M.S. Degree

Students in Biology have the option to enroll in a thesis based Master of Science in Biology (Tampa) or Master of Science in Conservation Biology (St. Petersburg).


Degree requirements should be completed in 2-3 years. All degree requirements must be completed within a five-year period after enrollment in the program. Thesis research should be of publication quality, and students are encouraged to publish their findings. 


Only available at USF Tampa campus.   

The Master of Science in Biology is designed to foster the development of technical and analytical skills used in existing and emerging fields of discovery. This program emphasizes learning and teaching about the interactions, across all scales, among humans and other diverse organisms in a range of environments. 

Students pursuing a Master of Science in Biology can choose from three areas of concentration:

Master of Science in Ecology and Evolution (EEV)

Master of Science in Biology in Environmental and Ecological Microbiology (EVM)

Master of Science in Biology in Physiology and Morphology (PMY)

Additional requirements for a M.S. in Integrative Biology are:

Seminar Requirements: One presentation, excluding the thesis seminar and defense. Students should present posters or oral presentations based on their thesis research at national/regional professional meetings. The student's graduate committee must approve the presentation. 


Only available at USF St. Petersburg campus  

Created as a direct response to the crisis of biodiversity loss, USF St. Petersburg’s Conservation Biology program trains the next generation of scientists to address critical issues in biodiversity conservation. The Master of Science program applies science towards solving biodiversity loss, introducing students to the skills necessary for tackling five of the major drivers of biodiversity loss: habitat degradation, climate change, invasive species, pollution and over-exploitation.

The Conservation Biology program prepares students for a wide range of careers working for wildlife in governmental environmental agencies, parks or zoos involved in conservation initiatives, private conversation organizations, environmental consulting firms, businesses involved in sustainable development or teaching and research at academic institutions. Areas of study include animal behavior, new species discovery, conservation genetics and threatened and invasive species.

Students enrolled in this thesis-based program are expected to conduct their own research and encouraged to participate in the field-research of faculty. Students benefit from strong partnerships with environmental groups such as the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and United States Geological Survey, as well as the USF College of Marine Science, all of which are located in close proximity to the USF St. Petersburg campus.

Faculty within the program have demonstrated expertise in a variety of related fields including conservation biology, biomedical science, zoology, mathematics and marine science. Upon receipt of their degree, students will be equipped to discuss the factors that influence and support biodiversity; evaluate and apply scientific principles to the conservation of biodiversity and natural habitats; design appropriate monitoring to study native and invasive species; and communicate research results and significance to general and scientific audiences using written text and oral presentations.