Admission Requirements

All applicants for the M.S. Degree in Biology must meet the general requirements for admission to degree study at West Chester University. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation as part of their application to graduate study. Applicants must include a one-page written statement that outlines their reasons for pursuing graduate study in biology and the specific area of biology in which they are interested. Applicants must fill out a supplemental application for graduate study in biology by the end of their first semester of study, available from the biology coordinator, in which they identify their preferred adviser and indicate whether they intend to pursue the thesis or nonthesis option, and whether they intend to be a full-time or part-time student.

Minimum academic prerequisites for admission include two semesters of general chemistry, two semesters of organic chemistry, one semester of physics, one semester of statistics, one semester of calculus, and 17 semester credits of course work in the biological sciences. The minimum GPA for admission is a 3.0 overall and a 3.0 in the Biology courses.  Because of space and personnel limitations, admission of academically qualified applicants is contingent upon the availability of laboratory space, the adviser whom they identify, and the appropriateness of the student's background to the chosen area of concentration.

Students who are lacking some of the prerequisite courses may be granted provisional matriculation status and given permission to pursue the M.S. degree while correcting their deficiencies.

The M.S. in biology may be completed under either the thesis or nonthesis option. Switching between the two options is possible early in the program, but will require the student to organize a new advisory committee, take additional courses, and spend additional time completing the program.

The supplemental application form will not be required to be admitted into the graduate program. Instead, students (thesis and nonthesis) will have until the end of their first semester to choose an adviser and a committee. Continued enrollment in the program is contingent upon the student finding a faculty member who is willing to act as his or her adviser.

DEADLINE DATES FOR APPLICATIONS: April 15 for all students wishing to be considered for graduate assistantships for the following September; April 15 for the fall semester; October 15 for the spring semester. We have rolling admissions into our program. If you do not wish to apply for an assistantship there is no deadline for applications. However, if you wish to apply for fall semester it is recommended that you have your application materials to the graduate office by July 15, and for spring semester by November 15.