Master’s Program

LSC offers two M.S. degree options, the thesis-track M.S. and the professional studies track M.S. Both tracks provide students with a foundation in communication theory and research methods in addition to the flexibility to create a customized curriculum based on the student’s interests and career goals. Students in LSC take courses within our department and select elective courses from across campus based on their academic and career goals such as environmental studies, statistics, political science, educational psychology, etc.

The thesis-based Master’s degree requires 24 course credits plus a thesis based on original research (6 credits). The professional studies M.S. is a course-based master’s degree (30 credits total) designed to prepare students for professional careers in life sciences communication and related fields. Students in this track will usually not pursue a Ph.D. program in the future. In fact, many graduate programs (including LSC) do not accept a non-thesis master’s as a criterion for admission to their Ph.D. program.

Contact Us:

Interested students are encouraged to contact Academic Advising Manager, Lynn Bartholomew , or the Director of Graduate Studies, Dietram Scheufele for more information.

  • Admissions Info
  • M.S. Requirements

Admissions requirements:

The Graduate School establishes  minimum admission criteria  for all students who enter the University of Wisconsin–Madison. International applicants should refer to  the Graduate School’s website  for information on English proficiency requirements and financial resource information.

Application deadlines:

Fall admission: May 15 Spring admission: October 15

Please note that we encourage early applications to allow more time to secure financial support.

Application requirements:

  • Online application
  • Personal statement
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • The GRE is optional

The online application is available here .

Fee Waivers

The UW-Madison Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee waivers for eligible students. Please visit the  Graduate School website  to see if you qualify and to apply. If you are from an AOF Graduate Research Scholars-eligible group and do not already qualify for a waiver from the Graduate School, please contact our academic advising manager Lynn Bartholomew at [email protected] at least one week prior to the application deadline to inquire about a fee waiver. Unfortunately, LSC is not able to provide fee waivers to international students or other domestic students who are not AOF GRS-eligible.

Thesis Track:

Students are required to take a communication theory course, a research methodology course, a graduate level statistics course, and the LSC colloquium in life sciences communication. The degree also requires a thesis based on original research.

The student meets with their advisor during the first semester of the program to outline a course trajectory for the next two years. In consultation with their advisor, the student assembles a committee of three faculty members. The student defends their master’s thesis in front of the committee at the end of their program.

Course work can include classes in substantive areas other than communication. For example, a student wishing to become an environmental reporter might take courses in environmental studies. A student interested in health communication might take a nutrition or preventive medicine course. However, the complete program must have coherence and focus, and students should discuss all courses with their advisor prior to enrollment.

Professional Studies:

The Professional Studies M.S. is a course-based master’s degree (30 credits total) designed to prepare students for professional careers in life sciences communication and related fields. Students in this track will usually not pursue a Ph.D. program in the future. Many graduate programs (including LSC) do not accept a non-thesis master’s as a criterion for admission to their Ph.D. program.

The student meets with their advisor during the first semester of the program to outline a course trajectory for the next two years. In consultation with their advisor, the student assembles a committee of three faculty members. The student present a course narrative to the committee and the end of their program, and the committee meets to approve the completed coursework.

Professional track master’s students must take a communication theory course, a research methodology course, a graduate level statistics course, and the LSC colloquium in life sciences communication. Students fill their remaining credits with courses of interest after consulting with their advisor.

The department funds students through a wide variety of teaching, project and research assistantships. Assistantship support of one-third time (33%) or more also provides full tuition remission, health insurance, and other benefits. In addition, the department nominates students with outstanding records for fellowships provided by the Graduate School. For more information on funding, click here .

LSC Resources

LSC MS Handbook for students who joined LSC Fall 2022 and later LSC MS Handbook for students who joined LSC prior to Fall 2022 LSC funding and financial aid LSC Leave of Absence Policy

Academic Resources

Deadlines for graduate students Enrollment information (deadlines, procedures, FAQs, etc.) Academic Policies and Procedures

Graduate School Resources

Graduate School Home Graduate School Contacts Graduate student family and parent resources Guide to student life Professional development

Other Resources

Assistantship appointment rates CALS Career Services Commencement McBurney Disability Resources Center Scholarship application and information Student Privacy Rights (FERPA) Study Abroad Tuition UW-Madison emergency procedures University Health Services UW-Madison Grants Database

What is the difference between the professional and thesis tracks?

Both tracks require a total of 30 credits. Professional track students complete 30 credits of coursework and the program concludes with a written course narrative and oral presentation to the student’s advisory committee. Thesis track students complete 24 credits of coursework and 6 credits for research and concludes with a written thesis based on original research and an oral defense to their advisory committee.

Do I need to secure an advisor prior to applying to the program?

No. When a student is admitted to our program, they are assigned an orientation advisor who will help them prepare for their first year in the program. In many cases, students work with this advisor throughout their time in the program. We also have a process for switching advisors if a student later decides that a different faculty advisor would be a more appropriate fit.

What can I do with this degree?

Students with a master’s degree in LSC go on to a variety of careers in industry and others continue their education and pursue a doctorate. Check out this page for a list of first jobs secured after graduation by our master’s degree students.

Is the program offered in an online modality?

No, we do not offer an online M.S. in LSC.

Plan a Visit to the Department of Life Sciences Communication We encourage all potential graduate student applicants to visit the Department of Life Sciences Communication (LSC) at Hiram Smith Hall. The best time to visit is when most faculty and students are on campus, September through May.

We encourage applicants to contact  specific faculty members  to explore mutual interests.

Before scheduling a visit, please contact our Academic Advising Manager, Lynn Bartholomew , or the Director of Graduate Studies, Dietram Scheufele .

While visiting LSC, sit in on a  class  or a  SCIMEP research group  meeting, or tour campus facilities and attractions, such as the  student unions , or the  Wisconsin Institute for Discovery .

Finding LSC LSC is located in Hiram Smith Hall, 1545 Observatory Drive.   Use the campus map to find us .

Getting Around Campus The University of Wisconsin-Madison campus is located in downtown Madison. Public transportation is an easy way to travel on campus and buses frequently stop close to Hiram Smith Hall. Information about bus routes can be found on the Madison Metro website and also at the bus stops themselves.

  • Madison Metro Route 80 is a free campus shuttle that covers most of campus with a stop close to Hiram Smith Hall.
  • All City/UW bus routes can be found at  Madison Metro
  • For more information about getting around campus, use the  Transportation Services link and the official  map of UW-Madison Campus

Parking The closest public parking ramp to Hiram Smith Hall is Lot 36. There is also free after hours and weekend parking on campus. View the online campus  maps with parking locations .

More Information UW Visitor & Information Programs  has information about the entire campus as well as the beautiful city of Madison.

Graduate Program In Life Sciences Logo

Graduate Program In Life Sciences (GPILS)

The Graduate Program in Life Sciences (GPILS) offers cutting-edge translational research training in basic, biomedical, clinical, and population sciences. We offer seven PhD granting graduate programs and three MS-level programs.

Our graduate programs cover the entire range of biomedical research and life sciences including the basics of protein structure and molecular biology, integrative systems physiology, virology, vaccine development, behavior, cognition, population-based genetics, and the impact of the environment on human health.

PhD Granting Programs

Biochemistry and molecular biology.

Research areas include structural biology (crystallography and NMR spectroscopy), gene expression and regulation, cardiac muscle biology, DNA repair and cancer cell biology,  fluorescence spectroscopy, and viral DNA packaging.

Epidemiology and Human Genetics

Students admitted to the program choose one of three different research tracks:  Epidemiology ,  Molecular Epidemiology,  or  Human Genetics .

Research areas in the   Human Genetics   track include complex disease genetics, biochemical genetics, gene mapping and function, infectious disease genetics, psychiatric genetics, pharmacogenetics, DNA instability, and cancer cytogenetics.

Research areas in the   Epidemiology   and   Molecular Epidemiology   tracks include vaccine evaluation, hospital epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance, issues in long-term care, disability in older adults, complementary and alternative therapies, global health and health disparities, veterinary epidemiology, injury epidemiology, cancer epidemiology, and genetic epidemiology of cardiovascular and other diseases.

Gerontology

The program provides an interdisciplinary and integrative perspective on the process of human aging and the experiences of growing old. The approach acknowledges the complex, dynamic, and bi-directional relationships among individuals and the historical, political, economic, environmental, psychological, social, cultural, and biological contexts in which aging occurs.

Molecular Medicine

Students admitted to the program choose one of three different research tracks: Cancer Biology , Genome Biology , or Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Pharmacology .

Research areas in the Cancer Biology track include the identification of oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, pathways of DNA damage and repair, cell cycle regulation, growth regulatory factors and cytokines, technological advancements in genomics, proteomics, and tissue arrays, and the development of successful cancer chemotherapies and immunotherapies based on the knowledge of specific molecular targets.

Research areas in the Genome Biology track include cancer genomics, human genomics, microbial genomics, model organism genomics, evolutionary and comparative genomics, and molecular processes surrounding gene and genome function.

Research areas in the Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Pharmacology track include brain development and behavior, cardiac biology, ion channels, GI and mucosal biology, gene regulation, synaptic transmission, molecular modeling, muscle biology, intercellular calcium signaling, membrane biology, and many other fundamental physiological processes at the cell and molecular level.

Molecular Microbiology and Immunology

Research areas include microbial pathogenesis, immune cell function, inflammation, receptor signaling, prokaryotic and eukaryotic gene regulation, genetic manipulation of cell functions, tumor immunology and immunotherapy, vaccine development, functional genomics, gene delivery, and derivation of transgenic animals.

Neuroscience

Research areas include addiction, synaptic and neural circuit form and function, neurodevelopment, neuroendocrinology, pain, schizophrenia, depression, neurodegeneration, stroke recovery, TBI, and cognition.

Physical Rehabilitation Science

Research areas include neuromotor control, rehabilitation, musculoskeletal performance, rehabilitation epidemiology, and rehabilitation engineering and robotics.

MS Granting Programs

Cellular and molecular biomedical science.

This program is designed to develop scientists for the post-genomic era by combining traditional areas of biomedical study, including molecular and cell biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, physiology, cancer biology, and genomics into a unique interdisciplinary graduate training program.

Epidemiology and Clinical Research (Epidemiology Track)

This track is designed to offer an MS degree to students pursuing a PhD in Gerontology or Pharmaceutical Health Services Research as part of our dual degree programs. 

Epidemiology and Clinical Research (Clinical Research Track)

This track is designed specifically to meet the needs of the clinician or clinician-in-training by providing a combination of coursework and research experiences needed for a successful career in clinical investigation. Students may select from multiple concentration areas: epidemiologic research, patient-oriented research, outcomes/health services research, human genetics, and research ethics.

Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine

This program is designed for students contemplating careers in human genetics, especially as it relates to health and disease. This track includes coursework, seminars, and supervised research culminating in a thesis. The MS in Human Genetics and Genomic Medicine follows a similar curriculum as the PhD Track in Human Genetics but with the second year devoted largely towards a master's thesis.

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Traumatic Brain Injury Interferes with Immune System Cells’ Recycling Process in Brain Cells

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Special Vascular Cells Adjust Blood Flow in Brain Capillaries Based on Local Energy Needs

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UM School of Medicine Scientists Create First Extensive Brain Cell Data Repository

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A Three-Dose Malaria Vaccine Shows Safety, Efficacy in West African Adults

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University of Maryland School of Medicine Launches New Maryland Institute for Neuroscience Discovery (UM-MIND)

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Brain Area Thought to Impart Consciousness, Behaves Instead Like an Internet Router

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Student Publications

2023 Publications

2022 Publications

2021 Publications

2020 Publications

2019 Publications

Student Awards and Honors

2022 Annual Awards Winners

  • MS Scholar Award
  • PhD Thesis Project Award
  • PhD Scholar Award
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Excellence in Research Award
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Excellence in Service Award
  • Postdoctoral Fellow Excellence in Mentorship Award
  • Faculty Excellence in Postdoctoral Mentorship Award
  • Teacher of the Year Award
  • The Elaine Miye Otani Memorial Award
  • Alumnus Award
  • The Dr. Mark Shirtliff PhD Student Mentor Award

Other Resources

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Belonging

  • Career Development
  • Office of Postdoctoral Scholars
  • Campus Center
  • HS/HSL Library
  • Training Grants
  • Reserve a Room

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Graduate Program in Life Sciences 655 W. Baltimore Street Baltimore, Maryland 21201 Email: [email protected]

Request More Information

How To Apply

Office of International Services

Dissertation Defenses

More to come this spring!

Led by Jessica A. Mong, PhD

Jessica Mong, PhD is wearing a green blazer with a white blouse under it. She has shoulder length blonde hair and is smiling.

(she/her/hers) Assistant Dean for Graduate & Postdoctoral Scholars Professor, Department of Pharmacology 685 West Baltimore St, HSF I 580-I Baltimore, MD 21201 410-706-4295 [email protected]

Student Spotlight

Meet kanwal mahmood hameed.

Kanwal Mahmood Hameed holding a certificate that says

Kanwal was recognized with the 2023 Graduate Translational Research Award for her discovery of exploiting serine metabolism for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia.

Kanwal is a fifth-year Molecular Medicine student in Dr. Ashkan Emadi's lab and plans to work in the biopharmaceutical industry when she graduates, hopefully later this year.

Learn more about Kanwal's achievements in The Elm.

Biology, MS

On this page:, at a glance: program details.

  • Location: Tempe campus , or online
  • Second Language Requirement: No

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Biology

The MS in biology is a flexible degree program based around a student's individual interests, allowing them to explore areas of biology that thrive outside of traditional boundaries. This degree complements other, more specialized life sciences programs, allowing both interdisciplinary and traditional approaches. Courses include laboratory, field and theoretical work.

This program currently admits students to either a thesis-based pathway or a coursework and capstone option. Students in the thesis pathway receive hands-on training and craft an individualized plan of study focused specifically on their own research interests. They work closely with an advisor from ASU's faculty of top-tier scientists doing research at the forefront of their fields. Students develop foundational research skills in the course of designing and completing their own research project.

In the coursework and capstone pathway, students build an individualized curriculum from a wide variety of courses taught by global experts. In their final semester, they delve more deeply into their own area of interest by completing a capstone project. This option is ideal for students who do not need intensive research training but want to deepen and expand their biological knowledge and skills. The coursework and capstone pathway is also available in an online format.

Program Faculty

Culminating experience options and information

Culminating experience options.

