Master of Science in Biological Sciences

The Master of Science in biological sciences in the Department of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University is designed for you if you wish to pursue your studies past the B.S. with bench-top research experience to enhance your employment options. This program is ideal if you are looking to advance your education and be more competitive in the job market for academic and industrial positions or desire research experience before applying to a professional school.

This program will enhance your abilities to plan, conduct, analyze and report original research. Required coursework enhances your scientific preparation and supports your research.

With the guidance of the major advisor, you will choose additional courses to meet your 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.


Application instructions

All application materials must be received no later than Feb. 1 for consideration for admission in the following fall semester. The department does not consider applications for admission in the spring semester.

WMU has a new online graduate application system that allows all students (domestic and international) to submit required information into one system. General application information for the University, as well as specific requirements for individual programs, are captured into this system.

Applicants are asked to include some program-specific information. Applicants are encouraged to bookmark this information for quick reference while working through the graduate application process.

Apply now

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

Course requirements

The graduate catalog lists the program requirements.

Financial assistance

There are several opportunities for you to obtain financial assistance to cover the cost of attendance. Teaching assistantships carry a tuition waiver, and are available on a competitive basis for the fall and spring semesters. A limited number of summer session teaching assistantships are also available to outstanding students.

  • Information about additional assistantships and fellowships, special assistance for minority graduate students, tuition grant, 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.

The application deadline is Feb. 1 for departmental teaching and research assistantships and for most University fellowships, doctoral assistantships, Thurgood Marshall assistantships, professional tuition grants and other financial assistance.


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

Current graduate students at WMU who have questions should contact Dr. Silvia Rossbach, graduate advisor.

Research specializations

Our master's programs allow you to specialize in the following areas:

  • Biological imaging
  • Cellular biology
  • Cellular physiology
  • Chemical ecology
  • Ecology and evolution
  • Entomology
  • Genetics
  • Global change biology
  • Microbial ecology
  • Microbial genetics
  • Molecular biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Plant pathology
  • Plant physiology
  • Virology and immunology

Student organizations

You may choose to participate in a student organization to enhance your academic experience and prepare for your professional career.