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Graduate Admissions Criteria

Matriculation in the Master of Science in Biological Sciences program may be secured by application to the Office of Graduate Admissions. To be considered for admission, an applicant must submit:

  1. a completed application for admission as a matriculated graduate student, including a statement of objectives for graduate study and the applicant's main area of interest;

  2. transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work;

  3. two letters of recommendation from persons who have knowledge of the applicant's training and aptitude for graduate study (letters from academic referees are preferred);

  4. a word-processed document of at least three pages illustrating the applicant's technical writing skills;

  5. a cover letter indicating which faculty members they have contacted in regards to acting as a major advisor for the applicant; and

  6. Graduate Record Examination scores in either the General Aptitude, the Biology subject test or the Biochemistry, Cell & Molecular Biology subject test. Information on the place and time of these examinations may be obtained from the Office of Graduate Admissions, from the Educational Testing Service, Box 955, Princeton, NY 08540, or online at


Application Deadlines

Applications must be received by November 15 for Spring semester matriculation, and July 15 for Fall semester matriculation.Please note: if you are interested in a teaching assistantship, the deadline is earlier!

Admission Requirements

The applicant should have completed 18 credits of biology at a regionally accredited institution, preferably with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (A=4.0). The applicant should have credit for college physics, organic chemistry and calculus. Computer science is recommended. The applicant may be admitted as a candidate with deficiencies in the above areas, but priority must be given to their removal. Courses taken to satisfy a deficiency are not credited toward the master's degree. Such courses may be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis with the consent of the instructor and the candidate's advisory committee. Admission to the Master of Science program in biological sciences is dependent not only upon the candidate's qualifications, but also on the willingness of a faculty member to act as the major advisor for the candidate. Therefore, it is important that applicants contact potential advisors during the application process. Potential advisors should be faculty members with research or teaching interests similar to those of the applicant. Information on faculty research and teaching interests can be found at: and Applicants should list potential major advisors in a cover letter accompanying their application materials, indicating those faculty members they have already contacted.

Degree Requirements

See the Graduate Catalog for a complete listing of the Master of Science in Biological Sciences requirements.

Time Limit

After matriculation, a graduate student has five years in which to complete all degree requirements. With sufficient reason a student can request a leave of absence or an extension of this time limit.

Last updated 12/05/2007