MSc in Life Sciences (with Individual Tracks)

Tel Aviv University - International Office

Program Description

MSc in Life Sciences (with Individual Tracks)

Tel Aviv University - International Office


The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences is the oldest faculty at Tel Aviv University. Previously, it was known as the University Institute of Natural Sciences and focused on traditional biological disciplines such as botany and zoology. Today, new scientific developments and technologies have not only changed these disciplines but created new ones such as nanotechnology and bioinformatics. The Faculty now houses 90+ research labs across a wide range of biological disciplines.

About the MSc

The developments in biological science and the use of new technologies have blurred the classic division of the subject into sub-fields. As a result, a broad and inclusive approach to solving fundamental problems in life sciences is needed today, requiring interdisciplinary knowledge and the use of a range of technologies. Graduate students must, therefore, have interdisciplinary training that is not focused on the specific field of their research.

We offer three English-language tracks of MSc degrees - Biochemistry, Ecology and Environmental Studies, and Genetics - in our six departments:

  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Cell Research & Immunology
  • Molecular Biology & Ecology of Plants
  • Molecular Microbiology & Biotechnology
  • Neurobiology
  • Zoology


The program in the biochemistry track is intended for students studying for a master's degree in one of the departments of the Faculty of Life Sciences. The study program involves 30 semester hours of required and elective courses, carrying out research work, submitting a thesis and passing a final examination.

1. Required faculty courses - 10 s/h

  • Safety in the Laboratory course (during the first year of studies) – no credit
  • Guided reading and discussion in research groups – 2 s/h
  • Departmental seminar for MSc students – each student will participate in the seminar given by the Department in which he performs his research – 2 s/h each year

One of the courses:

  • Biostatistics – 4 s/h
  • Statistical principles in experimental biology – 4 s/h

2. Required track courses:

Students must take 8 s/h from the following list of courses:

  • Advanced Molecular Biology - RNA World
  • Methods in Structural Biology B *
  • Methods in Structural Biology A*
  • Mechanisms of Enzymatic Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology of Membranes
  • Modeling of Biological Networks
  • Introduction to proteomics
  • Neither structural biology course is dependent on the other one.

Basket of elective courses (from among the Graduate School courses and third-year undergraduate courses)

To make up the total hours for the degree (30 semester hours), courses can be taken from the third year (undergraduate degree, up to 25% of the total credit points), from other tracks in the Graduate School, or from other faculties in fields related to life sciences (medicine, exact sciences). For courses that are not related to life sciences, a maximum credit of 4 s/h will be given.

Below are a number of recommended courses:

  • Molecular signals in processes of division, differentiation, and apoptosis
  • Molecular biophysics - not given in 2015/16
  • Endocrinological control
  • Genetic engineering
  • Introduction to structural biology
  • Predicting the structure and action of proteins - not given in 2015/16
  • Organization, dynamic and signal transfer in cells: imaging and physical approaches
  • Systems biology - not given in 2015/16
  • Laboratory in molecular biology of the cell
  • Modelling of biological systems - not given in 2015/16
  • Basic methods in cellular biology and molecular biology
  • Advanced cellular biology A
  • Advanced cellular biology - Year 2
  • Processes of separation into biological products - not given in 2015/16
  • Molecular - cloning laboratory
  • Selected topics in molecular cell biology

Students who plan to work with lab animals as part of their MSc research must take the course "Principles of using lab animals in biomedical research", given by the medicine faculty (2 s/h).

Study achievements

Continuation from year 1 to year 2 is dependent on the student achieving a passing grade in all required subjects, and a weighted grade of 75 or above.

Ecology & Environmental Studies

The long-term destruction of ecological systems has brought ecology, nature conservation, and the study of biodiversity to the top of the scientific and public agenda around the world. Today there is an understanding of the role of biodiversity in maintaining the systems that support life on Earth, as well as the provision of services - economic, agricultural, health, environmental and social - to human society. In order to protect ecological systems in an age of global change, we have to understand the ecology and evolution of living beings, from the gene level to the level of the ecosystem.

Ecologists work in the laboratory and in the field, at universities and in nature and environmental conservation organizations, in government ministries, in education, and in industry. They are involved in a wide range of issues from different disciplines and aim to understand the set of biological processes that build the components of diversity at the level of the ecosystem.

At the scientific level, the study of biodiversity is one of the most challenging fields in the science of complexity. The scientists of Tel Aviv University are at the forefront of research of these processes in Israel. The Faculty of Life Sciences has a long tradition of natural history research using research tools from the fields of evolution, genetics, ecology, biogeography, behavior and physiology, and a unique infrastructure that includes the zoological research gardens, the botanical gardens, and the national natural history collections. In addition, the scientists teaching this program have a long tradition of contributing to society in the fields of nature conservation and environmental protection.

