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Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University is a non-thesis coursework-based degree, distinct from our research-based Master of Science degree. Coursework covers diverse areas of biology, allowing students to enhance their breadth and depth in biological concepts.

This degree serves students who wish to continue studies in the biological sciences but do not want to pursue a research-based career. This allows students to enhance their experience for promotion in industry or teaching jobs or for admission to professional schools.

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Course Requirements

The Master of Arts in Biological Sciences requires 30 hours of coursework. A minimum of 15 hours of these credits must be at the 6000-level or above. Students must receive a grade of B or better in graduate courses.

Graduate core courses (9 hrs.)
Students must select three courses from the following:

Elective courses (19 hrs.)
Elective courses allow each student to tailor additional course work to meet individual needs, and are selected from Biological Sciences or approved cognate courses with the advice and approval of the graduate advisor. Up to nine credit hours of coursework in related areas from other departments can be included. Students may include independent research with a faculty member should they desire some laboratory experience. Graduate level courses are numbered 5000 or above.

Colloquium requirement (2 hrs.)

Master’s students are required to participate in the departmental colloquium (invited seminar series, BIOS 6050) during two semesters.


See information on the cost to attend WMU and financial assistance.


Prospective students who have questions about our programs or the application process please contact:
Dr. Bruce Bejcek, Graduate Advisor
Phone: (269) 387-5634
Fax: (269) 387-5609
Contact form

Current graduate students at WMU who have a question should contact:
Dr. Christine Byrd-Jacobs, Graduate Advisor
Phone: (269) 387-5843
Fax: (269) 387-5609
Contact form