Teaching of Biological Science, MS – Online


Graduate Director: Dr. Marianne Alleyne
School of Integrative Biology
320 Morrill Hall
505 S Goodwin
Urbana, IL 61801
Contact: Kim Leigh
(217) 333-2910
Email: kaleigh@illinois.edu

Online Program: Teaching Biology
Degrees Offered: M.S.

Graduate Degree Program

The Online Master of Science Teaching Biology Program (OMST-Biology) is designed for certified biology/science teachers who wish to complete a Master of Science degree in Biology. Individuals who are already certified to teach science/biology at the middle school / high school level may enter the online program to earn the MS degree while taking online courses in both biology and education.


All Applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) comparable in content and number of credit hours with that granted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Applicants must have an overall grade-point average of 3.0 (A=4.0) for the last 2 years of undergraduate study. Applicants must have proof of teacher certification in Science/Biology.

Applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL scores. International applicants must have a TOEFL score of at least 613 (paper-based test), 257 (computer-based test), or 103-104 (internet-based test) to be considered for admission. The TOEFL must be taken within two years of the proposed term of entry; older scores are not valid. Request that official TOEFL scores be sent directly to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The institution number is 1836.

See the Program Web Site for application deadlines, procedures, and more detailed application guidelines.

Financial Aid

Financial assistance in the form of full or partial waiver of tuition and fees is not available to online M.S. students (except statutory waivers). 

Applicants must be certified to teach science/biology. This master's program is only available online.

Graduation requirements for the OMST-Biology Program include a minimum of 32 credit hours of coursework.

While specific courses are not required, previously certified candidates must complete a minimum of 8 hours of graduate-level courses offered by departments in the College of Education to be selected in consultation with the Biology advisor based on the student's interest.8
Elective hours selected from either biology or education8
Hours Required within the unit (Biology IB or MCB)16
Research/Project Hours (min/max applied toward degree)0-4
Total Hours32

Other Requirements1

Other requirements may overlap.
Courses taken "credit/no credit" may not be used toward degree requirements.
Deficiencies in undergraduate courses needed to satisfy the certification requirement must also be taken; these courses normally do not count toward the 32 or 51 graduate hours needed to complete the degree. Deficiencies are determined by an audit of transcripts conducted by the Teacher Certification Office.
500-level hours required overall in program: 12
Conferral of the MS degree is contingent upon the completion of all teacher certification requirements.
Qualification for teacher certification is contingent upon the completion of all MS degree requirements.
Minimum GPA: 3.0