Biology M.A. and M.S.
The cornerstone of the graduate biology program at Saint Joseph's University is scientific research. This program offers a small, hands-on learning environment leading to either a master of science or master of arts degree in biology. Each degree offers broad exposure to life sciences and an extensive range of topics such as cell and molecular biology; microbiology; environmental biology; anatomy, animal behavior; plant biology; physiology; developmental biology; and mycology.
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. The M.S. degree is a full-time program and requires the development and presentation of a thesis based on original research conducted with a member of the biology department faculty.
The M.A. program is a non-thesis degree and may be pursued on a part-time basis. 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.
One of the distinctive qualities of the Saint Joseph's University graduate biology program is the opportunity for graduate students to develop mentor relationships with faculty and participate in the design and execution of experiments as part of faculty research. Students are encouraged to bridge scientific interests with Saint Joseph’s mission to provide social justice outreach.
An example of this outreach is the programs' involvement in Geokids LINKS (Learning Involving Neighborhoods, Kids and Science), a program that enrolls elementary students from urban, low-income backgrounds. Through a national grant awarded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2008, SJU graduate biology students have worked with over 400 elementary students, teachers and educational specialists to develop hands-on, inquiry based science enrichment activities designed to engage inner-city youth in the sciences. Through programs like Geokids LINKS, graduate biology students apply research and theory to make a positive difference in the world.