The MS in biology offers several culminating experience options students may apply for and pursue within the degree. Options currently include completing a capstone or a thesis. Students completing a capstone will have a coursework focused degree, while students completing a thesis will have a research focus, since they conduct research throughout their program under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Though experiences differ depending on the culminating experience, both options award students an MS in biology upon degree completion. Please note that application processes differ between the two, described in more detail in the section below.

Moreover, the MS in biology is available in both campus immersion and online modalities. Prospective students have the option of applying for the thesis or capstone culminating experience in the campus immersion offering. However, students only have the option of applying for and completing a capstone culminating experience in the online modality at this time.

Research and thesis

The thesis culminating experience involves an MS in biology that is focused on research. If offered admission, students are offered the opportunity to work with a specific faculty advisor or two co-advisors. Throughout their time in the degree, students conduct research with their faculty advisor's and faculty committee's guidance, culminating in a written thesis that students must orally defend in their final semester. Below are some additional details about this program.

Time to degree completion: typically 2 years

Number of faculty committee members required: 3 members required

Modality options: campus immersion only

Degree requirements: 30 credit hours and a thesis Required Core (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 541 SOLS Seminar Series (1)
  • BIO 542 SOLS Current Topics in the Life Sciences (1)
  • BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Life Sciences (1) or BIO 611 Current Topics in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in the Life Sciences (1)

Electives (21 credit hours)

  • At least 6 electives credits must be BIO 592 Research
  • The remaining 15 credits may be any combination of additional BIO 592 Research or graduate life science elective courses chosen in consultation with the student's faculty advisor

Culminating Experience (6 credit hours)

  • BIO 599 Thesis (6)

Coursework and capstone

The capstone culminating experience involves an MS in biology that is focused on coursework. Admitted students complete life science courses, culminating in a capstone project completed in their final semester. This is typically a final paper where students bring together knowledge learned in prior courses in a way that is meaningful and relevant to their professional goals. In the paper, students summarize current knowledge of an important topic in the biological sciences, and demonstrate their ability to integrate core concepts of biological thinking. Below are some additional details about this program.

Time to degree completion: 1-2 years

Number of faculty committee members required:  1 member required (typically the program director)

Modality options: campus immersion and online

Degree requirements: 30 credit hours and a capstone Required Core (3 credit hours)

Electives (24 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 credit hours)

  • BIO 597 Capstone (3) - taken in the final semester

Application and admission information

How to apply.

Applications open September 1 for admission in Fall of the following year. The application deadline is December 1 . We accept applications for Fall semesters only. We cannot guarantee that applications received after the December 1 deadline will be considered for admission.

All applicants must apply by filling out ASU's Graduate Admissions application. All application materials must be submitted through the application or to Graduate Admissions directly. Please do not mail or email any documents to the School of Life Sciences. 

Required materials and information include the following:

  • 1-2 page personal statement
  • An up to date CV or resume
  • The names of relevant SOLS faculty you have been in touch with who you might be interested in being supervised by
  • Unofficial transcripts and English proficiency test scores (if applicable)
  • The names and emails of at least 3 recommenders to write you letters of recommendation

Admission to the coursework and capstone option both on campus and online is more flexible. Applicants may apply to start in fall, spring, or summer semesters. The deadline to apply is 1 month before the start of classes for the semester you are applying to start. If we receive your application late, we will consider you for admission for the following semester.

Application review process and timeline

Following the December 1 deadline, faculty will begin reviewing applications. Applicants should monitor their My ASU priority tasks to ensure there are no missing materials in their application. Admission decisions will begin in March, and applicants typically receive final decisions by April 1.

Students applying to complete the capstone option will have their applications reviewed as soon as we have all required materials on file. This typically means we are waiting to review until the three letters of recommendation are submitted. It is important you communicate with your recommenders to ensure timely submissions in order for us to move your application through to be reviewed. Applicants typically receive a decision within 2-4 weeks of all application materials being received.

Requirements

Minimum requirements for admission include the following:

  • Cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • International applicants must satisfy university minimum requirements for English proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, PTE). There are other ways to demonstrate English proficiency beyond the tests, so please refer to ASU's English proficiency webpage to review how you might satisfy requirements.

Desired qualifications typically seen in competitive candidates (particularly applicable if applying to complete a thesis):

  • Research experience and a letter of recommendation from a faculty research supervisor
  • English proficiency scores that meet these teaching assistant language proficiency requirements

Please note that the GRE is not required.

Applying to an accelerated program

There is a unique process for eligible ASU undergraduate students to apply to an accelerated BS/MS program in the School of Life Sciences, involving a two-phase application process students initiate when they have about 75 credit hours of their bachelor's completed. Please see details about accelerated BS/MS programs and our application process by reviewing the Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's of Science webpage.

Program cost and funding

In the School of Life Sciences, there is no funding guarantee for students admitted to a master's degree. If admitted, master's students are able to request teaching assistant positions each semester. However, positions may only be assigned on a first come, first serve basis pending position availability. Research assistant positions are uncommon for master's students but ultimately depend on the student's faculty research supervisor (if completing a thesis). Teaching and research assistant positions for master's students come with a salary for the semester assigned, but do not include tuition or health insurance assistance. 

Given the lack of position guarantee, master's students should ensure they understand the tuition costs they will be responsible for. Campus immersion tuition varies depending on a student's residency status, while online tuition has its own charge breakdown. To review anticipated tuition costs, please utilize ASU's tuition estimator . Online students must be sure select the M.S. Biology from the dropdown in the section called "Academic programs with undergraduate college fee, differential or program tuition" for an accurate estimate.

Degree Requirements

30 credit hours including a written comprehensive exam

Required Core (1 credit hour) BIO 610 Introduction to Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in Life Sciences (1) or BIO 611 Current Topics in Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) in the Life Sciences (1)

Other Requirements (2 credit hours) BIO 541 SOLS Seminar Series (1) BIO 542 SOLS Current Topics in the Life Sciences (1)

Electives (21 or 24 credit hours)

Culminating Experience (3 or 6 credit hours) BIO 593 Applied Project (3) BIO 597 Capstone (3) BIO 599 Thesis (6)

Additional Curriculum Information Students choose one of three culminating experience options listed above. The credit hours required for the electives depends on the culminating experience chosen as all students must complete 30 credit hours for this degree program.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree in biology or a related discipline from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program, or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

Applicants must submit the following:

  • graduate admission application and application fee
  • official transcripts
  • academic record form
  • personal statement
  • curriculum vitae or resume
  • three letters of recommendation
  • proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

It is desired that applicants have research experience.

Flexible Degree Options

Accelerated program options.

This program allows students to obtain both a bachelor's and master's degree in as little as five years. It is offered as an accelerated bachelor's and master's degree with:

BS - Microbiology -->

Bs - microbiology.

Website | Locations: TEMPE

BS - Biological Sciences -->

Bs - biological sciences.

Website | Locations: TEMPE,ONLNE

BS - Biological Sciences (Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology) -->

Bs - biological sciences (genetics, cell and developmental biology), bs - biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology) -->, bs - biological sciences (conservation biology and ecology), bs - biological sciences (biology and society) -->, bs - biological sciences (biology and society), bs - molecular biosciences and biotechnology -->, bs - molecular biosciences and biotechnology, bs - biological sciences (neurobiology, physiology and behavior) -->, bs - biological sciences (neurobiology, physiology and behavior), bs - microbiology (medical microbiology) -->, bs - microbiology (medical microbiology), bs - biological sciences (biomedical sciences) -->, bs - biological sciences (biomedical sciences).

Acceptance to the graduate program requires a separate application. During their junior year, eligible students will be advised by their academic departments to apply.

Next Steps to attend ASU

Learn about our programs, apply to a program, visit our campus, learning outcomes.

  • Able to execute a research plan of their own design that addresses a significant scientific question about their chosen area of biology.
  • Qble to review the literature relevant to a research topic in their chosen area of biology.
  • Able to communicate the rationale and results of their research, both orally and in writing.

Career Opportunities

This master's degree program prepares students for life sciences careers in educational, medical, industrial and governmental institutions.

The thesis pathway is ideal for those pursuing research-intensive careers in academic or business settings. The coursework and capstone option is for those seeking careers in which deeper biological knowledge is valuable, such as secondary school teachers reaching for higher certifications, biotechnicians who want to add conceptual depth or analytical abilities to their laboratory skills, and writers who want to expand their scientific expertise.

Career examples include:

  • food, agriculture and health care scientists in academic, private and industrial labs
  • instructors at community colleges
  • researchers and technicians in government labs and nonprofit organizations
  • science teachers in elementary and high schools
  • science writers
  • wildlife, animal and conservation scientists

Attend Online

ASU offers this program in an online format with multiple enrollment sessions throughout the year. Applicants may view the program description and request more information here .

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.

The Thesis Process

The thesis is an opportunity to work independently on a research project of your own design and contribute to the scholarly literature in your field. You emerge from the thesis process with a solid understanding of how original research is executed and how to best communicate research results. Many students have gone on to publish their research in academic or professional journals.

To ensure affordability, the per-credit tuition rate for the 8-credit thesis is the same as our regular course tuition. There are no additional fees (regular per-credit graduate tuition x 8 credits).

Below are the steps that you need to follow to fulfill the thesis requirement. Please know that through each step, you will receive guidance and mentorship.

1. Determine Your Thesis Topic and Tentative Question

When you have completed between 24 and 32 credits, you work with your assigned research advisor to narrow down your academic interests to a relevant and manageable thesis topic. Log in to MyDCE , then ALB/ALM Community to schedule an appointment with your assigned research advisor via the Degree Candidate Portal.

Thesis Topic Selection

We’ve put together this guide  to help frame your thinking about thesis topic selection.

Every effort is made to support your research interests that are grounded in your ALM course work, but faculty guidance is not available for all possible projects. Therefore, revision or a change of thesis topic may be necessary.

  • The point about topic selection is particularly pertinent to scientific research that is dependent upon laboratory space, project funding, and access to private databases. It is also critical for our candidates in ALM, liberal arts fields (English, government, history, international relations, psychology, etc.) who are required to have Harvard faculty direct their thesis projects. Review Harvard’s course catalog online ( my.harvard.edu ) to be sure that there are faculty teaching courses related to your thesis topic. If not, you’ll need to choose an alternative topic.
  • Your topic choice must be a new area of research for you. Thesis work represents thoughtful engagement in new academic scholarship. You cannot re-purpose prior research. If you want to draw or expand upon your own previous scholarship for a small portion of your thesis, you need to obtain the explicit permission of your research advisor and cite the work in both the proposal and thesis. Violations of this policy will be referred to the Administrative Board.

2. Prepare Prework for the Crafting the Thesis Proposal (CTP) Course or Tutorial

The next step in the process is to prepare and submit Prework in order to gain registration approval for the Crafting the Thesis Proposal (CTP) tutorial or course. The Prework process ensures that you have done enough prior reading and thinking about your thesis topic to benefit from the CTP.

The CTP provides an essential onramp to the thesis, mapping critical issues of research design, such as scope, relevance to the field, prior scholarly debate, methodology, and perhaps, metrics for evaluating impact as well as bench-marking. The CTP identifies and works through potential hurdles to successful thesis completion, allowing the thesis project to get off to a good start.

In addition to preparing, submitting, and having your Prework approved, to be eligible for the CTP, you need to be in good standing, have completed a minimum of 32 degree-applicable credits, including the statistics/research methods requirement (if pertinent to your field). You also need to have completed Engaging in Scholarly Conversation (if pertinent to your field). If you were admitted after 9/1/2023 Engaging in Scholarly Conversation (A and B) is required, if admitted before 9/1/2023 this series is encouraged.

Advising Note for Biology, Biotechnology, and Bioengineering and Nanotechnology Candidates : Thesis projects in these fields are designed to support ongoing scientific research happening in Harvard University, other academic institutions, or life science industry labs and usually these are done under the direction of a principal investigator (PI). Hence, you need to have a thesis director approved by your research advisor  prior  to submitting CTP prework. Your CTP prework is then framed by the lab’s research. Schedule an appointment with your research advisor a few months in advance of the CTP prework deadlines in order to discuss potential research projects and thesis director assignment.

CTP Prework is sent to our central email box:  [email protected]  between the following firm deadlines:

  • April 1 and June 1 for fall CTP
  • September 1 and November 1 for spring CTP.  
  • August 1 and October 1 for the three-week January session (ALM sustainability candidates only)
  • International students who need a student visa to attend Harvard Summer School should submit their prework on January 1, so they can register for the CTP on March 1 and submit timely I-20 paperwork. See international students guidelines for more information.

Your research advisor will provide feedback on your prework submission to gain CTP registration approval.  If your prework is not approved after 3 submissions, your research advisor cannot approve your CTP registration.  If not approved, you’ll need to take additional time for further revisions, and submit new prework during the next CTP prework submission time period for the following term (if your five-year degree completion deadline allows).

3. Register and Successfully Complete the Crafting the Thesis Proposal Tutorial or Course

Once CTP prework is approved, you register for the Crafting the Thesis Proposal (CTP) course or tutorial as you would any other course. The goal of the CTP is to produce a complete, well-written draft of a proposal containing all of the sections required by your research advisor. Creating an academically strong thesis proposal sets the foundation for a high-quality thesis and helps garner the attention of a well-respected thesis director. The proposal is normally between 15 to 25 pages in length.

The CTP  tutorial  is not a course in the traditional sense. You work independently on your proposal with your research advisor by submitting multiple proposal drafts and scheduling individual appointments. You need to make self-directed progress on the proposal without special prompting from the research advisor. You receive a final grade of SAT or UNSAT (failing grade).

The CTP for sustainability is a three-week course in the traditional sense and you receive a letter grade, and it must be B- or higher to receive degree credit for the course.

You are expected to incorporate all of your research advisor’s feedback and be fully committed to producing an academically strong proposal leading to a thesis worthy of a Harvard degree. If you are unable to take advice from your research advisor, follow directions, or produce an acceptable proposal, you will not pass the CTP.

Successful CTP completion also includes a check on the proper use of sources according to our academic integrity guidelines. Violations of our academic integrity policy will be referred to the Administrative Board.

Maximum of two attempts . If you don’t pass that CTP, you’ll have — if your five-year, degree-completion date allows — just one more attempt to complete the CTP before being required to withdraw from the program. If you fail the CTP just once and have no more time to complete the degree, your candidacy will automatically expire. Please note that a WD grade counts as an attempt.

If by not passing the CTP you fall into poor academic standing, you will need to take additional degree-applicable courses to return to good standing before enrolling in the CTP for your second and final time, only if your five-year, degree-completion date allows. If you have no more time on your five-year clock, you will be required to withdraw.

Human Subjects

If your thesis, regardless of field, will involve the use of human subjects (e.g., interviews, surveys, observations), you will need to have your research vetted by the  Committee on the Use of Human Subjects  (CUHS) of Harvard University. Please review the IRB LIFECYCLE GUIDE located on the CUHS website. Your research advisor will help you prepare a draft copy of the project protocol form that you will need to send to CUHS. The vetting process needs to be started during the CTP tutorial, before a thesis director has been assigned.

4. Thesis Director Assignment and Thesis Registration

We expect you to be registered in thesis soon after CTP completion or within 3 months — no later. You cannot delay. It is critical that once a research project has been approved through the CTP process, the project must commence in a timely fashion to ensure the academic integrity of the thesis process.

Once you (1) successfully complete the CTP and (2) have your proposal officially approved by your research advisor (RA), you move to the thesis director assignment phase. Successful completion of the CTP is not the same as having an officially approved proposal. These are two distinct steps.

If you are a life science student (e.g., biology), your thesis director was identified prior to the CTP, and now you need the thesis director to approve the proposal.

The research advisor places you with a thesis director. Do not approach faculty to ask about directing your thesis.  You may suggest names of any potential thesis directors to your research advisor, who will contact them, if they are eligible/available to direct your thesis, after you have an approved thesis proposal.

When a thesis director has been identified or the thesis proposal has been fully vetted by the preassigned life science thesis director, you will receive a letter of authorization from the Assistant Dean of Academic Programs officially approving your thesis work and providing you with instructions on how to register for the eight-credit Master’s Thesis. The letter will also have a tentative graduation date as well as four mandatory thesis submission dates (see Thesis Timetable below).

Continuous Registration Tip: If you want to maintain continued registration from CTP to thesis, you should meet with your RA prior to prework to settle on a workable topic, submit well-documented prework, work diligently throughout the CTP to produce a high-quality proposal that is ready to be matched with a thesis director as soon as the CTP is complete.

Good academic standing. You must be good academic standing to register for the thesis. If not, you’ll need to complete additional courses to bring your GPA up to the 3.0 minimum prior to registration.

Thesis Timetable

The thesis is a 9 to 12 month project that begins after the Crafting the Thesis Proposal (CTP); when your research advisor has approved your proposal and identified a Thesis Director.

The date for the appointment of your Thesis Director determines the graduation cycle that will be automatically assigned to you:

Once registered in the thesis, we will do a 3-month check-in with you and your thesis director to ensure progress is being made. If your thesis director reports little to no progress, the Dean of Academic Programs reserves the right to issue a thesis not complete (TNC) grade (see Thesis Grading below).

As you can see above, you do not submit your thesis all at once at the end, but in four phases: (1) complete draft to TA, (2) final draft to RA for format review and academic integrity check, (3) format approved draft submitted to TA for grading, and (4) upload your 100% complete graded thesis to ETDs.

Due dates for all phases for your assigned graduation cycle cannot be missed.  You must submit materials by the date indicated by 5 PM EST (even if the date falls on a weekend). If you are late, you will not be able to graduate during your assigned cycle.

If you need additional time to complete your thesis after the date it is due to the Thesis Director (phase 1), you need to formally request an extension (which needs to be approved by your Director) by emailing that petition to:  [email protected] .  The maximum allotted time to write your thesis, including any granted extensions of time is 12 months.

Timing Tip: If you want to graduate in May, you should complete the CTP in the fall term two years prior or, if a sustainability student, in the January session one year prior. For example, to graduate in May 2025:

  • Complete the CTP in fall 2023 (or in January 2024, if a sustainability student)
  • Be assigned a thesis director (TD) in March/April 2024
  • Begin the 9-12 month thesis project with TD
  • Submit a complete draft of your thesis to your TD by February 1, 2025
  • Follow through with all other submission deadlines (April 1, April 15 and May 1 — see table above)
  • Graduate in May 2025

5. Conduct Thesis Research

When registered in the thesis, you work diligently and independently, following the advice of your thesis director, in a consistent, regular manner equivalent to full-time academic work to complete the research by your required timeline.

You are required to produce at least 50 pages of text (not including front matter and appendices). Chapter topics (e.g., introduction, background, methods, findings, conclusion) vary by field.

6. Format Review — Required of all Harvard Graduate Students and Part of Your Graduation Requirements

All ALM thesis projects must written in Microsoft Word and follow a specific Harvard University format. A properly formatted thesis is an explicit degree requirement; you cannot graduate without it.

Your research advisor will complete the format review prior to submitting your thesis to your director for final grading according to the Thesis Timetable (see above).

You must use our Microsoft Word ALM Thesis Template or Microsoft ALM Thesis Template Creative Writing (just for creative writing degree candidates). It has all the mandatory thesis formatting built in. Besides saving you a considerable amount of time as you write your thesis, the preprogrammed form ensures that your submitted thesis meets the mandatory style guidelines for margins, font, title page, table of contents, and chapter headings. If you use the template, format review should go smoothly, if not, a delayed graduation is highly likely.

Format review also includes a check on the proper use of sources according to our academic integrity guidelines. Violations of our academic integrity policy will be referred directly to the Administrative Board.

7. Mandatory Thesis Archiving — Required of all Harvard Graduate Students and Part of Your Graduation Requirements

Once your thesis is finalized, meaning that the required grade has been earned and all edits have been completed, you must upload your thesis to Harvard University’s electronic thesis and dissertation submission system (ETDs). Uploading your thesis ETDs is an explicit degree requirement; you cannot graduate without completing this step.

The thesis project will be sent to several downstream systems:

  • Your work will be preserved using Harvard’s digital repository DASH (Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard).
  • Metadata about your work will be sent to HOLLIS (the Harvard Library catalog).
  • Your work will be preserved in Harvard Library’s DRS2 (digital preservation repository).

By submitting work through ETDs @ Harvard you will be signing the Harvard Author Agreement. This license does not constrain your rights to publish your work subsequently. You retain all intellectual property rights.

For more information on Harvard’s open access initiatives, we recommend you view the Director of the Office of Scholarly Communication (OSC), Peter Suber’s brief introduction .

Thesis Grading

You need to earn a grade of B- or higher in the thesis. All standard course letter grades are available to your thesis director. If you fail to complete substantial work on the thesis, you will earn a grade of TNC (thesis not complete). If you have already earned two withdrawal grades, the TNC grade will count as a zero in your cumulative GPA.

If you earn a grade below B-, you will need to petition the Administrative Board for permission to attempt the thesis for a second and final time. The petition process is only available if you are in good academic standing and your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows for more time. Your candidacy will automatically expire if you do not successfully complete the thesis by your required deadline.

If approved for a second attempt, you may be required to develop a new proposal on a different topic by re-enrolling in the CTP and being assigned a different thesis director. Tuition for the second attempt is calculated at the current year’s rate.

If by not passing the thesis you fall into poor academic standing, you’ll need to take additional degree-applicable courses to return to good standing before re-engaging with the thesis process for the second and final time. This is only an option if your five-year, degree-completion deadline allows for more time.

The Board only reviews cases in which extenuating circumstances prevented the successful completion of the thesis.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) at Harvard University is dedicated to bringing rigorous academics and innovative teaching capabilities to those seeking to improve their lives through education. We make Harvard education accessible to lifelong learners from high school to retirement.

Harvard Division of Continuing Education Logo

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MS Thesis

To complete the MS degree with a translational or clinical research thesis, students must complete 12.0 units of Research Thesis Capstone.

To complete the MS degree with a research thesis , students must complete 6.0 or 12.0 credits of Research Thesis Capstone.

Students planning to enroll into the research thesis in their second year are highly recommended to complete Independent Study/Independent Research during the first year and/or complete a research project during the summer between first and second year.

The MS program director must approve thesis capstone project description prior to the start of the fall semester.

  • RES 6200 Research Thesis Syllabus

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Master of Science in Life Sciences Program

Virginia Tech biochemistry student working on a computer in a computational lab

The M.S. Program in Biochemistry at Virginia Tech provides graduate training options to students who are exploring careers related to Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and students who have yet to commit to a Ph.D. program.

Students may either integrate graduate-level biochemical and molecular training with existing strengths within the Department of Biochemistry in areas such as microbiology, vector-borne infectious diseases, plant, and nutritional biochemistry, drug discovery, and computational and systems biology, or the graduate experience can be tailored to student career goals with diverse options of experiential learning in research, teaching, and industrial biochemistry.

These tracks prepare students for a wide diversity of career options including employment by the biotech or pharmaceutical industry, employment as a research technician in government or academia, a teaching career, science communication, entry into Ph.D. programs, or professional programs in the medical sciences.

Benefits of the program

  • Receive your Master of Science in Life Sciences in 2 years
  • Free tuition for the duration of the 2-year degree
  • A $31,404 annual stipend

The Master of Science in Life Sciences (MSLFS) merges the efforts of the departments of Biochemistry, Entomology, Food Science and Technology, and Plant Pathology, Plant Physiology, and Weed Science. Students in basic and applied disciplines in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences share common experiences that prepare them for careers in which interdisciplinary interactions become increasingly valued. At the same time, discipline-specific education and research experience, which characterizes the MSLFS program in each department, prepares students for unique positions and career development. For graduation, students must complete a minimum of 20 graded credit hours and 30 total credit hours.

Every MSLFS student enters the program with the expectation that he/she will complete a thesis describing the results of an original research project, however, if circumstances dictate that completing a thesis is not feasible, the student may be allowed to graduate without submission of a formal thesis and will result in a non-thesis master’s degree designation. This option is only available with the agreement of the Major Professor and Advisory Committee.

Suggested tracks and elective courses

Bioinformatics, Computational Biochemistry, Systems Biology, Metabolic Engineering, and Synthetic Biology

CS/GBCB 5045-5046: Computation for the Life Sciences I and II

PPWS/GBCB 5314: Biological Paradigms for Bioinformatics

BCHM 5024: Computational Biochemistry for Bioinformatics

MATH/GBCB 5415, 5416: Continuous Models in Biological Applications

CS5424: Computational Cell Biology

CS5854: Computational Systems Biology

BIOL 4824 Bioinformatics Methods

BSE 3154: Thermodynamics of Biological Systems

BSE 3504: Transport Processes in Biological Systems

BSE 4564: Metabolic Engineering

BSE 5964: Advanced Metabolic Engineering

Drug Development

CHEM 4554: Drug Chemistry

CHEM 6504: Chemistry of Natural Products

NANO 4314: Nanomedicine

Neuroscience

NEUR 3044: Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

BIOL 4554 (ALS 4554): Neurochemical regulation

NEUR 4034: Diseases of the Nervous System

BMVS 5324: General Neurochemistry

Microbiology, Infectious and Vector-Borne Diseases

BIOL 4624: Microbial Genetics

BIOL 4634: Microbial Physiology

BIOL 3454: Introductory Parasitology

BIOL 4164: Environmental Microbiology

BIOL 4674: Pathogenic Bacteriology

BIOL 4704 Immunology

BIOL 4664: Virology

BIOL 4734: Inflammation Biology

BIOL 4804: Prokaryotic Diversity

BIOL 4724: Pathogenic Bacteriology Laboratory

BIOL 4644: Microbial Genetics & Physiology Laboratory

BIOL 4714: Immunology Laboratory

PPWS 4114: Microbial Forensics and Biosecurity

CEE 5194: Environmental Engineering Microbiology

CEE 5124: Fundamental of Environmental Toxicology

ENT 3254 (BIOL 3254): Medical & Veterinary Entomology

ENT 5324: Genomics of Disease Vectors

ENT 5624(BMVS 5624): Molecular Virology

BMVS 5224 (BMES 5024): Biomedical Engineering and Human Disease

BMVS 5005 (VM 9085): Emerging Infectious Diseases - fully on-line,

BMVS 5006 (VM 9086): Emerging Infectious Diseases - fully on-line,

PHS 5984 SS: Principles of Infectious Diseases

PHS 5304: Zoonoses and Infectious Diseases Common to Humans and Animals

PHS 5314: Infectious Disease Epidemiology

PHS 5334 SS: Modeling Infectious Diseases

ENT 6004 Insect Behavior and Ecology

ENT 6004: Advanced Topics in Entomology

ENT 6154: Insect Physiology

Food, Fermentation and Industrial Microbiology

FST4405,4406: Food Processing

FST 4414: Fermentation Process Technology and Instrumentation

FST4504: Food Chemistry

FST 4524:  Food Quality Assurance

FST4604 (BIOL 4604): Food Microbiology

FST4634: Epidemiology foodborne diseases

FST 4644: Fermentation Microbiology

FST 5614: Food Safety and Security

FST 5624: Applied Food Microbiology and Sanitation

FST 5634: Epidemiology of Foodborne and Waterborne Disease

FST 5664: Flavor Chemistry

BSE 5504: Advanced Bioprocess Engineering

BSE 5544: Advanced Protein Separation Engineering

BSE 5604: Advanced Food Process Engineering

BSE 5614: Advances in Protein Production and Engineering

BSE 5644: Biobased Industrial Polymers

BSE 4604: Food Process Engineering

Plant Biochemistry

PPWS 4504: Fundamentals of Plant Physiology

PPWS 5204: Principles of Plant Disease Management

PPWS 5214: Diseases of Crop Plants

PPWS 6004: Plant Disease Epidemiology

PPWS 6004: Molecular Weed Science

PPWS 5454: Plant Disease Physiology and Development

PPWS 5524 and PPWS 5534: Advanced Plant Physiology and Metabolism I and II

PPWS 5304: Plant Stress Physiology

HNFE 5144: Molecular Aspects of Nutrition and Disease

HNFE 5204: Translational Science in HNFE

HNFE 5724: Epidemiology

Requirements

  • Advanced coursework
  • Seminar presentations
  • One semester of serving as a graduate teaching assistant
  • Annual committee meetings
  • Written thesis and oral thesis defense to be awarded a degree

How to apply

To apply to our Master of Science in Life Sciences Graduate Program, you need to submit an application electronically. Instructions and forms for applying online are available  here . Applications should be completed and submitted by  January 15, 2022,  for Fall semester admission.

Students who are most successful in our program have earned a B.S. degree in an area of the life sciences. If you have questions concerning specific requirements, please contact our Graduate Program Chair, Justin Lemkul ( [email protected] ). A complete application includes the following:

  • Online application for admission.
  • Three letters of recommendation. Names and e-mail addresses of the individuals providing letters should be included with the online application to facilitate electronic submission and review of the letters.
  • Official transcripts from all institutions previously and presently attended. To expedite review, official transcripts should be sent directly to: Department of Biochemistry 111 Engel Hall Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Although interviews are not required for admission, we welcome and will help to coordinate visits from interested applicants.

