Biological Sciences


The Master of Science in Biological Sciences degree (non-thesis option) is an online program designed specifically for K-12 teachers and others interested in biological sciences. The 30-hour curriculum consists of relevant, rigorous, and challenging graduate courses that are specifically designed to improve science-content knowledge. This program is in a fully online format, allowing lectures to be available 24/7.

Courses are open to both degree and non-degree seeking students. As a degree seeking student, the program can be completed in as few as 6 semesters. Admission to the Non Degree category is restricted primarily to those who may benefit professionally from additional study at the graduate level. For example, current primary, middle grades and secondary education teachers wising to gain recertification most commonly apply as Non-Degree Seeking students.


The following requirements must be met to be considered for admission to the online Master's of Biological Science Degree:

  • A suitable undergraduate education (you do not need an undergraduate degree in biology to be considered for admission)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A resume
  • Suitable GRE scores (GRE scores are not required for teachers with 1 or more years teaching experience)
  • A satisfactory TOEFL score (550 from paper exam or 213 from online exam, or 80 from the internet exam, or 6.5 or higher on the IELTS test) is required for international students whose native language is not English.
  • $80 fee for MS-BIOS-1-AAC applicants, $60 fee for ND-AFLN-1 applicants, or a $90 fee for international applicants. Application fees are nonrefundable.


This program is available completely through online instruction with 4 courses offered each semester: January-April, May-August, and August-December. Students are limited to only two courses each semester with the exception of BIOL 8480, which may be taken at any time. However, BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry is recommended, not required, before enrolling in BIOL 8480.

The course schedule includes:

Fall Semester
  • BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry
  • BIOL 8420 Understanding Cellular Processes
  • BIOL 8440 Understanding the Human Body
  • BIOL 8460 Understanding Plant Biology
  • BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research
Spring Semester
  • BIOL 8430 Understanding Genetics and Evolutionary Biology
  • BIOL 8450 Understanding Vertebrate Biology
  • BIOL 8470 Understanding Microbiology
  • BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research
Summer Session
  • BIOL 8400 Understanding Biological Inquiry
  • BIOL 8410 Understanding Ecology and the Environment
  • BIOL 8480 Understanding Scientific Research
  • BIOL 8490 Understanding Scientific Communication

South Carolina is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and Clemson University (CU) is an approved SARA institution, which means we adhere to established standards for offering post-secondary e-learning programs in all member states. Please review our state authorizations to see if this program is offered in your state and our process for student complaints against the university.

Information about licensure/teacher certification: Our non-thesis Master of Biological Sciences is designed specifically for in-service teachers and other science educators who want to improve their science-content knowledge in biological sciences. It is intended for individuals who (a) already have the required licensure, or (b) who do not want or need teaching certification or licensure. There is currently no option to obtain licensure or certification through this program. Potential applicants should ensure this program meets their personal and/or professional goals prior to applying.


For more information about this online program, please visit the Graduate Studies in Biological Sciences department webpage, or contact the program advisor, Robert Ballard,, 864-656-3579.

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per credit hour

The Clemson Online Master of Science in Biological Sciences program is assessed as a Tier Five Online Graduate Program. Please check the Student Financial Services Page for the most accurate tuition rates.

Program contacts

Robert Ballard, Program Advisor