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Department of Biology
142 Halsey Science Center
800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 424-1102

Admission and Application

Given the COVID-19 crisis and associated disruptions, we will consider applications to our MS Program in Biology and Microbiology for Fall 2020 enrollment through the end of July 2020.  Applications received between August 1 and December 15, 2020 will be considered for Spring 2021 enrollment.

Requirements for Admission

Applicants to both the Biology and the Microbiology MS programs are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related science, including a course in statistics or calculus. Evidence of English proficiency is required. This may be demonstrated by (1) having attended a U.S. college or university continuously for more than one year, (2) by holding a U.S. undergraduate degree, (3) by having received an undergraduate degree from a foreign institution where English is the language of instruction, (4) by having resided in the U.S. for more than one year without being a student, or (5) by submitting an official TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 79-80 (internet-based) or (6) by submitting an IELTS score with an overall band score minimum of 7.0.

Once the Office of Graduate Studies has a complete application, it is forwarded to the department for evaluation by our Graduate Committee. Note that our department’s requirements are more restrictive than the university’s minimal requirements; it is our opinion that students who do not meet these criteria have a reduced probability of success in our graduate program.

For admission in full standing, the Department of Biology requires:

1. An overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better (on a 4.0 scale), as evinced by an official transcript; if the overall undergraduate GPA is less than 3.0, the applicant must have earned a GPA of 3.25 or better during the last half of undergraduate work (approximately 60 credits).

2. A composite Verbal + Quantitative (V+Q) score on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) of 295 or higher. The GRE must have been taken no more than five (5) years prior to the application date. If the GRE is taken more than once, only the highest score will be considered.  For more information on the GRE, please visit

3. Three positive letters of recommendation detailing the applicant’s abilities in the sciences and potential to succeed in graduate school. At least two and preferably all three will be written by university professors in the sciences.

Students who do not meet these criteria may be admitted on probation, if the department’s Graduate Committee sees evidence of the applicant’s potential to succeed in graduate school. To achieve full standing, an applicant admitted on probation must earn a 3.0 GPA in the next nine (9) credits attempted.

An applicant who meets the above criteria for admission in full standing, but whose baccalaureate is in a non-science discipline, may be admitted conditionally, if the department’s Graduate Committee sees evidence of the applicant’s potential to succeed in graduate school. If an applicant is admitted conditionally, the Graduate Committee will require successful completion of such undergraduate courses as they believe necessary to permit the applicant to succeed in our program. Although these deficiencies may be addressed concurrently with graduate work, they do not count toward the total graduate credits required for graduation.

Application to the Program

All students must apply through the UW Oshkosh Office of Graduate Studies. All necessary information and forms are available on their webpage. Application materials will be sent to that office but will be reviewed by a faculty committee in the department of biology.

The application deadline for fall admission is April 1 and the application deadline for spring admission is November 1.