GRE SCORES ARE NO LONGER REQUIRED TO APPLY.

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  • Fachschaft Chemie

Studies Master Life Science

The master's programme life science.

The consecutive Master's Programme Life Science requires a bachelor's degree in Life Science at the University of Konstanz or a bachelor's degree in a similar study programme at another university. Applicants need broad basic knowledge in chemistry as well as biology . The master's programme is an advanced study programme that will systematically introduce you to international research methods and the international research level in the areas of Life Science, i. e. the molecular-oriented areas of biology and the bioorganic or biomolecular-analytical oriented areas of chemistry.

The standard period of study for the master's programme is four semesters . The first two semesters you attend modules , followed by several weeks of exam preparation and six to nine months for writing your master's thesis. In the master's thesis you independently work on a larger scientific project. After you have completed the thesis, you will present your findings in an colloquium, open to the department, and defend them in an expert discussion. To successfully complete the master's programme, you need to acquire 60 ECTS credits in the modules. Additionally, you have to complete an internship of two months (10 ECTS credits) You can work with e.g. private or public institutions in Germany or abroad. This internship is a great help for your career planning. You can acquire a total of 120 ECTS credits in the master's programme. One ECTS credits corresponds to 25 - 30 working hours. You can individually select your specialisation area with an equal proportion of biological and chemical subjects, or with a focus on the biological or chemical area. You cannot focus only on chemical or only on biological subjects.

The modules in biology consist of advanced level courses , held as six-week all-day compact courses (15 ECTS credits each). In addition to the lectures and seminars, you will carry out an extensive practical research project in a research laboratory and present and defend your findings in a final seminar. In the chemistry modules you can select advanced courses worth either 6 or 12 ECTS credits. In the 6-credit courses you usually study theoretical aspects in lectures, seminars and exercises. The 12-credit courses also include extensive practical project work in research groups, similar to the advanced level courses in biology.

Biology Courses

  • Disease Biology I
  • Disease Biology II
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology II
  • Biochemistry III
  • Methods in Biology
  • Evolutionary Organismal Biology
  • Concepts in Ecology
  • Advanced Technologies for the Life Sciences
  • Applied Bioinformatics for Studying Health and Disease
  • Behavioral Neurobiology
  • Biochemical Pharmacology
  • Biochemistry and Mass Spectrometry
  • Bioinformatics and X-Ray Structural Analysis
  • Cell Biology – Cell Adhesion and Signal Transduction
  • Cellular Biochemistry
  • Chemical Ecology / Biological Chemistry
  • Collective Animal Behavior
  • Developmental Biology
  • Dynamics of aquatic ecosystems
  • Environmental Genomics
  • Global change ecology and plants
  • Going Wild: Behavior and Ecology of Animals
  • Human and Environmental Toxicology
  • Microbial Ecology and Limnic Microbiology
  • Molecular Evolutionary
  • Molecular Genetics: Cell cycle regulation – from mechanisms to disease
  • Molecular Microbiology and Cell Biology: Chaperone functions in health and disease
  • Molecular Toxicology
  • Novel in vitro Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Physiology and Biochemistry of Plants
  • Physiology, Ecology and Molecular Biology of Algae
  • Systems Toxicology
  • The role of microbes in stress response and resilience of aquatic metaorganisms

Sample list for further courses. The course program slightly changes each semester. Please check ZEuS  for updated list.

  • Theoretical and Experimental Ecology and Evolution
  • Applied Bioinformatics
  • Bioinformatics and X-Ray Structure Analysis
  • Chemical Ecology
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Dynamics of Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Fish Ecology
  • Limnic Microbiology
  • Limnology: Limnology of the Lakes
  • Microbial Physiology and Ecology
  • Molecular Evolutionary Biology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Molecular Microbiology
  • Organismal Biology: Going Wild
  • Plant Ecology
  • An Introduction to R and Analysis of ecological Data
  • Animal Protection: Legal and Ethical Principles - Focus on Laboratory Animals
  • Biochemistry, Regulation and Systems Biology of Signal Transduction
  • Bioorganic Chemistry - Chemistry and Biochemistry of Natural Products
  • Common errors and mistakes as revealed by retracted papers
  • Ecological and evolutionary physiology
  • Endocrinology of Mammals I
  • Endocrinology of Mammals II (Selected Chapters)
  • Evaluation of Pharmacological and Toxicological Data sets
  • How to write a thesis in biology: a practical guide
  • ImageJ Workshop
  • Innovations in Vertebrate Evolution
  • Laboratory Animal Science
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Nature and culture as false dichotomy
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology III
  • Photoshop Workshop
  • Pluripotent stem cells – novel uses and approaches
  • Quantitative Aspects of Light Microscopy
  • R coding sessions
  • R for Biologists I: Introduction course in R programming language
  • R for Biologists II: Visualisation and analysis of spatial information
  • Self-Organization in Social Insects and other Communities
  • Seminar in Phylogenetic Comparative Methods
  • Signal Transduction: Regulation and Disease Relevance
  • Stable isotope ecology / Journal Club
  • Topics and questions of current biological research
  • X-Ray Structure Analysis of Proteins

Chemistry Courses

Chemistry master courses summer semester 2024:

  • Biopolymer Chemistry (Nucleic Acids, Carbohydrates, Proteins) - (Prof. Dr. A. Marx, Prof. Dr. V. Wittmann)
  • Computational Chemistry (Prof. Dr. C. Peter)
  • High-resolution NMR spectroscopy directed to biological and biophysical applications (Prof. Dr. M. Kovermann)
  • Molecular Spectroscopy (Prof. Dr. M. Drescher)
  • Synthesis and Properties of Functional Materials (Prof. Dr. S. Mecking)
  • Synthesis of natural products and drugs (Prof. Dr. T. Gaich)

Chemistry master courses winter semester 2023/24:

  • Advanced Element-Organic Chemistry (Prof. Dr. M. Unterlass, Prof. Dr. R. Winter)
  • Advanced Organic Chemistry (Prof. Dr. T. Gaich, Prof. Dr. A. Marx, Prof. Dr. V. Wittmann)
  • Advanced Physical Chemistry (Prof. Dr. A. Zumbusch)
  • Breakthroughs in natural sciences exemplified by granted Nobel prizes (Prof. Dr. M. Kovermann), nur Vorlesung 3 Credits, no practical course
  • Biocatalysis – From Chemical Logic to Modern Enzymology (Prof. Dr. Lena Barra, Prof. Dr. Jörg Hartig)
  • Biophysical Chemistry (Prof. Dr. M. Drescher, Prof. Dr. K. Hauser)
  • Dispersion Colloids in Research and Industry (Prof. Dr. A. Wittemann)
  • Gene Expression and Replication (Prof. Dr. J. Hartig / Prof. Dr. A. Marx)
  • Industrial Chemistry and Renewable Resources (Prof. Dr. S. Mecking, Dr. I. Göttker)
  • Nanochemistry and Analytics (Dr. C. Ruiz-Agudo)
  • Working with scientific data: significance, handling & case studies, 3 Cr. online self-teaching, no practical course (Prof. Dr. M. Kovermann)

Further Courses (in German language only!)

  • Anorganische Chemie II: Prof. Dr. R. Winter Molekülchemie der Nichtmetalle Praktikum Anorganische Chemie II
  • Festkörperchemie: Prof. Dr. Miriam Unterlass Grundlagen der Festkörperchemie, Praktikum Festkörperchemie
  • Physikalische Chemie III
  • Physikalische  Chemie IV
  • Organische Chemie III: Reaktionsmechanismen, Prof. Dr. A. Marx
  • Organische Chemie IV: Heterocyclen und Naturstoffe, Prof. Dr. T. Gaich

Search University of Konstanz

Suggestions.

Universität Bern

Faculty of Science

Master's in molecular life sciences.

The Program in Molecular Life Sciences of the University of Bern is run jointly by the Institutes of Cell Biology and Plant Sciences and the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Science Faculty. Moreover, many research groups of the Medical and Veterinary Faculties take an active part in shaping the program. This interdisciplinary aspect is one of the key advantages for studying Molecular Life Sciences in Bern.

Molecular Life Science research in Bern is particularly strong in the fields of Host-Pathogen Interactions/Molecular Parasitology, RNA Biology and Membrane Biochemistry, but many other research projects exist and offer opportunities for students to do their MSc or PhD theses.

In the master curriculum, and in particular by preparing their master thesis, the students deepen and specialize their knowledge and skills in the area of molecular life sciences. A particular emphasis of the program is to involve the students actively in research projects. The degree of „Master of Science (M Sc) in Molecular Life Sciences“ can lead to an employment in industrial, governmental and research settings or to a further education, e.g. to PhD studies.

Master Molecular Life Sciences

Legal basis

  • Studienplan zum Master- und PhD-Studium in Molecular Life Sciences vom 01.09.2008 mit Änderungen (PDF, 82KB)
  • Anhang zum geltenden Studienplan Master&PhD Molecular Life Sciences (PDF, 519KB)
  • Reglement über das Studium und die Leistungskontrollen an der Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät (Studienreglement Phil.-nat. Fakultät [RSL Phil.-nat. 18]) vom 24.05.2018 mit Änderungen (PDF, 114KB)
  • Regulations governing the studies and assessments at the Faculty of Science (study regulations Faculty of Science [RSL Phil.-nat. 18]) of May 24th, 2018 (status: August 1st, 2019) - the German original is the legally binding version (PDF, 165KB)
  • Promotionsreglement der Philosophisch-naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultät der Universität Bern (PromR Phil.-nat. 19) vom 12.12.2019 (PDF, 1.1 MB)
  • Regulations governing doctoral studies at the Faculty of Science of the University of Bern (PromR Phil.-nat. 19) of December 12., 2019 (PDF, 244KB)

Details of program

Master thesis, requirements, application and admission, mls specializations, biochemistry/chemical biology, cell and molecular biology, microbiology/immunology.

  • Neuro- and Developmental Biology (jointly with University of Fribourg)

Plant Physiology

Module structure, regular learning units.

30 ECTS points divided into two modules of 15 ECTS points each:

Special qualification module consisting of learning units from the selected specialization area. General module  consisting of learning units from a wider list, including those of the entire master program and certain units of the BSc programs in biology, biochemistry and chemistry.

In each module, the average of the obtained grades, each weighed according to its ECTS points, must be 4.0 or more. Only one insufficient grade can be compensated per module. Students have to mark by themselves any insufficient grade that they want to be included and compensated in a given module.

60 ECTS points. The grade given by the supervisor, in consideration of the research work and the written thesis, must be 4.0 or more. An active participation in seminars and group meetings specified by the supervisor is mandatory.

Compound grade

The grade of the M Sc diploma is the average between the grades of the modules of regular learning units and the master thesis, weighed according to their ECTS points. The grades of the additional learning units do not count for the compound grade but will be listed in the diploma supplement.

Courses and timetables for all specializations in the fall semester

Courses and timetables for all specializations in the spring semester.

A typical master thesis is carried out at the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences or at the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine in a research group oriented towards biochemistry or organic chemistry. The research topics include RNA processing and transport, nucleic acid chemistry, ribosome function, mitochondrial biogenesis, membrane biochemistry, structure determination of proteins as well as combinatorial and medicinal chemistry.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

Master theses can be carried out in a large number of research groups of the Institutes of Cell Biology, Plant Sciences, the Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and the Medical and Vetsuisse Faculties. Research topics include DNA repair and recombination, molecular biology of RNA, molecular parasitology, developmental biology, signal transduction, protein biochemistry, microbial physiology and biochemistry. Yeasts, bacteria, trypanosomatids, insects and mammalian cell cultures are used as model systems.

Master theses can be carried out in selected research groups of the Science, Medical and Veterinary Faculties. The participating groups work on various aspects of immunology, inflammation, pathology, infectiology, virology, bacteriology and parasitology.

Neuro- and Developmental Biology

Master theses can be carried out in research groups of the Institutes of Cell Biology, Plant Sciences and the Medical Faculty. Research topics include cell cycle and growth regulation, developmental biology, RNA localization, neurodegeneration, gene expression control and epigenetics. Drosophila, C. elegans, mice, cliliates, plants and cell cultures are used as model systems.

The research groups of this specialization focus on different aspects of plant nutrition, metabolism, cellular and organism-wide transport processes, as well as on plant development. Students enrolling in this specialization perform their master thesis research in one of the plant physiology-oriented groups of the Institute of Plant Sciences.

Please note that the selection process outlined in the Master thesis tab must be followed.

Regular selection process

Students of the B Sc programs in Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology or Chemistry and Molecular Sciences of the University of Bern as well as outside admitted students can find their M Sc thesis supervisors through our regular selection process.

At the beginning of the spring semester (6th Semester of B Sc), the M Sc thesis project descriptions are made available on ILIAS. The corresponding link will be sent to future master students. They may pursue this information and contact potential supervisors, but no firm assignments may be made at this stage. With a deadline shortly before the end of the semester, the students declare via an on-line form which three labs they prioritize for their M Sc thesis. After contacting the supervisors, the study administration makes the assignments. This assignment will also determine the specialization to be taken by the student.

The M Sc thesis may only be started, when the B Sc and any additional learning requirements imposed in the admission process have been completed. Exceptions to the latter of these rules may be proposed by the program administration and require approval of the Science faculty.

At the beginning of the M Sc thesis, the thesis supervisor and student send a completely filled out and signed form "Form Start of MSc thesis" to the program administration. This form constitutes a mutual agreement between the two partners to adhere to certain specified rules.

Format, structure and duration

  • A typical MLS master thesis is written as monographic text and is structured in Abstract/Summary, Introduction, Material & Methods, Results, Discussion and References. On average a MLS master thesis as about 75 – 100 pages long (font size 12, line spacing 1.5). Theses shorter than ~50 pages are below the expectation of the MLS master program of the science faculty. 
  • The potential use of AI needs to be disclosed (see below).
  • Duration of the master thesis: 60 ECTS = ~1’800 working hours = ~45 weeks (lab work & writing). If MLS lectures are attended in parallel to the lab work, the thesis extends up to 18 months.

