Department of Biological Sciences
Supplemental content for MS in Biology
Admission to the M.S. program in biology is competitive and has two basic requirements:
1. Applicants should have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution, preferably in some area of biology, with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3.0.
2. Admission is also dependent upon a faculty member agreeing to serve as the primary faculty advisor to the student. Therefore, before applying to the program, students must become acquainted with the research interests of individual faculty in or adjunct to the Department of Biological Sciences, contact those faculty members to discuss the possibility of working with them in the M.S. program in Biology and identify the faculty member(s) in their application essay.
Students who do not meet the first criterion, but who demonstrate exceptional promise, may be granted conditional admission, during which time they must compensate for any specific deficiency as determined by the Biology Graduate Admissions Committee. Upon successful completion of the conditions, conditional students can be granted regular admission status.
Application Procedures and Required Materials
Priority deadlines: February 1st for Fall semester, October 15th for Spring semester
Applications and supporting materials must be received by February 1 in order to receive priority status for fall admission and consideration of departmental financial support. The application deadline for spring admission is October 15. Students applying for spring admission are less likely to obtain graduate assistantships in their first semester because most financial aid will be distributed during fall admissions.
Final deadlines: August 1 for Fall semester, October 1 for Spring semester, April 15 for Summer semester
International Student deadlines: July 1 for Fall Semester, November 15 for Spring semester
Applicants are required to provide the following materials:
- Application: Online Application
- Application fee: Waived for all applicants.
- Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
- International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
- Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
- Essay: Applicants must submit a personal statement of purpose describing why they want a degree in Biology, why they are interested in this program and identify the faculty member they would like to work with. Before applying to the program, students must become acquainted with the research interests of individual faculty in or adjunct to the Department of Biological Sciences, contact those faculty members to discuss the possibility of working with them in the M.S. program in Biology and identify the faculty member(s) in their application essay.
- Letters of Recommendation: Three letters of recommendation should be from individuals who are qualified, through direct experience with your academic or professional work, to comment on your ability to undertake graduate study and your chosen profession.
- Optional - Test Scores: GRE - Official scores from the Graduate Record Examination General Test are optional.
- Students whose first language is not English may be required to take one of the following: Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Pearson Test of English (PTE) or Duolingo. Applicants must submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores and requirements.
Where to send transcripts and application materials
Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:
Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412
Colleges and universities that participate in the electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to email@example.com.
For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.
In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:
- College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
- Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
- English proficiency test scores may be required for students whose first language is not English. See below for details.
Applicants whose first language is not English
Students whose first language is not English may be required to provide test scores or credentials for English language proficiency.
USM accepts the following test scores and qualifications for admission into graduate programs:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOFEL): scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS): scores of 6.5 or higher
- Pearson Test of English (PTE): scores of 60 or higher
- Duolingo Test of English: scores of 105 or higher. Duolingo scores are being accepted on a trial for the 2022-23 academic year.
- Bachelor's degree taught with English instruction
Questions regarding your experience and the requirements can be addressed with the Office of Admissions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For more information about courses and credit hours, view our Program Requirements.