Master of Science in Biology for Science Teachers

Graduate

The two-year program is designed to fit the schedules of working teachers. It consists of two summer institutes, three weeks each, in residence at Washington University. The remaining coursework during the academic years will be completed online. Summer housing is available for out of town students and included in the cost of the program.

Teachers in the program continue working together throughout the summer and online courses, using social media to develop a professional networking group.

Program Benefits

  • Earn a Master of Science in Biology from Washington University in two years while continuing to work at your current job.
  • Learn from leading researchers in St. Louis and top-notch faculty at Washington University, one of the most prominent research universities in the country.
  • Gain skills to build your department as a team and acquire nationwide contacts with colleagues who are working to strengthen biology education.
  • Spend two three-week summer sessions at Washington University’s main campus, participating in courses with renowned faculty. Housing and on-campus meals are included in the program cost.
  • Participate in professional networks to keep in touch with colleagues and to provide support when writing papers and conference proposals.
  • Develop leadership skills for curriculum innovation at the district, local and national levels.

Program History

Washington University in St. Louis faculty created and piloted this degree with 90 biology teachers as a National Science Foundation (NSF) teacher institute. Barbara Schaal, Mary-Dell Chilton distinguished professor in biology, and Victoria L. May, assistant dean in Arts & Sciences, used a blend of current research in life sciences and in education to design the program.

Using the NSF program as its benchmark, the M.S. in Biology for Science Teachers degree is now available and open to teachers nationwide.

Schaal, a leading researcher in the nutrition and evolution of plant crops, is also the vice president of the National Academy of Sciences, and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). Her interest in helping all students understand the interconnectedness of living systems led to her involvement with the program.

Biology faculty who teach in the program use their own and related current research in the courses to demonstrate importance of scientific issues to the global community.

Tuition & Fees

The pricing for this 30-credit program varies between Residential and Non-Residential (commuting) participants. For reference purposes only:

  • Residential pricing for 2017 is $12,350/year and 2018 is $12,725/year (includes $1,100 for housing and meals and $825 in lab fees per summer). Total cost is $25,075.
  • Commuter pricing for 2017 is $11,250/year and 2018 is $11,625/year (per credit hour rate is $695 in 2017 and $720 in 2018, plus $825 lab fee per summer). Total cost is $22,875.

Tuition is billed each semester. Students will be enrolled in at least 4.5 credits per semester, making them eligible for federal financial aid (loans). Pricing does not include books. Parsons Blewett funding is available for St. Louis Public School Science Teachers.

required course work

Required courses: 30 units

Academic Year / Online Courses

  • Tropical Marine Biology (BIO 4080)
  • Program Capstone I (BIO 521)
  • Chemistry for Biology Teachers (BIO 509)
  • Case Studies in Biology (BIO 529)
  • Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 5322)
  • Conservation Biology and Biodiversity (BIO 5432)
  • Applications of Biology to Global Health Issues (BIO 563)
  • Program Capstone II (BIO 5771)
  • Immunology
  • Human Genetics

Summer Courses

  • Plants and People (BIO 523)
  • Matter and Energy Transformations (BIO 5925)
  • Molecular Basis of Heredity (BIO 5924)
  • Ecology and Environmental Sciences (BIO 524)
  • Biological Evolution (BIO 525)
  • Neuroscience and Behavior (BIO 5926)

application requirements

Completed application form

The online application is available online on our Apply page. Applications are ready for review when all fields on the application form are completed, required documents have been received, and the application fee is paid.

Official transcripts from all previous college work

Contact the registrar at each previous college or university attended to request an official transcript. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar to University College.

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"I feel so much more confident in my content area, and because I feel so much more involved in my school district, I feel like I can better motivate or empower students who are interested in science."

―Kelly ShipleyMcMinnville High School, Oregon

Still have questions?

Program Coordinator: Margo Hathaway | (314) 935-8974 | hathaway@wustl.edu

Academic Advisor: Shawn Cummings | (314) 925-6783 | cummingss@wustl.edu