Use of generative AI in writing MLS master theses

In general, the MLS master program allows the use of AI assisted technologies in the preparation of written master theses. However, when MLS students use AI and AI-assisted technologies (e.g. ChatGPT, Google Bard, Microsoft Bing, DeepL, Grammarly, etc) in the writing process, these technologies should only be used to improve readability and language of the work and not to replace key authoring tasks such as producing scientific insights or drawing scientific conclusions. Applying the technology should be done with human oversight and control and all work should be reviewed and edited carefully. The MLS students are ultimately responsible and accountable for the contents of the work. MLS students should disclose in their master thesis the use of AI and AI-assisted technologies in a clear statement at the end of text. We recommend placing it before the reference section. If more than one tool was used, they should be listed separately. Template for disclosure statement: ◻︎ During the preparation of this work, I have NOT used any AI-assisted technologies. ◻︎ During the preparation of this work, I used the following tools: 1. [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] - reason for use 2. [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] - reason for use 3. [NAME TOOL / SERVICE] - reason for use After using these tools/services, I reviewed and edited the content as needed and take full responsibility for the content of the master thesis. I am aware that in case of dis-compliance, the generated text is considered as plagiarism with its legal consequences.

Completed Master theses

  • Specialization Biochemistry / Chemical Biology (PDF, 328KB)
  • Specialization Cell and Molecular Biology (PDF, 737KB)
  • Specialization Microbiology / Immunology (PDF, 1.6 MB)
  • Specialization Neuro- / Developmental Biology (PDF, 1.2 MB)
  • Specialization Plant Physiology (PDF, 1.6 MB)

Semester dates

  • Current dates of the academic year and lecture periods of all degree courses incl. semester breaks and vacation

New students

  • Apply for a degree program
  • Request for change of study program/s

Current students

  • Renewal of semester registration for the forthcoming semester
  • Registration for BeNeFri
  • Request for leave of absence
  • Request for removal from Student Registry for one of the following reasons: completion of studies, interruption of studies or dropping out of university
  • Request for transfer from master's degree course to doctorate
  • Request for extension of period of study

Individual academic requirements

The following academic qualifications are required for admission to the master’s degree program in Molecular Life Sciences (mono):

* The ECTS credits will be listed separately in the diploma supplement as extracurricular attainments.

Please consult the admission requirements for the minor as presented in the plan of studies.

The degree used for assessment purposes may not be more than ten years old.

Swiss bachelor's degrees/programs

From the university of bern.

that allow admission to the desired master's degree program without any assessment:

  • Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Bachelor of Science in Biology (if the special aerea of the bachelor and the special qualification of the master are matching)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (if the special area of the bachelor and the special qualification of the master are matching)

  from Universities of Applied Sciences

  • General admission requirements
  • Application and admission with a Swiss degree
  • Application and admission with an international degree

  For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

  • Admission requirements
  • Application deadlines

Current UniBE students

Apply for a change to the M Sc in Molecular Life Sciences, Universität Bern by self-service as part of the re-registration for the next semester. Renewal of semester registration → Self-service Recognition of academic achievements Procedure and timing of the renewal of semester registration

Application with a Swiss degree

Online application Assessment Steps from application to registration

Application with an international degree

Online application CHECKLIST - Documents for your application / Important information Steps from application to registration

For questions regarding application and admission, please contact the Admissions Office.

MLS specific prerequisites for graduation

The graduation may be completed if:

  • Any additional learning requirements imposed for admission to the program have been successfully completed
  • The modules for the special qualification and for the general topics have been successfully completed
  • The M Sc thesis work has been completed and written
  • The written thesis has been read, corrected and positively evaluated by the thesis supervisor. The written evaluation should contain and justify in words the compound grade for the research work and the writing of the thesis.
  • A copy of the evaluation and the Master thesis as pdf file should be sent to the study administration  of Molecular Life Sciences. The study administration will enter the grade and thesis title into KSL.
  • Note that, at least during the semester when the thesis is completed, the student must be correctly registrated.

Graduation procedure

  • For graduation, the student registers his thesis submission/ graduation at the studies secretariat of the Dean's office. Location, office hours and necessary documents are described on the faculty web page. Make sure that the requested documents are complete!
  • The Master thesis as PDF file and the signed original of the supervisor's evaluation are submitted to the Dean's office.
  • After the thesis and the supervisor's evaluation have been reviewed by the faculty's study commission (usually within one to two weeks), the study commission decides on the proposed grade and the Dean's office validates it in KSL.
  • The study administration performs a final check whether all grades are correctly documented in KSL and declares the curriculum as "completed" in the KSL system.
  • Finally, the Dean's office validates the entire curriculum and informs the student when the graduation documents will be ready for collection at the Dean's office.  

The grade of the M Sc diploma is the average between the grades of the modules of regular learning units and the master thesis, weighted according to their ECTS points. The grades of the additional learning units do not count for the compound grade but will be listed in the diploma supplement.

The MSc thesis can always be submitted to the Dean’s office but the deadline for a given semester is the last week of autumn or spring semester (calendar week 7 or 37, respectively). Please find the relevant information on the admission office website .

Once you have met the specific requirements for the degree, you can apply for your degree to the Dean's Office. You will find more information on the graduation process here .  

Graduation ceremony for Master's degree students

All students who have completed their Master in the previous year can attend the current ceremony which usually takes place in the second half of February. Please find further information on the Dean's Office website  here .

Students who wish to attend the current graduation ceremony must have set their "study requirements on fulfilled" before 31 st  January; In other words, the grade for the master thesis has to be entered in KSL the latest by the 17 th  of January for being allowed to the graduation ceremony in February. Please note that there won't be any exception possible regarding the 31 st  January "graduation ceremony" deadline!

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Technical University of Munich

  • TUM School of Life Sciences
  • Technical University of Munich

Technical University of Munich

Theses & Certificates

Your studies are coming to an end and now all that's missing is your final paper.

Thesis - topic selection and registration

In order to find an interesting topic get in contact with chairs, lecturers, professors or external companies. There are often postings on bulletin boards or websites, or just have a look if you find something suitable on our  Jobs and Career  page.

As soon as you have found a good topic, your thesis needs to be registered.

How do I register my thesis?

Please register your thesis, no matter if bachelor’s or master’s thesis, digitally in the  thesis portal  of the TUM School of Life Sciences. Please note that the login is only possible via the eduVPN client (download: https://www.eduvpn.org/client-apps/ and instruction: https://doku.lrz.de/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=87425039 ).

You can find detailed instructions including screenshots on how to register your thesis  here .

The responsible examiner has to digitally agree to your application. If this is done, the examination team will check if the requirements for the thesis are met (credit requirements, internships, WPP-registration, etc. depending on the study program) and your registration will be submitted to the examination board for approval. If all requirements are met, the registration of your thesis will be approved by the examination team.

You will then receive  a confirmation via e-mail  from the system, which you should  save for your records . In order to have enough lead time for the review and approval of your application, it should be sent to the Campus Office about  4 weeks before the planned thesis start date .

As soon as the registration has been completed, it will also be entered and displayed in  TUMonline  within the next few days. Please check your account.

Please note that you must be enrolled until the day you submit your thesis . Further information about de-registration: https://www.tum.de/en/studies/graduation/withdrawal-from-university/

Thesis Extension and Suspension

If you cannot meet your submission deadline  for reasons beyond your control , the examination board may extend the completion period by a  maximum of half of the regular processing time . If you are unable to work due to illness , the processing time will be suspended accordingly upon request.

How do I extend my thesis?

The application for an extension must be submitted to the examination board before the date of submission and your supervisor has to agree by providing his signature. Therefore, please contact your supervisor early enough if you have problems with meeting your deadline. In general, you should expect a  processing period of approx. 3 weeks  until the examination board has decided on your application and the entry is recorded in your student file. If you are  ill  and can prove   by a  medical certificate  that you are prevented from working on your thesis, the processing time is suspended for the duration of the illness stated in the certificate. Please make sure that the  medical certificate  contains all the required information, especially the beginning and (expected) end of the inability to work on your thesis, a certificate of incapacity for work is not sufficient (instructions on this can be found via  https://www.tum.de/en/studies/during-your-studies/organizing-your-studies/examinations/withdrawing-from-examinations-medical-certificates ) Please send the signed application to  [email protected] . It will make it easier for us to process your application if you name it:  Last name_Extension.pdf . It will then be forwarded to the respective examination board and you will be informed after the examination board has decided on your application.

Thesis extension / suspension form  (English) Antrag auf Verlängerung / Ruhen der Abschlussarbeit  (German)

Title page template

The layout of the cover sheet and various specifications are usually chair-specific. Please check the website of the chair or contact the supervisor of your thesis. Various general templates can be found in the  MyTUM portal .

Thesis submission

The Bachelor's thesis must not be handed in later than three months after your thesis issue date. The Master's thesis must not be handed in later than six months after your thesis issue date. In case of part-time study programs, different deadlines apply in accordance with the respective FPSO.

  • Example Bachelor: Start issue date of the thesis May 1, latest submission date August 1.
  • Example Master: Start issue date of the thesis October 9, latest submission date April 9.

How do I submit my thesis?

After you have successfully completed your thesis, log in to the thesis portal and upload your thesis as PDF file. You can find detailed information about the upload procedure and about the required designation of your PDF file in the instructions with screenshots  here .  The digital submission does not prevent you from the obligation to hand in the printed and signed version of your thesis to your examiner.

If the upload to the portal is not possible due to technical reasons, please send your thesis to [email protected] before the deadline.

Evaluation forms for examiners

Thesis evaluation form

The evaluation form is filled out by the examiner and is then sent to the Campus Office ( [email protected] ) along with the title page.

Creation of certificates

After receipt of the thesis grade in the Campus Office you will receive an e-mail with all information regarding the procedure for the preparation of the certificate.

After the approval by your advisor  it can take up to 6 weeks  until your transcript is issued and signed. You will then be informed by the Central Examination Office that your transcript is ready for collection.

You can also get your certificate by mail. For this, please submit the following request for delivery of the final documents to the department of central examination matters: https://www.tum.de/en/studies/graduation/documents/

If you need an early certificate of graduation, please fill out the form for the issuance of a certificate of graduation ( https://www.tum.de/en/studies/graduation/documents/ ) and send it to the Graduation Office and Academic Records  (Campus Weihenstephan). Please note that this is not a certificate, only an official confirmation of your degree. If you have any questions, please contact your student advisor: https://www.ls.tum.de/en/ls/studies/campus-office-and-student-advising/advice-and-support/

Further information of the TU Munich on the topic of final theses.

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Master of science in life sciences - applied computational life sciences.

From Biologist to Bioinformatician. From Food Technologist to Data Analyst. From Environmental Engineer to Data Scientist. From Biotechnologist to Application Developer. From Chemist to Cheminformatician. Make your life science degree digital. Become proficient in AI, Data, and Models. The future is here. Are you?

master thesis life science

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  • Video student stories: this is why we study Applied Computational Life Sciences

master thesis life science

Study programme, course content

Admission, registration

Career, jobs

Information event

Find out all about studying at the ZHAW.

Why pursue a Master’s degree in Applied Computational Life Sciences?

The digital revolution is profoundly transforming our scientific and business world. Expertise in Artificial Intelligence AI and Big Data is becoming an essential skill. This Master's programme enables you to develop these competences and to integrate them seamlessly into your field of study from the previous Bachelor's programme.

The job market is calling for domain specialists with specific skills in AI, data, modelling and simulation. Gain excellent career opportunities in various areas of the life sciences and establish yourself as a sought-after professional in the industry, universities, as well as in public authorities.

master thesis life science

Want to know more? Visit our info event in Wädenswil.

  • Study brochure "Master's degree in Life Sciences - Specialisation Applied Computational Life Sciences" (PDF 5,3 MB)
  • Student advisory service
  • Apply to the programme

master thesis life science

«I grew up in Zimbabwe and studied in Malaysia, Australia and now Switzerland. During the pandemic, I became increasingly interested in all the digital health initiatives that were being developed and how fast the uptake of them seemed to be. I realized that these technologies were here to stay and that we were only at the beginning of their potential. I wanted to be a part of this exciting field and saw this Master's programme as a way to bridge my interests and skills. By combining my background in health economics and policy with the technical knowledge gained through the Applied Computational Life Sciences programme, I hope to make a real difference in implementing sustainable digital health solutions."»

Shannon Vlahakis, Master's student and research associate at the Center for Computational Health, ZHAW

master thesis life science

"I studied Health Sciences and Technology at the ETH, specialising in neuroscience. Since the topic of data science has become increasingly important in recent years, I also completed a Master's degree in Applied Computational Life Sciences at the ZHAW. This enabled me to expand my expertise with digital skills such as programming, neural networks and machine learning. In my current job as team leader responsible for the clinical information system (HIS) at Hirslanden, I use this mix of skills on a daily basis."

Sofia Rey, Graduate and Team Leader Clinical Information System, Hirslanden

Your background

You are fascinated by: Artificial Intelligence and Predictive Analytics, Biomedical Simulation, Citizen Science Technologies, Climate Modelling, Complex Systems, Computational Genomics, Data Integration and Semantic Web Technologies, Digital Health, Forecasting & Decision Making, Geoinformatics, Health Technologies, Lab Information and Management Systems LIMS, Personalized Medicine, Process Optimization in Food Technology, Smart Environmental Systems, Smart Farming.  

You have a Bachelor's degree in: Agronomy, Bioanalytics and Cell Biology, Biology / Biotechnology, Chemistry, Energy and Environmental Technology, Information Technology, Engineering, Food Science and Management, Food Technology, Medical Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology, System Technology, Environment and Natural Resources, Environmental Technology, Forest Sciences or similar (admission with other degrees may be granted at the programme directors' discretion) .

Career: What a Master’s degree in Life Sciences in Applied Computational Life Sciences will allow you to do.

This specialisation in Applied Computational Life Sciences lays the foundation for a career in a rapidly developing field. The programme provides essential knowledge in a field where science meets business , and opens up career paths in international companies, agile start-ups and research institutions .

The possibilities for graduates are almost endless . Many find employment during their studies. They work as data analysts, data scientists, application developers or researchers in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, agro-food, environment and medicine.

Suitable students have the opportunity to be accepted onto our Data Science PhD programme run in collaboration with other Swiss universities.

master thesis life science

Good reasons for a Master’s study in Wädenswil

  • We offer a customisable Master’s programme which you can complete in 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 semesters.
  • The programme offers an attractive mix of modules from research, science, practice and business.
  • You will have the opportunity to grow both as a professional and as a person , and to evolve into a sought-after specialist with leadership skills.
  • We offer exciting research projects for your Master's thesis.
  • You will be able to join a research group , where you can practice skills such as teamwork, initiative and critical thinking.
  • You will benefit from small class sizes in the advanced modules, which offer interactive learning activities that will allow you to take charge.

