Biology, Master of Science (M.S.)

The Biological Sciences graduate program is designed flexibly to allow students, with their advisors, to mold and focus their program of study on professional interests and specific needs. To do this, students can draw from a broad range of graduate courses and select from a diverse well-trained faculty for direction in research.

Program Highlights

  • Approximately 35 graduate teaching assistantships are available each year to qualified applicants. TA positions include stipend and tuition waiver.
  • The Department of Biological Sciences is located in Trafton Science Center, one of the best science buildings in the state university system. Trafton Science Center presents an open, collaborative atmosphere for graduate study and research, and includes well-equipped research and classroom laboratories.
  • State-of-the-art equipment and facilities are available for use including: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), confocal microscopy, real-time PCR, HPLC, 5 bay green house, herbarium, vivarium, and tissue culture facility. A full list can be viewed on the Department website.
  • Research funds, provided by the Department of Biological Sciences, are available to support graduate student thesis projects.
  • The Department of Biological Sciences offers travel support to present research at scientific meetings.

Application Requirements

Admission to the Biology MS Program requires that applicants satisfy the minimum requirements for admission to the College of Graduate Studies and Research. In addition, qualified applicants should satisfy the following three requirements for acceptance in the Biology MS Program. It is highly recommended that applicants identify and contact a potential research mentor prior to applying.

1. Demonstrate proof of meeting the academic requirements for the program by satisfying ONE of the following criteria: 

a. Submit an official transcript signifying that you received a bachelor's degree in Biology with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and minimum biology GPA of 3.0; OR

b. Submit official transcripts showing that you possess a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than Biology but have completed at least 20 credits in the biological sciences (General Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Cell Biology, Microbiology, or Physiology). The average GPA for these course must 3.00 or higher; OR

c. The graduate committee may consider and admit with deficiencies, applicants, who meet most of the criteria in a or b, on an individual basis with the support of a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences that will mentor the applicant. 

2. Submit a letter to the Department of Biological Sciences describing your interest in our Biology MS program. This letter should succinctly identify your career goals, your research interests, and identify 2-3 faculty members with whom you are most interested in pursuing a thesis research project.

Additional Requirements for International Applicants:

  • International students from a country where English is not the primary language of instruction must submit an official IELTS score with a minimum score of 7 in speaking and in two of the other three ability categories. An internet based TOEFL (iBT) is acceptable with minimum scores of 26 in speaking, 24 in writing, and 22 in the other two categories. 
  • Credential Evaluation prepared by a National Association of Credentials Evaluation Service member.


Students who do not meet the admission requirements or students that do not have an equivalency (a grade of C or better) in the core courses required for admission, have a scholastic deficiency (listed on your acceptance letter).

Deficiencies may be corrected by:

  1. Formal course work or
  2. Approved examination(s) given by the instructor in charge (with a C or better).

Undergraduate courses taken as a deficiency will not count toward the graduate degree. Any graduate course designated as a deficiency may be applied toward your graduate degree, provided it is first approved by your advisor, the Biology Graduate Committee, and the Biology Department Chairperson.

Application Deadlines

  U.S. Based Applicants International Applicants
Fall Start Rolling May 1
Spring Start Rolling September 1
Summer Start Rolling N/A

Time to Completion: 2-3 years

Graduate Coordinator Contact

Dr. Ryan Wersal

Biology website