MS in Biological Sciences

Admission Requirements

The department typically admits only applicants who wish to be candidates for the PhD, however, applicants may be admitted to the MS program under unusual circumstances. Applicants are considered on an individual basis. Transcripts of all undergraduate and any graduate work must be submitted. In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, applicants must meet the following program requirements:

  • Baccalaureate Field No restrictions. It is recommended that prior academic work include courses in biological sciences beyond the introductory level to provide sufficient preparation for the proposed area of study. Admitted applicants may be required to remedy specific course work deficiencies by enrolling in undergraduate classes during their first year.
  • Grade Point Average At least 3.00/4.00 for the final 60 semester (90 quarter) hours of undergraduate study.
  • Tests Required GRE General.
  • Minimum English Competency Score
    • TOEFL 90, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 24, Speaking 26, and Writing 21 (iBT Internet-based TOEFL). 620 (Institutional Testing Paper-Based—prior to August 2018), 60, with subscores of Reading 19, Listening 17, Writing 21 (New Paper-Based—after August 2018), OR,
    • IELTS 6.5, with subscores of 6.0 for all four subscores, OR,
    • PTE-Academic 54, with subscores of Reading 51, Listening 47, Speaking 53, and Writing 56.
  • Letters of Recommendation Three required, preferably from faculty who are familiar with the applicant’s recent work.
  • Personal Statement A one- to three-page statement of the applicant’s area of interest, research experience, professional goals, and reasons for wishing to attend graduate school is required.
  • Deadlines Application deadlines for this program are listed on the Graduate College website.

Degree Requirements

In addition to the Graduate College minimum requirements, students must meet the following program requirements:

Two tracks are available, research or course work. (Note: Until further notice, no new students will be admitted to the course work track.)

Research Track

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 32.
  • Course Work At least 24 credit hours of 400- and 500-level courses are required. A minimum of 9 credit hours of 500-level courses must be letter-graded courses (A to F), not project (BIOS 597), thesis (BIOS 598), or seminar courses which are graded Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U).
  • Comprehensive Final Examination Required. The examination typically includes an oral presentation and defense of the research thesis.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Thesis required. No other options are available.
    • Thesis: Students must earn at least 5 credit hours of BIOS 598.

Course Work Track

  • Minimum Semester Hours Required 32.
  • Course Work At least 24 credit hours of 400- and 500-level courses are required. A minimum of 9 credit hours of 500-level courses must be letter-graded courses (A to F), not project (BIOS 597), thesis (BIOS 598), or seminar courses which are graded Satisfactory (S) or Unsatisfactory (U).
  • Comprehensive Final Examination Required. The examination typically includes an oral presentation of the project.
  • Thesis, Project, or Course-Work-Only Options Project required. No other options are available.
    • Project: Students must take at least 5 semester hours of BIOS 597.