"Here, you connect ecosystems to tangible solutions."



Biologists study the organisms and wildlife of regional environments, aid in the protection and survival of wildlife within any given ecosystem, and assess the impact of human activity on the environment. Governors State’s Master of Science in Biology prepares students to work as professional biologists with a strong environmental emphasis. GSU’s unique location, where urban and rural areas meet, allows students to explore a diverse range of complex environments close to campus.

Conduct research in animal research labs and a field station located right on the GSU campus, or take advantage of university-facilitated research opportunities in DNA and molecular biology at locations such as the Field Museum and Pritzker Lab. Culminate your research in a thesis, or take advantage of internships available at agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Forest Preserve District of Will County, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Brookfield Zoo, and Argonne National Laboratory.

GovState Field Station

As a GovState Biology student, you will have access to our on-campus field station to study, environmental science, ecology, wildlife, and more!

Reach Your Career Goals

With an M.S. in Biology you will be equipped to work as a professional biologist with a strong environmental emphasis. Graduates work as naturalists at county, state, and national parks or find employment in the private sector as waste management consultants or with planning agencies as habitat assessment experts. Still others pursue advanced degrees.

Why get a Master of Science in Biology?

As a graduate student in the Biology program, you will receive broad training in the design and analysis of field and laboratory studies and complete intensive work in selective courses that emphasize applied principles and methods in fields such as toxicology, hydrology, and environmental chemistry. Our small class sizes foster individualized instruction, allowing you to take advantage of faculty research ranging from local to international.

As of 2024, the national average salary of a biologist is $57,278, while the range is usually between $51,876 and $64,653 (salary.com).

Delivery Format

Achieve your master’s degree in as little as two years. Governors State’s 33-credit hour Biology M.S. is offered fully on-campus. Enroll full-time to jumpstart your career or part-time for added flexibility.


Snehal Chavda

"As a grad student, I have found that I can walk into any of the biology faculty offices and discuss new ideas, troubleshoot problems, or discuss career and scholastic paths with a team of experts. This is one of the outstanding components of the biology department and a very special boon for a first-generation student such as me. Another rare asset at GSU is our Biological Field Station, which provides 140 acres of preserved land to conduct real-world environmental studies."

Snehal Chavda

Mary Carrington

"The Master of Science in Environmental Biology, Management, and Policy is the ideal graduate program for students interested in working in the biological sciences. The degree prepares students for a variety of careers and pursuits—everything from conducting research and doing laboratory or fieldwork to teaching biology at the college level, continuing in graduate school for a doctoral degree, or working in land management or for a conservation organization. Our past graduates are now employed with regional forest preserve districts, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, regional laboratories, environmental consulting companies, and regional universities, or are continuing in graduate school toward a doctoral degree."

Dr. Mary Carrington, Full Professor of Biology

<b>Biology Faculty</b>

Biology Faculty

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Student Clubs and Organizations

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