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Graduate Program

Master of Science

The primary goal of the M.S. program is to develop the student's ability to think creatively and critically about a range of biological subject matter and to become familiar with current research in biology. This is done principally through graduate courses, seminars, and research experience with a faculty member. Our program offers two options for the M.S. degree. Students should indicate which option they prefer in the application for admission.

The Open Choice M.S. (OC-MS)
This program is designed for students wishing to upgrade their expertise in the biology professions, explore or expand their interest in research, or broaden their base for making future career choices in the Biological Sciences.

Those wishing to update or increase their biology background and to choose the presence or extent of research in their graduate work should apply to our Open Choice Masters program. The OC-MS allows students to craft their own course choices and to choose whether or not to take on a semester-long research project. The OC-MS may provide opportunity to publish research results without the burden of assembling a thesis.

The degree requires 30 semester hour units (SHUs) typically earned from ten (10) courses at the 100-level or higher, of 3 semester hour units each, and can be completed either full-time or part-time. One of the ten courses must be a seminar (driven by student readings, presentations, and discussion of papers from the primary literature.) Applications for the OC-MS program are accepted for fall or spring semester, and OC-MS students are eligible for tuition scholarships from the university. The OC-MS program is the primary MS program in the department, accepting ~10-12 students per year. See the Frequently Asked Questions section for more information on admission to the OC-MS program.

Entering M.S. students are assigned an advisor who works with the student to plan a suitable program. All M.S. candidates must complete ten graduate level course credits, including one advanced seminar course (100 or 200 level). Courses must be completed with grades of B- (B minus) or better to count towards the degree and no more than two credits may be transferred from another institution.

Pathways to Tufts: New Part-Time Degree Program Tracks for Working Professionals
Open Choice M.S. with Functional Genomics Focus - The part-time Open Choice M.S. in Biology with a focus in Functional Genomics allows professionals to work full-time while attending courses during the evening. The program is designed to be completed in less than 2 years using a trimester format for graduate coursework. Credit requirements are the same as the full-time Open Choice M.S. program. It is an excellent fit for professionals in Boston's robust biotechnology industry. The Functional Genomics track equips graduates with the skills needed to drive enterprising research on genomic, biomedical, or commercial projects.

Sample Part-Time Schedule*

Term Courses Offered
Fall Semester Programming & 'R' for Biologists Monday 6:00-9:00PM
Advanced Genomics OR Regenerative Biology Evening
Spring Semester BME 262: Molecular Biotechnology Monday 6:00-9:00PM
BIO 196: Advanced Genetics & Genome Editing Tuesday and Thursday
6:00-9:00PM
Summer Session 1 BIO 168: Biotech Process Project Lab Monday and Wednesday
6:00-9:30PM
Summer Session 2 BIO 152: Biochemistry & Cellular Metabolism Tuesday and Thursday
6:30-9:30PM
Fall Semester BIO 132: Biostatistics Thursday 6:30-9:30PM
Elective (E.g. Immunology or Regenerative Medicine) Evening
Spring Semester BME 154: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Tuesday 6:00-9:00PM
PSY 111: Psychiatric Meds in Children Monday 6:30-9PM

*This is a sample schedule. Course offerings and schedule are subject to change.

Tailored to fit your schedule, the Tufts' part-time professional master's programs will help you advance your career. Requirements are the same as full-time study.

  • Allows working professionals to work full-time while attending courses during the evening, on the weekends, and/or online
  • Courses available in fall, spring, and summer
  • Students are eligible for tuition scholarships
  • Conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Boston, our Medford/Somerville campus is easily accessible via public transportation and has ample parking

Application Deadlines*
Fall: Deadline is August 1
Spring: Deadline is December 1

For more information, visit Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website or email Part-time Programs.

Combined BS/MS Degree in Biology (4+1)
The Biology Department offers exceptional Tufts undergraduate Biology majors the option of earning a combined Bachelor of Science and Master of Science (BS–MS) degree in five years. This program allows students to finish the 120-hour undergraduate degree and the 30-hour master degree in five years.
Learn more >