Through the master’s degree in the field of biology you:
- Enhance your understanding of the biological sciences, including molecular biology, genetics, genomics, cell biology, physiology, neurobiology and behavior, evolution, and ecology.
- Build a foundation in scientific practice, including experimental or case study design and implementation, scientific data collection and analysis, and ethical practices.
- Develop advanced professional communication skills, with an emphasis on sharing scientific results in written, oral, and graphical forms.
A faculty of life science instructors from Harvard University
Personalized academic and career advising
In-depth thesis experience with faculty advisor
Entrepreneurial opportunities through the Harvard Innovation Labs
Paid research options supporting faculty
Harvard Alumni Association membership upon graduation
Customizable Course Curriculum
Our curriculum is flexible in pace and customizable by design. You’ll experience the convenience of online learning and the immersive benefits of learning in person. You can study part time, choosing courses that fit your schedule and align with your professional goals.
As you work through the program, you’ll take courses in essential biology topics like genetics, neurobiology, biochemical engineering, and molecular biology.
9 Online Courses
- Synchronous and asynchronous formats
- Fall, spring, January, and summer options
You’ll complete 1 biology elective course in person, at an accelerated or standard pace:
- An online course with an intensive weekend on campus in fall or spring
- A 3-week summer session
You’ll complete a 9-month independent research project on a topic in biology in consultation with a thesis director.
The path to your degree begins before you apply to the program.
First, you’ll register for and complete 3 required courses, earning at least a B in each. These foundational courses are investments in your studies and count toward your degree, helping ensure success in the program.
We invite you to explore degree requirements, confirm your initial eligibility, and learn more about our unique “earn your way in” admissions process.
Our Community at a Glance
Students in the biology degree program are accomplished professionals who are pursuing the degree to continue their career advancement or prepare for further advanced study in biology. They work in a variety of fields, including education, research, and healthcare.
Average Courses Taken Each Semester
Work Full Time
Would Recommend the Program
Professional Experience in the Field
Pursued for Career Advancement
Careers & Alumni Outcomes
Biology alumni have gone on to doctoral programs in a variety of fields, including bioethics, biomedical sciences, biomedical forensic sciences, chronic disease epidemiology, education, medical/veterinary sciences, neuroscience, oncology, and pubic health at top research universities.
Roles held by recent graduates include:
- Senior Research Technician
- Clinical Research Coordinator
- Medical Student
Alumni work at a variety of organizations, including:
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- Harvard University
Career Advising and Mentorship
Whatever your career goals, we’re here to support you. Harvard’s Mignone Center for Career Success offers career advising, employment opportunities, Harvard alumni mentor connections, and career fairs like the annual Harvard Biotech, Pharma, & Healthcare Expo on campus at Harvard.
Your Harvard University Degree
Upon successful completion of the required curriculum, you will receive your Harvard University degree — a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Biology.
Expand Your Connections: the Harvard Alumni Network
Tuition & Financial Aid
Affordability is core to our mission. When compared to our continuing education peers, it’s a fraction of the cost.
|Our Tuition (2023–24 rate)||$3,220 per course|
|Average Tuition of Peer Institutions||$4,330 per course|
|Average Total Cost||$38,640|
After admission, you may qualify for financial aid. Typically, eligible students receive grant funds to cover a portion of tuition costs each term, in addition to federal financial aid options.