More Information >>

Biology, Master of Science

St. John's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Queens Campus


The primary objective is to offer to qualified students opportunities for advanced study in the biological sciences leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The department has organized its courses to provide students with a broad-based background in biology with an emphasis on cell and molecular biology and to prepare them for advanced study and research in several areas including intracellular trafficking, signal transduction and cellular responses to stress, including aging and programmed cell death.

The Department of Biological Sciences offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs focusing on Cell and Molecular Biology. Approximately 40 graduate students of diverse backgrounds are enrolled in these programs at any one time. The relatively small size of our program encourages intensive faculty/student interaction in both the classroom and laboratory. In many cases, the laboratory setting includes undergraduates, M.S. students, and doctoral students guided by postdoctoral fellows as well as faculty, creating a dynamic environment with intellectual exchange occurring at many levels.

Department Faculty

Please see a list of our Biological Sciences faculty.

Department Contact
Rachel Zufferey
Director of Graduate Studies
St. Albert Hall, Room 258


Applicants to the Master of Science program must present:

  • Official transcripts reflecting all undergraduate (and any graduate) work
  • Evidence of successful completion of the baccalaureate degree, having achieved an overall cumulative index of B. as well as a B or better average in Biology and the cognate sciences
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Satisfactory GRE scores


Teaching assistantships are available to qualified doctoral and M.S. candidates. All master's program students are eligible to apply for Graduate Assistantships which pay a stipend, provide tuition remission, and require some service to the Department. Special fellowships such as the Minority Biomedical Research Support Program are also available to qualified master's and doctoral students. Other sources specifically designed to support doctoral students include: University Doctoral Fellowships (awarded competitively based on GRE scores, grades, and research productivity) and the Clare Boothe Luce Fellowships for women doctoral candidates expecting to pursue careers in higher education (also awarded on the basis of merit).

Numerous loan and specifically-designated award programs are available, and some students may be awarded support by an individual faculty member, through that faculty member's research grants. For detailed information and application procedures, interested students may consult the Graduate Director about any of these assistantships or fellowships.

Graduate Admission Information
Robert Medrano, Director
Office of Graduate Admission


Career Outcomes

Graduates of our master's program are normally employed in research capacities at universities or companies involved in pharmaceutical, clinical, biological or biotechnological research, or in teaching. Graduates of our Ph.D. program accept research/teaching positions at the college and university level or are often employed at managerial levels in industry or government.

Success Story

Sai Phyo, class of 2015, is an international student from Burma majoring in biology. He came to the United States in the fall of 2011 to pursue his dream: to become a pediatrician.