Study programme and course content

Your studies include three areas of competence plus a Master's thesis, with a total of 90 credits (ETCS) .

Based on your interests, before starting your studies you will work out your own personal learning objectives with your specialisation director and your supervisor. You will define the topic for your Master's thesis and design your own personal study path from the range of available modules.  

Based on the topic of your Master's thesis, you will be assigned to a corresponding specialisation module that will fully prepare you for your Master's thesis. While working on your Master's thesis, you will be part of a research group that is working closely with our business partners or doing research at one of our institutes.

  • Online study planner Your individual study plan.
  • Master's thesis specialised fields Before starting your studies, you choose the field in which you want to write your research paper.
  • Annual planning / timetables Important dates in the academic year.

master thesis life science

"ACLS teaches you the skills you need for a digital future."

Dr. Matthias Nyfeler, specialisation director at the Institute of Computational Life Sciences

master thesis life science

"How could a vegan world look like?"

Patricia Krayer has completed her Master's in Applied Computational Life Sciences (ACLS) and dedicated her thesis to the interesting question of what a vegan world might look like. Read about the surprising results she obtained in this interview.

master thesis life science

"At the University Hospital Zurich, a new data science project is initiated almost every week. For example, attempts are being made to use data analytics to gain new insights for the treatment of patients or to use AI models to calculate forecast probabilities for diagnoses. As a graduate of the Master's programme Applied Computational Life Sciences, I am able to understand the technical aspects of such projects and assess the possibilities and limitations of using artificial intelligence. The solid understanding of data acquired during my studies helps me in my daily work with highly sensitive data, be it in the development of database interfaces or in the programming of various applications for data transformation and integration."

Matthias Joos, Graduate and Data Solution Engineer at the University Hospital Zurich

Your new skillset

  • Processing and analysing data of various sizes and levels of complexity .
  • Conceptual and technical skills to combine your expertise in a life sciences discipline with the potential of computational methods.
  • Computational modelling and simulation of processes.
  • Statistical modelling with machine learning and neural networks.
  • Programming using modern scripting languages such as Python and R and you will understand the basic concepts of software and computer architectures.
  • Analysis and solving  of complex problems that combine scientific, social and entrepreneurial thinking.
  • Planning, implementation, evaluation and presentation of major research and development projects .

master thesis life science

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The picture above shows the general structure of a full-time Master's programme. Students design their own study paths and choose their own focal points.

Together with your supervisor, you design your own individual study plan from the range of compulsory and elective modules. The selected modules are recorded in your individual study agreement (planning) .

In addition, elective modules from the specialisations of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology , Chemistry for the Life Sciences or Food and Beverage Innovation can be taken.

To the module descriptions and your individual study agreement.

Researching for practice

During your studies, you will expand your personal skills in technical expertise, and self-management. The practice-oriented research focus of your Master's thesis will foster your ability to innovate, change perspectives, and combine entrepreneurial with scientific thinking .

The work in your research group will not only help you develop your creativity, initiative and critical thinking abilities, but also your leadership and teamwork skills. We promote inductive, inquiry-based learning in small classes with interactive learning activities such as group work and presentations.

Interesting research questions are created with partners from industry and retail. Our graduates have already developed interesting, relevant and viable answers and solutions in their work.

Master's thesis: Topics

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master thesis life science

Master thesis abroad

The Euroleague for Life Sciences offers the opportunity to gain international experience and develop your scientific skills, by writing your thesis abroad, in one of the leading Life Science universities in Europe. Depending on the university there might be different terms and structures that need to be taken into account. The main supervisor needs to be from your home university, whereas the second can be external.

All informations on terms and structure of each ELLS university regarding a Master Thesis are listed below.

FAQs Master thesis abroad

Is it possible to do a bsc or a msc thesis at another ells university.

Exchange students are welcome to work on their thesis, dissertation or project at BOKU. But we ask you to do some research and get in touch with your future BOKU (co-)supervisor. You need to have a (co-)supervisor to be accepted. Please be aware that the BOKU supervisor can officially only act as co-supervisor. You have to have a supervisor at your home university and you have to submit and defend your thesis at the home university. Further information: http://www.boku.ac.at/int-in-boku-thesis-en.html

Yes, studentsof  ELLS partner universities are welcome to do a BSc Thesis or MSc Diploma Thesis at CZU. However, students from ELLS partner universities who wish to write their thesis at CZU must get a recommendation from their supervisor at home university and confirmation from a relevant supervisor at CZU. In general, foreign students defend their thesis at their home university. CZU has a Double degree MSc programme with Wageningen University, BOKU and Lincoln University, and a Joint MSc degree with BOKU. The DD and JD MSc programmes have specific rules for writing an MSc Diploma Thesis.

Yes, a Master thesis. You check what your field of interest is in our course search. Thesis course code starts with EX; example: Degree project in Biology A2E (EX0802), 30 credits, Uppsala. Then you have to find a topic and a supervisor.

Yes, it is possible to do a BSc or a MSc thesis during an exchange stay at the University of Hohenheim. The best way is to get in contact with your future supervisor in advance and to discuss with him or her a possible topic. But you need to have a supervisor at your home university as well.

It is possible to work on your thesis during the exchange and to look for co-supervision at WULS (the rules need to be discussed beforehand with lecturer).

It is not possible to do BSc thesis at Wageningen University as an external student. MSc thesis is only possible in very limited quantities and under strict conditions (e.g. registration (and application) as Erasmus student, ECTS and grading from Wageningen University, permission from the WU examining board is necessary, WU exchange office cannot help in finding projects and/or supervisors).

What are the general characteristics of the thesis?

Bachelor: The Bachelor’s thesis at BOKU is written in the course „Bachelor’s thesis seminar“ (12 ECTS) of the respective study programme. You have to register for it in BOKUonline. (But nevertheless contact your supervisor in advance!) Master: The Master’s thesis at BOKU is not regarded as course. Master’s thesis are focused on research and are very often combined with (field) experiments. In some study programmes literature research is also possible. Master students have to search for a topic and a supervisor with a venia docendi (Prof., Assoc.Prof, Priv.-Doz) or an equivalent qualification on their own. Details on the tasks, milestones, responsibilites, key dates and meetings are negotiated with the supervisor. The Master’s thesis seminar, where you also present your thesis, accompanies the master’s thesis work and is worth 2 ECTS.

BSc Thesis: The topics for the BSc thesis are generally chosen by the students in the 2nd year of studies (BSc studies are 3 academic years). The topics are posted on the information university system and a student can register online at http://is.czu.cz/zp/portal_zp.pl . The structure of the thesis is explained during compulsory BSc Thesis Seminars, which are credited with 5 ECTS (e.g. EXE13Z.). The extent of the BSc thesis is usually 30 pages (including references, graphs. etc). The defence of a BSc thesis is credited with 10 – 15 ECTS. MSc Diploma Thesis: The topics for the MSc diploma thesis are generally chosen by the students in the 1st  year of studies (MSc studies are 2 academic years). The topics are posted on the information university system and a student  can register online for the chosen topic at http://is.czu.cz/zp/portal_zp.pl .The structure of the thesis is explained during compulsory MSc Thesis Seminars, which are credited with 5 - 10 ECTS (e.g. EXE13Z.). The extent of the MSc Diploma thesis is usually 60 pages (including references, graphs. etc). The defence of a MSc Diploma Thesis is credited with 7 – 15 ECTS (e.g. AWA69Z)

Master thesis is 30 ECTS, could be participation in a research project, analyzing data collected earlier, field experiment...  

A BSc thesis at the University of Hohenheim is 12 ECTS, a Master thesis 30 ECTS. Different projects (research project, literature survey,...) are possible.

Depends on research disciplines; characteristics should be discussed with the lecturer.

MSc thesis is usually 30-36 ECTS, focused on research and/or literature study. (Field) experiments are often included. There is always a report and colloquium (presentation) and is almost always individual. Each chair group of Wageningen has their own additional requirements.

Where can I find thesis topics?

Bachelor’s thesis: The topics of the bachelor’s theses are discussed in the Bachelor’s thesis seminar.

Master’s thesis:

  • The institutes/departments announce thesis projects and you apply for it: Please check the websites of the institutes/departments/working groups: http://www.boku.ac.at/en/sitemap/ Please check the announcements on the information boards of the institutes/departments and on other pinboards (e.g. in elevators) Please check BOKU’s job exchange: http://alumni.boku.ac.at/jobboerse (Unfortunately BOKU does not offer an online data base for specifically for theses at the moment.)
  • You already have a topic and look for a supervisor: We recommend that you do not send mass-emails to possible supervisors, but that you contact the Erasmus departmental coordinator – see http://www.boku.ac.at/int-in-boku-thesis-en.html You can also ask the main supervisor at your home university about possible contact persons at BOKU.

The theme for the BSc thesis or MSc diploma thesis are made public at the portal http://is.czu.cz/zp/portal_zp.pl . There is a list of successfully defended diploma thesis topics (MSc Thesis) from the past 10 years, with reference to Faculty and Department. Current announcements of thesis topics are not accessible to the public, but only to the registered students and teachers.

  • SLU Career: Overall information on degree projects/independent projects at: https://student.slu.se/en/studies/degree-projects/   On this page you can be further linked to the SLU CareerGate to find topics for thesis and job offers:  https://student.slu.se/en/study-support/slu-career/finding-a-job/
  • With ref. to no. 1: Thesis offers can also be searched on the pages for the faculties/departments presenting information in English under “Education”: http://www.slu.se/en/about-slu/organisation/departments-and-faculties/
  • Thesis offers at the Faculty of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences, and guidelines for students, supervisors and examiners.  https://internt.slu.se/nj-msc-thesis
  • Thesis offers at the Faculty of Veterinary medicine and Animal Science: https://internt.slu.se/en/targeted-info/faculties/faculty-of-veterinary-medicine-and-animal-science/core-businesses/education/degree-projects-within-the-vh-faculty/
  • Some examples from Departments: http://www.slu.se/en/departments/soil-environment/education/undergraduate-education/independent-projectdegree-project-1/ https://www.slu.se/en/departments/animal-nutrition-management/utbildning/education/degree-project/ https://www.slu.se/en/departments/wildlife-fish-environmental-studies/education/grundutbildning/master-thesis/

General information on  preparation of a final thesis is given at https://www.uni-hohenheim.de/en/finalthesis . Some institutes/departments publish list of thesis topics on their individual homepages. Some examples: https://ecology.uni-hohenheim.de/en/110621 https://bodenwissenschaften.uni-hohenheim.de/studienarbeiten https://www.uni-hohenheim.de/agrartechnik/INST/DIPSTU.html https://apo.uni-hohenheim.de/en/67261

Of course, you may also directly contact a UHOH teacher or ask your main supervisor at your home university to find a co-supervisor. 

Each department at the university collects their proposal for a thesis. It is not yet possible to reach all thesis in one place.

There are very limited options available, usually students find thesis topics via contacts between chair groups (departments) and their home university.

How can I apply for a thesis position?

You need to be accepted by the supervisor.

Students who must choose a topic announced by their study supervisor at latest by 1 December of the 2nd year of studies for BSc, 1st year of studies for MSc. They apply for thesis position at the Study Administration Office of the relevant Faculty, after they inform their study supervisor. A prerequisite for defence of a thesis is eligibility. This is indicated the students’ book of records (Index) and is confirmed by a signature of the study supervisor (attendance at lectures, field experiments, group projects, seminar work, workshops, etc.) Without eligibility the student cannot apply for a thesis position.

You apply as for any course, but although scheduled autumn/spring in our course search the actual time is flexible.  

If there are any published thesis topics, you can apply directly for the mentioned thesis.

Direct contact with the lecturer (list of the lecturers can be found on the University lecturers searching engine: http://www.sggw.pl/pracownicy ).

Only students who have found a thesis position and got accepted by the chair group of Wageningen University will then have to apply for Erasmus exchange at our exchange office (keeping in mind the deadlines and requirements). The departmental coordinator will then help the student arranging the registration etc., provided all conditions are met. 

Can I use the Erasmus Exchange for the thesis?

Yes. Further information and online application at: http://www.boku.ac.at/int-in-e-en.html Please be aware that you already need a (co-)supervisor at BOKU to be accepted. The Center for International Relations at BOKU does not have the capacities to find a supervisor for you.

Erasmus Exchange is usually meant for studies and/or research, but it may be used for writing/preparing a thesis, provided that it is agreed by the CZUsupervisor and the co-supervisor at the ELLS partner university. Students studying in a DD MSc o JD MSc programme can use Erasmus Exchange for writing their diploma thesis, however only the with consent of their supervisor at CZU, and their co-supervisor at the partner university.

Info about exchange studies application and admission: http://www.slu.se/en/education/exchange-studies/application-and-admission/ . If you have questions, contact [email protected] .

With consent of the main supervisor at your home and the co-supervisor of your host university, it is possible to use Erasmus+ Exchange (SMS) for the preparation of a thesis. Information for exchange students is offered at https://exchange.uni-hohenheim.de/en/homepage.

Students may also use ERASMUS+ internships for research related to their final thesis. However, please be aware that if you come to UHOH as an Erasmus+ intern you

  • cannot be enrolled at Hohenheim as a student
  • have no right to a spot in a student residence hall
  • cannot receive any discounts for public transportation

Info about exchange studies application and admission: http://www.sggw.pl/en/internationalcooperation_/educational-programs/erasmus-llp_

Erasmus exchange is a condition for thesis writing at Wageningen University – contact Wageningen University departmental exchange coordinator. Please note that the same application deadlines and requirements apply for ‘regular’ Erasmus incoming students as for ‘thesis’ Erasmus students. Thesis students will also count for the exchange quota between the institutions.

MSc in Environmental Science

  • Environmental Science
  • Programme Structure

Examples of MSc theses

In the list below you can read the descriptions of 11 very different theses, authored by students at the MSc Programme in Environmental Science. You are welcome to contact the author if you have further questions regarding a specific thesis.

Chronic toxicity of silver nanoparticles to Daphnia magna under different feeding conditions

master thesis life science

Author : Aiga Mackevica

Supervisor : Anders Baun, DTU Environment.

Ecotoxicity of nanoparticles has been an emerging issue in recent years, which is why it is necessary to evaluate the effects of nanoparticle exposure to the aquatic environment. In this study, we performed series of 21-day chronic tests with Daphnia magna exposed to silver nanoparticles to obtain information on growth and reproductive effects. The results were used for modelling to find possible modes of action of silver nanoparticle toxicity.

