Graduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Appalachian's Master of Science in Biology program is designed to prepare students for competitive careers and continued training in the field of biology. The program provides students  with a comprehensive knowledge of broad fields and disciplines in biology while allowing specialization in an area of the student's choice.

The program has three concentrations:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology – Students choosing this track conduct research aimed at understanding cellular and molecular processes that govern life at the molecular level and take coursework aimed that complement their research program.
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology – Students choosing this track are involved in research programs that address key questions in physiological, population, community and ecosystem ecology with emphasis on evolutionary principles and take coursework that complement their research program.
  • General Biology – Students choosing this track have the flexibility to customize their program to incorporate aspects of both of the above tracks. In addition, students who would like to focus their coursework and research on secondary science education can choose this track.

In order to be admitted to the M.S. in Biology Program, an applicant must be accepted by a faculty member who agrees to be the applicant's research mentor/advisor. View Biology faculty research interests.


The Graduate Program in Biology has been twice named the Outstanding Graduate Program at Appalachian, and a number of our graduate students have been awarded grants or scholarships for their proposed and ongoing research.

Students study under faculty experts who conduct active research in diverse fields including:

  • cell and molecular biology
  • conservation biology
  • ecology and evolutionary biology
  • genetics
  • immunology
  • microbiology
  • pathophysiology
  • physiology and organismal biology
  • science education

Learn more about Graduate Student Research Opportunities.


Teaching assistantships (TA) not only help students fund their education but also provide training to teach at the college level. The Biology Department works diligently to provide this support. All full-time, on-campus degree-seeking students are eligible for assistantships.

View Current Assistantship Opportunities

Costs and Aid

The Department of Biology recognizes the importance of the decision to attend graduate school. For information on determining your cost of attendance and sources of financial support, visit the Costs and Aid website.

Competitive out-of-state tuition waivers are available. For more information, contact the graduate director at

Admissions Information

Application Requirements

Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university; complete application to the Graduate School; official general GRE exam scores, unless waived; letter of intent; commitment from a Biology faculty member to chair the applicant's thesis committee.

Supplemental Application Information

Resume; Letter of Intent; Recommendations for the application should be written by persons familiar with the applicant's academic performance. At least one letter must be from a faculty member at the applicant's undergraduate degree-granting institution. Applicants are encouraged to contact the program director as early as possible regarding thesis research interests.

To be considered for admission, applicants must meet the criteria for admission to the Graduate School. Meeting these criteria does not guarantee admission.

Exam Waiver Eligibility

The GRE is required only for applicants with a GPA lower than a 3.0. 

Accelerated Master's

This program offers an accelerated master's option for undergraduate students currently enrolled at Appalachian State University.

Application Deadlines

  • Spring: November 1, priority deadline is October 15
  • Summer Sessions: April 1
  • Fall: July 1, priority deadline is March 15

Connect with us

Request more information and receive email updates about App State's Biology program.

Let us know when you're interested in attending graduate school and we'll help guide you through the process.

Apply to Grad School

Visit the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School page to apply to graduate school at App State.

NOTE: When starting a new application, please select the appropriate application type and follow the steps on how to apply.