Dec 05, 2023
Room 3052, Haenicke Hall
The Master of Science in Biological Sciences enhances students’ ability to plan, conduct, analyze, and report original research. Course work increases students’ scientific preparation and supports their research. Through the advice of the students’ major advisor, efforts are made to choose courses to meet individual needs and interests. The degree may serve as preparation for continued graduate or professional study or for positions in the private or public sector. Thesis and non-thesis options are offered.
To be admitted in the master’s program, both departmental and University requirements must be met. Application materials must be obtained from both the Department of Biological Sciences at (269) 387-5600 and the Office of Admissions and Orientation at (269) 387-2000 for domestic students or Office of International Student and Scholar Services (269) 387-5865 for international students. To be considered, an application must contain:
- Completed University and Departmental application forms;
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended, indicating that the applicant has
- earned a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with an overall grade point average of at least 3.2, and
- taken appropriate courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics;
- Official scores for the verbal, quantitative, and analytical sections of the Graduate Record Exam (these must be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Orientation);
- Three letters of recommendation; and
- A cover letter highlighting the student’s most important accomplishments to date and indicating how graduate work at Western Michigan University will further the applicant’s career goals.
Although not required for admission, applicants are encouraged to contact individual faculty to discuss their research interests. Students with academic deficiencies may be provisionally admitted and required to address their deficiencies during the first year in the graduate program.
The Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Thesis Option) requires 33 hours of course work, including preparing and defending a thesis in an oral examination and presenting research results at a departmental seminar.
The Master of Science in Biological Sciences (Non-Thesis Option) requires 33 hours of course work, including presentation of research results at a departmental seminar, defense of research results in an oral examination, and preparation of a manuscript suitable for publication in a refereed journal (in consultation with the student’s thesis committee).
Required Courses (11 hrs.)
There are 6 graduate core courses:
Master’s students are required to take 3 of these 6, 1 from each of three pairs:
In addition, each student is required to take 2 hours of:
Elective Courses (16 hrs.)
Elective courses are selected with the advice and approval of the student’s advisory committee.
Electives are selected from Biological Sciences or approved cognate courses.
Research Requirement (6 hrs.)