Determination of Steroid Hormones in Polar Bear Hair (Ursus maritimus) - a Methodology Study

master thesis life science

Author: Johan Weisser

Supervisors: Bjarne Styrishave, Erland Björklund & Martin Hansen; Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen.

The aim of this thesis was to develop an analytical methodology to determine steroid hormones in hair, for the purpose of using hair as a biomarker to study endocrine imbalance in polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ). Hair was chosen because steroids are incorporated into the hair shaft while growing and thereby gives a prolonged steroid profile which reflect blood steroid concentration in that given time period. An extraction and clean up method was developed. For analyte determination both gas chromatography (GC) and liquid chromatography (LC) was tested followed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). It was possible to detect progestagens, androgens and estrogens using GC-MS/MS whereas LC-MS/MS is a better analytical technic for detecting corticosteroids. Hair steroid profiling may be used to assess stress in polar bears in response to pollution and climate changes.

Effects of Carbon Nanotubes on the Female Reproductive Axis: Interference with the female reproductive cycle. A Study in Mice.

master thesis life science

Author: Hanna Lilith Katarina Johansson

Supervisor: Karin Sørig Hougaard; National Research Centre for the Working Environment & University of Copenhagen

Very little is known on the effects of nanoparticles on reproductive function. Inhalation of nanoparticles induces inflammation in the lung – and inflammation interferes with the female reproductive axis. In this study, we investigated the effect of airway exposure to multi walled CNTs (MWCNTs) on the estrous cycle of female mice. The results showed that female reproduction may be susceptible to acute exposure to nanoparticles.

Fluorochemicals and antiandrogenic effects – an in vitro study of per- and polyfluorinated chemicals on steroidogenesis and androgen receptor activation

master thesis life science

  • Research Professor , Systems Biology, Life Sciences
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Eligibility

Specific entry requirements, course specific prerequisites.

  • Students pursuing the five-year Master of Science in Engineering/Master of Architecture education must have accrued at least 225 hec before beginning work on a thesis.
  • Students who are only taking part in the Master's programme must have accrued at least 45 hec in this programme before beginning work on a thesis.
  • In addition to the general credit requirements, the necessary prerequisite courses must be completed for the specific thesis. The examiner will formulate and monitor these prerequisite requirements.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  • in their project use essential in-depth knowledge of the major subject/field of study and, in a scientifically correct way, relate to current research and development work;
  • choose and state one's reasons for selecting their project method with respect to the major subject/field of study;
  • contribute to research and development work, and be able to relate their work to relevant scientific or technical/industrial/architectonic contexts;
  • based on a holistic view, critically, independently and creatively identify, formulate and deal with complex issues;
  • plan and, with adequate methods, carry out qualified tasks within the designated framework and also be able to evaluate this work;
  • create, analyse and critically evaluate different technical/architectonic solutions;
  • critically and systematically integrate knowledge;
  • present and discuss their conclusions as well as the knowledge and arguments these are based upon both in spoken and written English;
  • within the framework for the specific project, identify which issues need to be addressed for relevant societal, ethical and ecological factors to be observed, and
  • observe and discuss ethical aspects of research and development work, both pertaining to how the work is carried out as well as what it explores/develops;
  • identify and discuss needs for further elucidation of different project aspects before decision-making or project realisation, when relevant

Organisation

  • The thesis is to be written by a single student or two students working together.
  • The student contacts an examiner or the master program responsible can suggest an examiner.
  • The student formulates a brief written description of the topic for the thesis. The description should contain the background, purpose, objective and possibly the method.
  • The examiner will ensure that the student and the project meet the requirements for general and specific prerequisites and the general intended learning outcomes for theses. The examiner signs the registration form.
  • The master program responsible ensures that the thesis falls within the main subject of the Master's programme. If the student is accepted in a five years program for Master of Science in Engineering or Architecture, the master program responsible should as well assess and approve that the master thesis is relevant for the appropriate technical/architectural subject area. The master program responsible signs the registration form.
  • The student submits the form for registration in Ladok via Chalmer's education pages, Your studies.
  • The student must write a planning report providing a detailed description of the problem/task. The planning report must contain the background, purpose, objective, scope, method and timetable for completion of the thesis. The planning report is submitted to the examiner for approval.
  • The students are entitled to guidance during the course of their work.
  • After twenty working weeks on a 60 hec thesis, the student must report the status of the work to the examiner and the master program responsible. An approved interim report results in 30 hec being registered in Ladok.
  • The thesis must be written in English.
  • The cover, etc., of the thesis must be formulated according to the instruction and templates at "Design and Publish master Thesis" at Chalmers. See Chalmers Education pages, Your studies.
  • The thesis must be parsed using anti-plagiarism software.
  • Chalmers' policies regarding open access and confidentiality apply to the work on the thesis and to publishing the report and the master thesis in whole should be open access.
  • The thesis must be published electronically in Chalmers Open Digital Repository (ODR) Student theses according to the applicable rules for electronic publication of theses at Chalmers.
  • When two students work jointly on a thesis, the division of the work must be clearly stated in the thesis.
  • The oral presentation begins with the student describing their work. This is followed by a defense of the findings, and a discussion.
  • The oral presentation must be made in English. This presentation may not take more than 60 minutes, of which approximately 1/3 of the time should be devoted to a defense of the thesis and discussion.
  • At the time of the oral presentation, the written thesis must be completed but not published. This is to make it possible to include viewpoints that arise during the oral presentation to be incorporated into the thesis.
  • The oral presentation, including a defense of the thesis, must be done at Chalmers at on open seminar. Any additional presentations can be made at a company or other external organisations, if necessary. In exceptional cases, for example, if thesis research has been conducted abroad, the examiner may grant a dispensation from the requirement for an oral presentation, defense of the findings in the thesis and presence at other presentations at Chalmers.
  • The presentation of the thesis must be announced at the department at least two weeks prior to the date of the presentation. The presentation must be held in the period between August 15 and June 15, during normal office hours.

Examination including compulsory elements

  • An approved planning report
  • An approved thesis
  • An approved presentation and defense of the thesis
  • Approved opposition of another thesis
  • Attendance of the presentation and defense of two other theses

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

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Master of Science (M.S.) in Pharmaceutical Sciences

  • Application Process

Ecampus Non-Thesis MS Degree

Program requirements: 45 credits.

The non-thesis online MS degree option in Pharmaceutical Sciences is targeted to bachelors degree holders in biology- or chemistry-related fields who wish to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries or those who wish to advance their careers in those industries.  The online degree provides the flexibility of completing degree requirements in around a student’s work schedule. The student will gain an understanding of the drug discovery, development, and approval processes; how drugs function in the human body; and the processes and techniques for acquiring and analyzing data to evaluate drug activities.

The program may be completed in 3 terms if a full academic load of 15 - 16 credits is completed per term. However, part-time completion of one or a few courses per term is readily accommodated. Sample schedules are below with recommendations on sequencing for part-time students.

Full-time sample Program of Study

Part-time Program of Study

It's recommended that part-time students take PHAR 522 Drugs and the Body, H 524 Biostatistics, and BB 550 & 551 Biochemistry I & II earlier in the program and reserve PHAR 506 Research Capstone for the last term(s) of the degree. Optional courses may be taken in any order.

Biochemistry waiver

For all Master's degree options, students who are approved to waive Biochemistry I & II may substitute other optional courses or up to 3 additional credits of Seminar, Capstone, or Reading and Conference courses on the program of study.

On-Campus Non-Thesis

The non-thesis on-campus MS degree option in Pharmaceutical Sciences is meant for bachelors degree holders in biology- or chemistry-related fields who wish to pursue a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries or those who wish to advance in their careers in those industries. The non-thesis option is mainly coursework with no hands-on research requirement. The student will gain an understanding of the drug discovery, development, and approval processes; how drugs function in the human body; and the processes and techniques for acquiring and analyzing data related to evaluating drug activities.

The program may be completed in 3 terms if a full academic load of 15-16 credits is completed per term, which is recommended. However, part-time students who complete a few courses per term can be accommodated. Sample schedules are below with recommendations on sequencing for part-time students.

Program requirements: 45 credits

Part-time Program of Study:

 It's recommended that part-time students take PHAR 522 or 525 Drugs and the Body or Foundations of Drug Action and BB 550 and 551 Biochemistry I & II earlier in the program and reserve PHAR 506 Research Capstone for the last term(s) of the degree. Optional courses may be taken in any order.

Sample Non-Thesis Program of Study

A sample non-thesis M.S. program of study can be found here: https://oregonstate.box.com/s/qbepmen35s9aou5h5zd0yc5wbarbp48f .

On-Campus Thesis

The thesis MS degree option in Pharmaceutical Sciences is targeted to bachelors degree holders in biology- or chemistry-related fields who wish to pursue or advance a career in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries or those who wish to pursue a future Ph.D. degree in the field. The thesis option provides an opportunity for extensive hands-on research. The student will gain an understanding of the drug discovery, development, and approval processes; how drugs function in the human body; and the processes and techniques for acquiring and analyzing data related to evaluating drug activities.

The additional time required to acquire data and complete a thesis usually requires an additional year of full-time research work following completion of a year of traditional coursework totaling a minimum of two years to complete the MS thesis degree option, dependent upon research progress and success. Part-time coursework may be accommodated under some circumstances but is not recommended for the thesis option.

Sample Thesis Program of Study

A sample M.S. thesis program of study can be found here: https://oregonstate.box.com/s/qbepmen35s9aou5h5zd0yc5wbarbp48f

Contact Info

College of Pharmacy Oregon State University Corvallis, OR 97331 Main Office: 541.737.3424 CE Phone: 541.737.4015 Fax: 541.737.3999

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Home » Blog » Dissertation » Topics » Science » 80 Life Science Research Topics

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80 Life Science Research Topics

FacebookXEmailWhatsAppRedditPinterestLinkedInResearch is the cornerstone of academic exploration, and for students delving into the realm of Life Science, choosing the right topics is pivotal for a suitable soul undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral thesis or dissertation. Life Science, often called biological science, encompasses the study of living organisms, their biological processes, evolutionary history, and environmental interactions. The […]

Life Science Research Topics

Research is the cornerstone of academic exploration, and for students delving into the realm of Life Science, choosing the right topics is pivotal for a suitable soul undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral thesis or dissertation. Life Science, often called biological science, encompasses the study of living organisms, their biological processes, evolutionary history, and environmental interactions. The diverse array of research topics within this field offers students an expansive canvas to investigate and contribute to our understanding of life at various scales, from molecular and cellular levels to ecosystems and biodiversity.

Life Science, or biological science, refers to the scientific study of living organisms, encompassing a wide range of subjects such as biology, ecology, genetics, biochemistry, microbiology, and more.

A List Of Potential Research Topics In Life Science:

  • Investigating the role of inflammatory pathways in chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
  • Investigating the effects of climate change on marine biodiversity and coral reef ecosystems.
  • Exploring the ecological factors influencing the behavior of apex predators in marine environments.
  • Exploring the potential of bioinformatics in personalized medicine and healthcare.
  • Understanding the potential therapeutic applications of psychedelic substances in mental health treatment.
  • Exploring the implementation and impact of personalized medicine initiatives in the UK.
  • Assessing the potential therapeutic applications of stem cell-based regenerative medicine in spinal cord injuries.
  • Understanding the role of epigenetics in the development of mental health disorders.
  • Assessing the potential of CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in targeted cancer therapy.
  • Examining the effectiveness of parent training programs in supporting the development of children with ASD.
  • A comprehensive review of CRISPR-Cas9 technology and its potential in genetic therapy and editing.
  • Assessing the role of UK government initiatives in promoting sustainability and conservation within the life sciences.
  • Investigating the role of the microbiome in immune system modulation and disease prevention.
  • Understanding the molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases for targeted drug development.
  • Investigating the potential therapeutic effects of plant-based compounds in treating neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Exploring the molecular mechanisms of chronic pain and potential therapeutic targets.
  • Exploring the integration of life science concepts in film narratives and representations of biological realities.
  • A critical review of emerging technologies in neuroimaging and their contributions to neuroscience research.
  • Investigating the effects of environmental pollutants on neurodevelopment and cognitive function.
  • Analyzing the molecular basis of addiction and potential treatment strategies.
  • Exploring the effects of prenatal and early-life exposure to pollutants on childhood development.
  • A comprehensive review of emerging trends in drug delivery systems for targeted therapy.
  • Investigating the role of epigenetic modifications in cancer development and progression.
  • Assessing the potential of nanotechnology in targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment.
  • Analyzing the molecular pathways involved in aging and age-related diseases.
  • Investigating the interplay between gut microbiota and autoimmune diseases.
  • Understanding the genetic basis of rare diseases and exploring potential treatment strategies.
  • Evaluating the role of gut microbiota in the development of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Analyzing the effects of microplastic pollution on aquatic organisms and ecosystems.
  • Exploring the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity and food security.
  • Assessing the potential of wearable health monitoring devices in improving patient outcomes.
  • Analyzing the effects of different diets on gut microbiota composition and diversity.
  • Understanding the impact of urbanization on wildlife behavior and habitat loss.
  • Analyzing the ethical considerations and policies governing gene editing technologies in the UK.
  • Analyzing the molecular pathways involved in drug resistance in cancer treatment.
  • Investigating the effects of climate change on vector-borne diseases and their transmission dynamics.
  • A systematic review of microbiome research and its implications for human health and disease.
  • Investigating the influence of Brexit on the recruitment and retention of international talent in the UK life science sector.
  • Exploring the effects of environmental pollutants on wildlife behavior and population dynamics.
  • A critical review of the gut-brain axis and its implications for mental health and neurological disorders.
  • Exploring the effects of pollution and environmental toxins on reproductive health and fertility.
  • Assessing the potential of nanotechnology in targeted drug delivery for neurological disorders.
  • Evaluating the impact of sleep patterns and quality on overall health and well-being.
  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD.
  • Assessing the impact of urban green spaces on mental health and well-being.
  • Investigating the effects of Brexit on funding opportunities and research grants in the UK life science sector.
  • Assessing the impact of Brexit on clinical trials and drug development in the UK.
  • Exploring the relationship between nutrition, gut microbiota, and immune system function.
  • Analyzing the relationship between maternal nutrition and fetal brain development.
  • A review of recent research on the effects of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystems.
  • Investigating the impact of microbial communities on plant growth in arid ecosystems.
  • Analyzing the interplay of game theory principles within life science decision-making and strategy development.
  • A comprehensive review of recent advancements in stem cell research and their applications.
  • Evaluating the impact of exercise and physical activity on mental health and cognitive function.
  • Analyzing the molecular mechanisms of immune system dysfunction in autoimmune disorders.
  • A review of recent developments in cancer immunotherapy and its potential for personalized treatment.
  • Understanding the mechanisms underlying antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations.
  • Investigating the molecular mechanisms of cellular senescence and aging.
  • Evaluating the potential of gene editing technologies in agricultural crop improvement.
  • Evaluating the effects of Brexit on the regulation and approval processes for pharmaceuticals and medical devices in the UK.
  • Understanding the role of mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Investigating the impact of diet and nutrition on epigenetic modifications and health outcomes.
  • Assessing the potential of gene therapy in treating inherited genetic disorders.
  • Evaluating the role of gut microbiota in malnutrition and its potential interventions.
  • A critical review of epigenetic modifications and their role in various diseases.
  • Evaluating the implications of social isolation on immune response and overall health post-COVID-19.
  • Investigating the effects of lockdown measures on physical activity levels and their repercussions on health.
  • Assessing the potential of gene therapy in treating genetic skin disorders.
  • Assessing the potential of nanomedicine in treating antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections.
  • Examining the impact of air pollution on respiratory health and lung function in urban populations.
  • Assessing the potential of personalized cancer vaccines in cancer immunotherapy.
  • Investigating the potential therapeutic applications of CRISPR-Cas9 in rare genetic disorders.
  • Exploring the potential environmental impacts of increased plastic usage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Investigating the effects of climate change on the biodiversity and distribution of alpine flora.
  • Assessing the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health and well-being: A life science perspective.
  • Investigating the effects of climate change on insect populations and ecosystems.
  • Analyzing the role of telemedicine in managing chronic illnesses post-COVID-19.
  • A systematic review of emerging technologies in proteomics and their applications in biological research.
  • Investigating the effects of light pollution on nocturnal wildlife behavior and ecosystems.
  • Exploring the genetic predisposition and susceptibility to severe COVID-19 outcomes.

