Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Biology, Master of Science (056)

Department website:

Program Coordinator

Carl W. Dick,, (270) 745-2043

The Master of Science in Biology provides many opportunities in teaching, research, and public service and provides excellent preparation for many other areas of basic and applied sciences. The program offers students the option of a traditional thesis and a non-thesis option that incorporates distance-learning.  The non-thesis option is designed primarily for career-oriented students who are located off campus.

Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP)

This degree offers a Joint Undergraduate Master's Program (JUMP) which provides academically outstanding students the opportunity to complete both an undergraduate and graduate degree in approximately five years.  Contact the graduate program coordinator for additional information.

Program Admission

In addition to Graduate School requirements, the Department of Biology requires the following:

  • An undergraduate degree in Biology or a related discipline, or evidence of adequate preparation in the field of Biology;
  • A thoughtful and reflective Statement of Purpose (ca. 1-2 pages) that describes the applicant’s background, experience and preparation in the field, interest in the WKU program, and future or career interests. The statement must specify whether applicant is choosing the thesis or non-thesis (online) track, and thesis track applicants must identify a WKU biology graduate faculty member who has agreed to serve as advisor;
  • A current Curriculum Vitae or Resume;
  • Three letters of recommendation from professional references.

Graduate School Admission

Please refer to the admission section of this catalog for Graduate School admission requirements.

Program Requirements (30 hours)

The M.S. in Biology program offers a thesis and non-thesis option. 

Required Courses
BIOL 500Introduction to Graduate Studies and Research in Biology (First semester)3
BIOL 598Graduate Seminar (Typically final semester)2
BIOL 599Thesis Research/Writing (6 hrs)3-6
or BIOL 516 Investigations/Biology
Advisor approved biology elective courses 19-22
Total Hours30