary biology, and in clinical trials.

 

Male student looking at a plant in a forest

Environmental Biology

For students who want to learn about biology on the level of ecosystems and populations, with an interest in conserving our natural world.

 

Man in modern facility wearing medical hair net

Biomedical Sciences

For students interested in biomedical biology: physiology and neurobiology, pharmacology, epidemiology, immunology, and cancer biology.

Course Options

The core of the MBS program is biology, broadly defined. The following lists are just a sampling of the courses you can apply to your degree. For detailed course information, visit the U of M Schedule Builder.

BIOL 4004 Cell Biology
GCD 4151 Molecular Biology of Cancer
GCD 5036 Molecular Cell Biology
MICA 8002 Structure, Function, and Genetics of Bacteria and Viruses
MICA 8003 Immunity and Immunopathology
MICA 8004 Cellular and Cancer Biology
NSCI 5101 Neurobiology I: Molecules, Cells, and Systems
NSC 5461 Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
NSC 5661W Behavioral Neuroscience
PHCL 8026 Neuro-Immune Interactions
PHSL 5700 Cell Physiology
PHSL 5444 Muscle
PMB 5516 Plant Cell Biology
PMB 5601 Topics in Plant Biochemistry
VPM 4131 Immunology

BIOL 5272 Applied Biostatistics
CSCI 5465 Introduction to Computing for Biologists
EEB 5371 Principles of Systematics
EEB 5409 Evolution
EEB 5534 Biodiversity Science
EEB 5601 Limnology
EEB 5609 Ecosystem Ecology
ESPM 5575 Wetlands
FW 8452 Conservation Biology
MICE 5035 Personal Microbiome Analysis
PUBH 6320 Fundamentals of Epidemiology

BIOC 6021 Biochemistry
BIOC 5309 Biocatalysis and Biodegradation
BIOC 5351 Protein Engineering
BIOC 5361 Microbial Genomics
BIOL 4003 Genetics
CSCI 5465 Introduction to Computing for Biologists
GCD 8008 Mammalian Gene Transfer and Genome Engineering
GCD 8073 Genetics and Genomics in Human Health
GCD 8131 Advanced Molecular Genetics and Genomics
NUTR 5625 Nutritional Biochemistry
MICE 5355 Advanced Fermentation and Biocatalysis Laboratory
PHCL 5110 Introduction to Pharmacology
PHCL 5111 Pharmacogenomics

BBE 5608 Environmental and Industrial Microbiology
ENT 5361 Aquatic Insects
ENT 4251 Forest and Shade Tree Entomology
FW 5401 Fish Physiology and Behavior
MICA 8002 Structure, Function, and Genetics of Bacteria and Viruses
MICE 5355 Advanced Fermentation and Biocatalysis Laboratory
FSCN 5122 Food Fermentations and Biotechnology
PHSL 5115 Clinical Physiology I
PHSL 5116 Clinical Physiology II
PHSL 5510 Advanced Cardiac Physiology and Anatomy
PMB 5212 Fungi – A Kingdom of Their Own
PMB 5111 Microbial Physiology and Diversity

AScL 6313 Data for Decision Making
AScL 6314 Leading Projects and Teams
AScL 6315 Legal and Ethical Issues in Business Sciences
BTHX 5100 Introduction to Clinical Ethics
FW 5625 Wildlife Handling and Immobilization
GRAD 8101 Teaching in Higher Education
PUBH 7415 Introduction to Clinical Trials
STAT 5021 Statistical Analysis