Master of Arts in Biological Sciences

Why choose an M.A. in biological sciences at Western Michigan University

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 you to enhance your breadth and depth of knowledge in biological concepts.

Career preparation

The M.A. program offers students options to prepare for various career goals such as:

  • Continuing your studies in the biological sciences allowing you to enhance your experience for promotion in industry or teaching jobs or for admission to professional schools.
  • Offering you the chance to complete your master's degree with no laboratory research experience, however it is possible for you to perform independent research with a faculty member should you desire some bench-top experience.
  • Presenting the opportunity for more upper-level course experience focused in a particular area.

Admission requirements

The requirements for the M.A. in biological sciences are as follows:

  • Applications are currently being considered on a rolling basis.  Please plan ahead to ensure all materials arrive and are processed by WMU's Graduate College at least three weeks before the first day of classes of the semester in which you intend to begin your program. Any application missing documents or transcripts before the start of the semester will be considered for the following semester.
  • Completed University application, including fees
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities previously attended.
  • 3.0 G.P.A. is required for admission
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • International applicants must provide: IELTS or TOEFL scores and translated transcripts. Visit the International Admissions website for further information.
  • Applicants to the M.A. program are NOT required to take the GRE exam.

Read the Graduate Admission Information sheet for further information.

Apply now

If you have questions, contact the department at (269) 387-5624 or email an advisor. Thank you for your interest in applying for M.A. graduate program!

Financial assistance

Information about additional assistantships and fellowships, special assistance for minority graduate students, tuition grants and research funds may be obtained from the Graduate College. Information about student loans and other federal, state and University need-based financial aid programs may be obtained from the Student Financial Aid and Scholarships office.

Course requirements

Master's students are required to take three of the following six graduate core courses:


Each student is required to take two hours of:


19 credit hours of elective courses are required. Elective courses are selected with the advice and approval of the graduate advisor. Electives are selected from biological sciences or approved cognate courses. Up to nine credit hours or coursework in related areas from the other departments can be included. 

For more information please view the graduate catalog.


Prospective students who have questions about our programs or the application process should contact our graduate admissions advisor.

Current graduate students at WMU who have questions should contact Dr. Devin Bloom, graduate advisor.