The master's degree track in ecology and environmental studies is appropriate for students wishing to specialize in nature conservation, ecology, and the environment. The program covers a range of issues in ecology, evolution, and nature conservation, and provides students with the advanced tools that are used in these fields, as well as an understanding of the challenges involved in preserving a green world in a situation of global changes. Graduates of the program will be able to continue their studies towards a Ph.D. or turn to practical work in the relevant fields. The study program includes courses, field trips, and workshops.

Employment possibilities for graduates include:

Research institutes and environmental organizations > The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Nature and Parks Authority > Medical institutes > Drug companies > Agriculture and food companies > Biotechnology industries > Institutes of higher education > The education system and more.


A two-year interdisciplinary program for research in genetics, genomics, molecular and systems biology.

We live in the post-genomic era: technological advances have allowed the sequencing of a large number of genomes, including that of humans. Genetics and Genomics stand today as the most central disciplines in biological research. Genetic research encompasses all aspects of life and provides insights on the function of cells and organisms, their interactions, and the consequence of their malfunction, from cancer to neurodegenerative diseases. Genetic tools, combined with molecular biology technics, stand today also at the center of the biotechnological research. Modern pharma and high-tech biotechnological industries are based on the novel information and tools provided by the genetic and genomic disciplines.

The program provides advanced education in molecular and genetic research. Students are exposed to the latest technologies, and carry out research in the forefront of biology. The experience gained by attending this program will be useful for those pursuing an academic career, as well as to those interested in joining the biotech and pharmaceutical industries.

The Program in Genetics is interdisciplinary and open to Biology students from all the departments of the Life Sciences Faculty. Students carrying out research in subjects related to genetics (in the widest possible terms: molecular, quantitative and systems biology, evolutionary studies, developmental and cancer biology, etc.) in any lab of the Life Sciences Faculty can join the program.


For people coming from Biology and related studies: basic Genetics, basic Molecular Biology, Basic Microbiology. At least one laboratory (Genetics, Micro, Biochemistry). In addition: ONE of the following two courses: 0455.3360 Genetic engineering (3 hours) OR 0455.3682 Genetics of Microorganisms (4 hours).


Our program is designed for graduates of accredited institutions of higher education. Candidates will preferably have completed a BSc in Life Sciences or related fields with a minimum grade of 80 (or equivalent). Under special circumstances, students from other academic backgrounds will also be considered.

There is a general GPA requirement of 80 on a scale of 100 or 3.0 on a scale of 4.0. Note that all transcripts will be weight-based according to each country’s academic grading system.

  • Application Materials and Requirements
  • Applicants are requested to upload the following official documents to the Student Portal:
  • University degree diploma (Graduation Certificate, copy)
  • Official transcripts from all higher education institutions (college or university) attended. If your transcripts are not in English, you need to provide a notarized translated English copy.
  • Two letters of recommendation from academic and/or professional sources
  • CV/Resumé
  • English Language Proficiency Exam: Your TOEFL or IELTS exam scores. Applicants with qualifications from a country where the official language is not English are required to submit either their TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score. Tel Aviv University's Code is 7704.
  • A passport-sized photo (light background, headshot only). This photo will be used for your student ID only and is not part of the admissions process.
  • Health Declaration form (to be filled out by the applicant)
  • $100 USD application fee, payable by credit card or bank transfer. The fee can also be paid upon arrival.
  • A photocopy of your passport

Application Deadlines:

  • First application deadline: May 31, 2017
  • Second application deadline: June 30, 2017
  • Applications will be accepted according to a rolling admissions policy after June 30, 2017, depending on availability


The TOEFL and IELTS scores must be submitted no later than one month following the application deadline. Please note that because grades are usually published one month after the exam, you should take the exams at least a month in advance in order to ensure receipt of your grades in time.

Students on an MSc track are required to have an approved academic advisor (PI) before being accepted into the program.

If you have already contacted a potential advisor before starting the registration process, your application will be forwarded to him/her.

If you have not been in contact with any specific potential academic advisor, your application will be circulated among available potential academic advisors.

Costs & Funding

Stipends are available to graduate students who have been registered and admitted. Students receiving a stipend are exempt from tuition fees, but not from payment of the supplementary fees. Registered students do not automatically receive a stipend. Further details can be obtained from the Graduate School Secretariat and from the secretaries of each of the departments.

Financial assistance

Applications for financial assistance should be addressed to the Unit for Financial Assistance, the Office of the Dean of Students.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 25, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
24 months
Full time
- If accepted, tuition and living assistance will be covered.
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First Application Deadline: May 31, 2017.
Israel - Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
First Application Deadline: May 31, 2017.
End date Request Info
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
Second Application Dealine: June 30, 2017.
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
Israel - Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District
Application deadline Request Info
First Application Deadline: May 31, 2017.
End date Request Info
Application deadline Request Info
Second Application Dealine: June 30, 2017.
End date Request Info