Program in Biological Sciences College of Science Florida Institute of Technology

Program in Biological Sciences College of Science Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL
student ratio
Not Reported
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
Not Reported
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


An Active, Innovative Biology Department at a Top Technological University

The Department of Biological Sciences at Florida Institute of Technology, one of the leading institutes of technology in the country, is composed of active faculty members and graduate students who are making in-roads into diverse fields of knowledge. From the regulation of plasmid and chromosome replication in E. coli to infrared detection in snakes to paleoecology and plant molecular biology, the Florida Tech Department of Biological Sciences has assembled experts in specialized fields who work together, rather than in isolated departments, to advance research.

Graduate students and faculty members benefit greatly from this approach and have received prestigious awards and grants. Doctoral candidate Lorian Schweikert was awarded a $126,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship for her proposal "Adaptive Plasticity of the Retina in Response to Environmental Cues." Professor Richard Aronson received a $453,000 NSF grant to discover whether the warming of Antarctic waters is allowing predatory crabs to return to and disrupt the primeval marine communities.

The department offers master's degrees in marine biology, biotechnology, ecology, and cell and molecular biology, as well as a doctoral program.

Master of Science in Biological Sciences -- Biotechnology

The world's oceans are rich with unexplored resources for biotechnologists, and Florida Tech's pivotal location, just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean, brings students directly to these diverse marine habitats. Florida Tech's biotechnology program builds on established expertise in marine biology, marine ecology, natural products chemistry, molecular biology, and biochemistry to create a comprehensive and multifaceted learning environment.

The nearby Atlantic Ocean and Florida Tech's indoor aquaculture facilities, which total approximately 2,500 sq. ft., provide research opportunities for students studying aquatic life for potential biotechnical use.

Florida Tech collaborates with biotechnology firms such as Merck, Sharp and Dohm, Lederle Labs, and Zymogenetics, so that students may complete internships as part of their training.

The Master of Science in Biology -- Marine Biology

Graduate students in the Master of Science in Biology -- Marine Biology program will dive into research and coursework while making a splash in many of the local marine environments just minutes from Florida Tech. Trekking through knee-high waters in the Everglades to study invasive species, kayaking along the North America's most diverse estuary (the Indian River Lagoon), and diving into the warm waves of the Atlantic Ocean to study the effects of climate change on tropical ecosystems are just a few of the hands-on learning experiences students undertake while studying at Florida Tech. By going directly into these environments, students can interact with the ecosystems they study to better understand their multifaceted and often fragile nature.

The Master of Science in Biology -- Cell and Molecular Biology

The Master of Science in Biology -- Cell and Molecular Biology is a 30 credit hour program that builds upon Florida Tech's established expertise in research. By using high-tech tools such as electron microscopes and advanced resolution scanners, students will conduct extensive and often published research. Students study the intricacies of cancerous cells to come closer to a cure, discover new applications of high tech genetic engineering, and take part in many other varieties of frequently funded research. Florida Tech's location in a High Tech Corridor surrounds students with internship opportunities only minutes from campus.

The Master of Science in Biology -- Ecology

The Master of Science in Biology -- Ecology degree program at Florida Tech delves into the complex interactions between organisms and their environments. Students are required to take part in 2 summer field programs -- learning opportunities that take place around the world for academic credit. The African savannah, the Australian coral reefs, the Costa Rican rainforests, and the Rocky Mountains are just a few of the environments students study and research in the field as part of the ecology program. These experiences enhance students' understanding of conservation and biodiversity by allowing students to view these phenomena in living environments outside the classroom.

Doctor of Philosophy in Biological Sciences

Graduate students in Florida Tech's Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Biological Sciences program carry out advanced research alongside respected faculty members on topics ranging from ancient paleoecology to thriving marine ecosystems. Doctoral students spend considerable time in the field and in the lab gaining a comprehensive and first-hand understanding of the fascinating ways organisms coexist. Florida Tech's research university status provides Ph.D. students with the tools and skills necessary to conduct meaningful research that contributes to the greater understanding of biology.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

The Department of Biological Sciences has modern facilities that make it easy for students to dive into the most current research topics in cell and molecular biology, such as DNA purification and analysis, gene cloning, cell culture, and protein isolation and characterization.

The Sportfish Research Institute is dedicated to the study of the restoration of depleted sport fish species that are tremendously important to Florida's ecosystem. Research currently focuses on the use of the Indian River Lagoon as a nursery habitat for juvenile tarpon and other fishes, identification of snapper spawning sites, and behavioral training of aquacultured juvenile red drum to enhance their survival after being released into wild habitats.

The Vero Beach Marine Lab sits on 4 acres of oceanfront property and serves as a field station for research. The lab holds several seawater tables, greenhouses, and large tank systems for studying aquaculture, marine animal behavior, and ecology.

In addition, the biology department offers students the use of the High Resolution Microscopy and Advanced Imaging Center, which contains high-tech equipment for specialized research, such as confocal and electron microscopes.

Accomplished Faculty Members

The faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences includes enthusiastic instructors and researchers. Professor Mark Bush has studied the connection between Amazonian drought and ocean warming by collecting data about the region that stretches as far back as 100,000 years ago. His research, funded by institutes around the world, has led to a greater understanding of this incredibly diverse and fragile ecosystem.

Professor Robert van Woesik is an expert in another of the world's most important and delicate ecosystems: coral reefs. Woesik's team discovered new vulnerabilities within coral systems and specific species traits that can lead to region-wide extinctions.

Professor Junda Lin has the unique honor of being a species namesake. The "Lysmata Jundalin," a peppermint shrimp found in Puerto Rico, was named by one of Lin's former students who chose the name to honor Lin's respected work in aquaculture.

Florida Tech -- A Top Technology Institute

Florida Tech is one of the top institutes of technology in the nation and is ranked a Tier 1 Best National University by "U.S. News and World Report." "Forbes" ranks Florida Tech as one of America's Best Colleges. Several Florida Tech faculty members have received NSF Career Awards and 90 are principle investigators in the institute's well-funded projects. Government, private organizations, and industry currently finance $94 million in sponsored research projects.

Location & Contact

Program in Biological Sciences

College of Science
Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Biological And Biomedical Sciences--General Master's
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported