Funded Organismal Biology MS Programs
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List of Departments that have a fully-funded Masters program that includes Ecology, Evolution, or Organsimal Biology
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Background on this list: Some Masters programs in biology are fully funded (tuition is waived and a stipend is provided), but many are not. It can be difficult to identify which MS programs are fully funded based on websites, because many websites have little to no information about financial support. This list was generated by professors and graduate students on Twitter who are involved in these programs. Thanks to everyone that contributed!
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How to use this list: This is just a starting point for students interested in MS programs in organismal biology. It is very important that you do your own research into places of interest. Funding may only be guarenteed for certain degree programs, or funding may be based on which lab you join and the resources of your professor. The best way to research is to look up professors that share your interests and contact them directly. For more details about financial assistance, you can also reach out to the Graduate School's admissions team.
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Caveats: Funding situations for MS programs may change year to year. It is vital that you reach out to professors that you are interested in working with to verify that funding is available. In general, when applying to graduate school, it is critical to talk to professors before you apply to discuss whether there is space in the lab and whether the research matches your interests.
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Tuition: The primary sources of funding for MS programs are from Teaching Assistantships (TAs) and Research Assistantships (RAs). It is common for these assistantships to come with a tuition waiver in addition to the stipend. Tuition waivers will typically cover all tuition, but be mindful that some tuition waivers are only paritial. Many universities require you to pay student fees that cannot be waived (usually under $1,000, often much less)
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Stipend: A stipend is typically provided with TAships and RAships. Stipends are income, and you can use this money for housing and other expenses. Be wary that some assistantships provide a stipend but not a tuition waiver, such that your stipend mostly is spent on tuition. I was careful to exclude these types of programs from this list, but be sure to do your own research. Also, be wary that stipends can vary from ~$3,000 to $30,000/year
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Health Insurance: Some MS programs provide student health insurance with the assistantships (typically with a premium). Some programs offer inexpensive student health insurance that you can buy. It can be difficult to find this information on websites, but it should be included in your offer letter if you are accepted into a program.
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InstitutionDepartment/Program
Tuition waiver?
Stipend?Health Insurance?Notes
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University of MichiganFrontiers ProgramYesYesYesUnderrepresented minority and first-gen students
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University of Rhode IslandBiological SciencesYesYesYesGreat for students interested in marine and environmental biology (and other ecology and evolution topics)
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Ohio State University
Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
YesYesYes
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University of MaineSchool of Biology and EcologyYesYesIncluded with some fellowships
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UMass-BostonBiologyYesYes?
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Georgia Southern UniversityBiologyYesYesNoGreat for students that want to do field work in ecology and evolution
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Virginia Institute of Marine Science
School of Marine ScienceYesYesInsurance allowance providedVery supportive grad student community; More focused on applied sciences, such as fisheries and environmental biology
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Oregon State UniversityFisheries and WildlifeYesYesYesFocused on Fisheries and Wildlife Biology
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Southeastern Louisiana University
Biological SciencesYesYes?
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Auburn UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes?Ecology, Evolution, Physiology, and Organismal Biology applicants should contact professors to check for availability in their labs
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University of New HampshireBiological SciencesYesYes?Integrative Organismal Biology or Marine Biology
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Old Dominion UniversityBiological SciencesYesYesStudents can buy grad plan
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Grand Valley State University
Robert B. Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI)
YesYes?
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UMass-DartmouthBiology/Marine BiologyYesYes?
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Bucknell UniveristyBiologyYesYes?Small program, but supportive environment
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Towson UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes?
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University of KansasEcology and Evolutionary BiologyYesYes?Note that this is an MA (not an MS). They seem to run the program like an MS, and it looks like a great program.
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University of CincinnatiBiological SciencesYesYes?
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Eastern Michigan University
Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
YesYes?
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Western Michigan UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes?
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Washington State University Pullman
BiologyYesYes?Must establish residency in Washington State for tuition waiver, but new students from out of state are given time to do this
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Utah State UniversityBiologyYesYes
Subsidized graduate health insurance
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University of Central FloridaBiologyYesYesYes
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American UniversityBiologyYesYes?
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Youngstown State UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes?
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Adelphi UniversityBiologyYesYes?Note that this area is rather expensive
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Miami University (Ohio)BotanyYesYes?
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UCLAEcology and Evolutionary BiologyYesYes?The LA area is extremely expensive, and stipend is $7,000/quarter
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The University of Southern Mississippi
Gulf Coast Research LaboratoryYesYes?Funding is common, but not guarenteed to all students
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Wright State UniversityBiological SciencesYesYesStudents can buy grad plan
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University of the PacificBiological SciencesYesYes?Most students get full tuition remission, but it's not guarenteed
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University of MontanaBiological SciencesYesYesNo
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University of Tennessee Knoxville
Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyYesYesYes
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Florida Atlantic UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes?
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Minnesota State University, Mankato
BiologyYesYes?
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Missouri State UniversityBiologyYesYes?
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Clemson UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes
Subsidized graduate health insurance
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Southeast Missouri StateBiologyYesYes?
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Walla Walla University BiologyYesYes?
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Central Michigan UniversityBiology/Conservation BiologyYesYesStudents can buy grad plan
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Villanova UniversityBiologyYesYes?
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University of WyomingZoology and PhysiologyYesYesYes
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Wake Forest UniversityBiologyYesYesStudents can buy grad plan
All graduate students get full tuition waiver, and WFU offers grad study in all areas of Biology
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James Madison UniversityBiologyYesYes?
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Fordham UniversityBiologyYesYes
Subsidized graduate health insurance
High cost of living in NYC, but relatively high stipend
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Ohio UniversityBiological SciencesYesYes?
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Loyola University ChicagoBiologyYesYesYes
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