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The Department of Materials Science and Engineering’s  (MSE) graduate programs enable students to develop fundamental scientific engineering principles that govern the behavior and application of materials. The department’s world-class faculty prepares students for rewarding careers in academia and industry.

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  • Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering The Doctor of Philosophy in Materials Science and Engineering program emphasizes the creation of new knowledge through extensive independent research, including formulating hypotheses, interpreting phenomena revealed by research, and extracting general principles upon which predictions can be made.

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  • Master of Science in Materials Science The Master of Science in Materials Science degree combines graduate-level coursework and an individual research project to provide an advanced foundational education to professionals interested in advancing their knowledge in the field. Graduates of the program have a fundamental understanding of materials structure, properties, and the processing of materials and their applications in various areas of engineering.
  • Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering The Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering is a full-time coursework-based degree that provides an advanced foundational education to professionals interested in advancing their knowledge in Materials Science and Engineering. Graduates of the program gain a fundamental understanding of the structure, properties, and processing of materials and their applications in various areas of engineering.
  • Master of Science in Additive Manufacturing The Master of Science in Additive Manufacturing program combines a fundamental understanding of the underlying science, as well as practical instruction in the technologies of additive manufacturing through classroom and laboratory coursework. The program welcomes applications from students with diverse backgrounds and individuals with work experience.
  • Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence Engineering - Materials Science and Engineering (MS in AIE - MSE) Students in the Masters of Science in Artificial Intelligence Engineering - Material Science program learn how to design and build AI-orchestrated systems capable of operating within engineering constraints. Carnegie Mellon is leading this transformation by teaching students how to simultaneously design a system’s functionality and support AI mechanisms to produce more adaptable, resilient, and trustworthy systems.
  • Master of Science in Computational Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) The Master of Science in Computational Materials Science and Engineering program provides a fundamental understanding of materials structure, properties, and the processing of materials and how computational approaches can contribute to that knowledge. Graduates understand how to use and implement computational tools and adapt them to solve problems in MSE.
  • Master of Science in Energy Science, Technology, and Policy The Energy Science, Technology and Policy program offers distinctive and customizable professional Master of Science degrees in energy. Each of the four energy master's degrees are based in engineering, aligned with new discoveries in science, attuned to sustainability and the environment, and informed by a broader perspective in economics and public policy.
  • Dual Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering and Technology Innovation Management The Master of Science in Materials Science and  Engineering and Technology Innovation Management (E&TIM) program offers students with technical backgrounds exposure to technology innovation and management related to engineering practice.  

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Carolyn Duran (MSE '92) was named to the 2024 elected class of inductees to the National Academy of Engineers.

Ankur Gupta (MSE’10) is working to develop the battery technologies needed to bring augmented and mixed reality products to market at Meta.

Powering a vision for the future

Family, colleagues honor Harry Paxton

An endowed scholarship, created in Harry Paxton's name, works to increase diversity among undergraduates in materials science and engineering.

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MSE undergraduate student Aleena Siddiqui is taking her interest in environmental issues beyond the classroom with the CMU Sustainability Initiative

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Rising Stars workshop hosted at CMU

Doctoral and postdoctoral scholars from around the country convened at CMU for a program focused on developing their academic careers in MSE.

A new National Science Foundation Industry-University Cooperative Research Center at CMU will create an ecosystem that advances quantum computing and information technologies.

New center to investigate quantum computing

MSE alum discovers fundamental advance in understanding of cells

Cliff Brangwynne (MSE ’01) wins the 2023 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for discovering a cellular process with the potential to revolutionize treatments for neurodegenerative diseases like ALS.

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College of Engineering dean, professor, and alumnus inducted in the National Academy of Engineering.

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ARPA-H has awarded $45 million to a multi-institutional team of researchers to rapidly develop sense-and-respond implant technology that could slash U.S. cancer-related deaths.

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Eight students participated in a 10-week summer research program at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

MSE professor Anthony Rollett recently received the International Freeform and Additive Manufacturing Excellence (FAME) Award at the International Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) Symposium.

Rollett Receives International Additive Manufacturing Award

A Slice of Summer in MSE

MSE students and recent graduates have a broad range of opportunities throughout the summer, from internships to research to working in their communities.

Engineering alumni double team innovation in sport

Two CMU materials science and biomedical engineering alumni are at the forefront of the development of an airless basketball made through additive manufacturing techniques.

Lisa Porter to lead Faculty and Graduate Affairs

Lisa Porter has been named the next Associate Dean for Faculty and Graduate Affairs in the College of Engineering.

Krause and Abbott receive NSF CAREER Awards

CMU College of Engineering’s Krause and Abbott receive NSF CAREER Awards for their research in materials science and biomedical engineering.

Improving patient care through ingestible sensing capsules

A team of CMU researchers is seeking an alternative to endoscopies for patients with gastrointestinal diseases with fewer risks and more convenience through digestible gelatin-based sensors.

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Graduate student finds her calling in women’s health at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. | Feb 22, 2024

Lacey Harper

Two years after earning a bachelor’s degree in exercise science summa cum laude from KSU, Harper worked as manager at a sporting goods store when she received a message via LinkedIn from one of her former professors, Garrett Hester.

“It almost seems like a movie,” Harper said. “I was just pursuing the business side of life and I got a message from, of all places, KSU. He asked me if I would be interested in an open graduate research assistant position. That one message really turned everything around.”

Currently pursuing a master’s in exercise science , Harper has thrived in the Hester research group. Along with the important mission of improving the health of older women, she discovered her inner nerd, immersing herself in the data analysis of her various projects as well as the hands-on aspects of studying the effects of exercise. She presented one of her projects at the Wellstar College Research and Engagement Day in spring 2023 and won honors among student presenters.  

While her award-winning project related to fall risk among middle-aged women due to muscle fatigue, her master’s thesis has focused on strength training with elastic bands to improve the health of older women. Strength training is effective for increasing muscle strength, but few perform such exercises, particularly older women. It’s a matter of accessibility and comfort with elastic bands, and more evidence is needed on their efficacy for improving muscle health. Harper seeks to quantify those physical function improvements and discover more about the physiological mechanisms behind them.

“We've created a home-based, super-practical elastic band training program that we will have women ages 65-79 perform at home, so it will be very easily accessible for them,” she said. “We're going to see how a shorter program affects their muscle health, their muscle quality and their physical function. We're doing all sorts of tests related to strength, all-cause mortality, how it affects their daily function and their quality of life.”

Hester researches aging and neuromuscular function with a recent emphasis on women’s health. He said Harper expressed interest in graduate school during her senior year in 2020, but her name didn’t come up until he had an opening for a graduate research assistant. His hunch paid off, and Harper has done exceptional work in the lab.

“She's been an impressive graduate student, and her accolades reflect that,” Hester said. “She’s truly committed to older women’s health and has really dived into the research and analytics. She’s also really embraced mentoring undergraduates, which is important for any graduate student, especially at an undergraduate-focused university like KSU.”

Aside from her master’s thesis, Harper has been consistently active in research and professional development pursuits. She has published two research articles, including one in the Journal of Physiology, a high-impact journal in the field. Harper also obtained her exercise physiologist certification this past summer. Recently, she was selected to present her findings on aging and muscle function in an “Emerging Findings on Aging” session at the Annual College of Sports Medicine meeting.  

After graduating in May, Harper plans to pursue a doctorate in the exercise science field, studying older women’s health in even greater detail. She said she will carry the lessons she learned in the labs and classrooms at Prillaman Hall with her wherever her studies take her.

“Thanks to Dr. Hester, the faculty at Kennesaw State and support from Wellstar College, I’ve been granted the opportunity to return to school in this way,” she said. “I know it’s cliche, but to say it has changed my life is the truest thing I can say about it. This time two years ago, I would never have thought I’d have the opportunity to dedicate myself to the important research we’re doing right now, and that I’m so grateful to contribute to the field of muscle heath and aging.”

– By Dave Shelles

Photos by Matt Yung

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu .

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Canada's Last Chance Lake Has Clues To Origin of Life On Earth: Study

The researchers were drawn towards the last chance lake after studying a 1990s unpublished master's thesis that had recorded unusually high levels of phosphate there..

Canada's Last Chance Lake Has Clues To Origin of Life On Earth: Study

Last Chance is a shallow water body, not more than one foot deep. (Representational Pic)

A lake in Canada holds clues to the origin of life on Earth, a new study has claimed. Some scientists claim that life emerged in volcanic landscapes, surrounded by a precise blend of chemicals and physical conditions. This was the likely setting around four billion years ago, and the study by David Catling and his colleagues offers new support for the idea. They studied the Last Chance Lake - a shallow, salty body of water situated on a volcanic plateau in Canada's British Columbia.

The researchers said that the lake holds clues that carbonate-rich lakes in ancient Earth could have been a "cradle of life". The study has been published in journal Nature on January 9.

"We were able to look for the specific conditions that people use to synthesise the building blocks of life in nature. We think that we have a very promising place for the origin of life," said Mr Catling, a University of Washington professor of geosciences.

They were drawn towards the lake after studying a 1990s unpublished master's thesis that had recorded unusually high levels of phosphate there.

Last Chance is a shallow water body, not more than one foot deep. It is located on a volcanic plateau over 1,000 metres above sea level. The lake has the highest levels of concentrated phosphate ever recorded in any natural body of water on Earth. It is more than 1,000 times more than what is typical for oceans or lakes, CNN quoted Sebastian Haas, a postdoctoral researcher studying the microbiology and chemistry of aquatic environments at the University of Washington as saying. He is the lead author of the paper.

Phosphate is a critical component of biological molecules and contains life-sustaining element phosphorous. It is found in molecules such as RNA and DNA.

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The water samples were collected from the lake between 2021 and 2022. An analysis revealed that apart from phosphate, the water also contained the mineral dolomite.

The compounding chemical processes, influenced by minerals from the volcanic rock that the lake formed upon, as well as an arid climate, effectively produced the unique concentrations of phosphate - a set of conditions that researchers believe could have once led to the emergence of life on Earth, according to Mr Haas.

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Thesis Defense Announcement for Kenzie Ellenberger – 03/04/2024 at 1:00 PM

February 22, 2024

Thesis Title:  Quantum Task Mapping for Large-scale Heterogenous Computing Systems

When:  03/04/2024 1:00 PM

Where:  Webex – https://msstate.webex.com/msstate/j.php?MTID=mda5022c0587f885c8b82b430996e872e

Candidate:  Kenzie Ellenberger

Degree:  Master of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering

Committee Members: Dr. Samee Khan, Dr. Yaroslav Koshka, Dr. Bryan Jones

Heterogeneous computing (HC) systems are essential parts of modern-day computing architectures such as cloud, cluster, grid, and edge computing. Many algorithms exist within the classical environment for mapping computational tasks to the HC system’s nodes, but this problem is not well explored in the quantum area. In this work, the practicality, accuracy, and computation time of quantum mapping algorithms are compared against ten classical mapping algorithms. The classical algorithms used for comparison include A-star (A*), Genetic Algorithm (GA), Simulated Annealing (SA), Genetic Simulated Annealing (GSA), Opportunistic Load Balancing (OLB), Minimum Completion Time (MCT), Minimum Execution Time (MET), Tabu, Min-min, Max-min, and Duplex. These algorithms are benchmarked using several different test cases to account for varying system parameters and task characteristics. This study reveals that a quantum mapping algorithm is feasible and can produce results similar to classical algorithms.

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    The thesis-based Master's degree requires 24 course credits plus a thesis based on original research (6 credits). The professional studies M.S. is a course-based master's degree (30 credits total) designed to prepare students for professional careers in life sciences communication and related fields.

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    The Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering (AJSE) is a peer-reviewed journal owned by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and published by ...

  26. Graduate student finds her calling in women's health at Kennesaw State

    One message reset the life trajectory for Kennesaw State University graduate student Lacey Harper. Two years after earning a bachelor's degree in exercise science summa cum laude from KSU, Harper worked as manager at a sporting goods store when she received a message via LinkedIn from one of her former professors, Garrett Hester. Currently pursuing a master's in exercise science, Harper ...

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  28. Canada's Last Chance Lake Has Clues To Origin of Life On Earth: Study

    The researchers were drawn towards the Last Chance lake after studying a 1990s unpublished master's thesis that had recorded unusually high levels of phosphate there. Science Edited by Amit Chaturvedi

  29. Thesis Defense Announcement for Kenzie Ellenberger

    Mississippi State University is an equal opportunity institution. Discrimination in university employment, programs or activities based on race, color, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, status as a U.S. veteran, or any other status protected by applicable law is prohibited.