Biology M.S.

Receive individualized mentoring from faculty

Our Master’s students are surrounded by students and faculty curious about life and passionate about advancing scientific knowledge through research.

Here, you will receive individualized mentoring from a faculty member as you pursue your research interests. About 20 Biology faculty supervise thesis research projects in the fields of Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (see Scholarworks for recent Biology M.S. thesis topics).

Facilities and resources in support of research include a tissue culture facility, CT scanner, flow cytometer, specialized (fluorescence, confocal and scanning electron) microscopes, the UNI Biological Preserves System, and strong partnerships with the Tallgrass Prairie Center and UNI Botanical Center.

Graduates of our program are well-prepared for PhD programs in the life sciences and/or successful careers in healthcare, scientific research, education, and natural resource management.

Student performing an experiment. Student performing an experiment.
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About 20 Biology faculty supervise thesis research projects in Anatomy and Physiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, and Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology.

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Our department hosts facilities and resources in support of cell, molecular, and biomedical research.

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Students with research interests in ecology and conservation benefit from strong partnerships with the Tallgrass Prairie Center and UNI Botanical Center

Computer screen of a bone scan. Computer screen of a bone scan.

Our program features Thesis Research

In our program, you will have a Biology faculty mentor who will help supervise your thesis research project.  It is important to work with a faculty member whose research program is a close match to your own interests.  Learn more about faculty members' research, and then reach out to the people who do the kind of work that most interests you.

Requirements for admission

Students applying for admission to the UNI Graduate College should consult the Graduate College website for a full description of forms and procedures.

Minimum requirements for admission to the Department of Biology Graduate Program:

  • A student must have a Department of Biology faculty member willing to serve as his/her graduate advisor. Applicants are responsible for reaching out to faculty members on their own in advance of, or during their application process. Please reference our faculty research areas to narrow down which faculty members you would like to work with and reach out to them via email. Students need to receive confirmation from at least one faculty member stating they are willing to accept them into their research lab should they be accepted into the program. If you are unable to secure a faculty mentor, your application will be denied.
  • A 3.0 (or higher) overall undergraduate grade point average is required for admittance to degree status. Students who have a 2.5 to 2.9 GPA may be admitted to provisional degree status depending on other indicators of academic potential.
  • A student must have demonstrated potential to succeed in graduate studies (performed well in upper division science coursework, previous research experience, work experience in a scientific discipline, etc.).
  • A student must have three favorable letters of recommendation.

How to apply

Students performing an experiment.
Students performing an experiment.

Graduate Assistantships

Interested in applying for a graduate assistant position? This is a paid position, which offers excellent experience for our students. As a graduate teaching assistant, you will be assigned to help with a class taught in the Department of Biology. Your duties may include:

  • Teaching 1-2 lab sections of an LAC course
  • Attending lab prep meetings
  • Grading assignments and projects
  • Meeting with students during office hours or as arranged
  • Emailing students/responding to their emails


Reach out to our Biology Graduate Coordinator Dr. Mark Myers

‌View Faculty Profile



Find out More about Biology M.S.

Fill out your information here and we'll be in touch!

Contact us directly at:

Department of Biology
University of Northern Iowa
144 McCollum Science Hall
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0421

Phone: (319) 273-2456