Why UM-Flint

What Sets UM-Flint's Biology (MS) Program Apart?

  • UM-Flint’s advanced Biology (MS) degree builds on your undergraduate degree in biology or a related life science.
  • The program offers expanded training and integration of the latest advancements in the field of biology, as well as detailed, advanced training in new areas of research and new research techniques.
  • Our program is equally well-suited for those pursuing biology research tracks within the private and public sectors, as well as educators teaching science at the secondary level.
  • UM-Flint’s Biology (MS) can be pursued on a part-time or full-time basis
  • Offers both a thesis and non-thesis track:
  1. Thesis Track – thesis research and defense (6 credits) and additional courses to complete 30 total credit hours
  2. Non-thesis Track – Graduate Seminar (1 credit) and additional courses to complete 32 total credits

NOTE: Both options require completion of at least two of the following: BIO 501, BIO 502, and BIO 503.

  • Students work alongside faculty who are doing important research in such areas as the causes of cancer and metastasis, the behavior and habitat of exotic Great Lakes species like the Sea Lamprey, and more.
  • As part of the world-renowned University of Michigan system, UM-Flint can tap additional resources, expertise, and contacts at our sister campuses in Dearborn and Ann Arbor to assist our students and their research.


Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree in biology or related life science from an accredited institution
  • Minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in required prerequisite courses
  • Completion of the following prerequisites at an accredited university:
    • Cell Biology 
    • Ecology 
    • General Physics 
    • Genetics 
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Statistics (recommended but not required)

Applicants who have completed a BS in Biology at UM-Flint automatically fulfill these prerequisites.


To be considered for admission, submit the following to the Office of Graduate Programs, 251 Thompson Library:

  • Application for Graduate Admission
  • $55 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of Purpose: Include information on why you are interested in the MS in Biology program, pertinent background information, and long-term goals.  Applicants interested in the thesis option should indicate 2-3 faculty members they would consider as potential thesis advisors.
  • GRE scores (general) sent to the University of Michigan-Flint Institutional Code #1853
  • International students must submit additional documentation. Visit the International Students page for details.

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines differ according to the option you choose (thesis or non-thesis research). For guaranteed consideration for the thesis option, you must apply by the earlier deadline. If space permits, additional students who apply by the later deadline may be considered.

Thesis Option

  • Fall (guaranteed consideration*) – March 1   
  • Fall (if space permits) – August 1
  • Winter (guaranteed consideration) – August 15   
  • Winter (if space permits) – November 15   
  • Spring – March 15   
  • Summer – May 15

Non-Thesis Option         

  • Fall (early deadline*) – May 1   
  • Fall (final deadline) – August 1   
  • Winter – November 15   
  • Spring – March 15
  • Summer – May 15

*You must apply by the early deadline to be eligible for scholarships, grants, and research assistantships.

International students are required to apply earlier than the deadlines posted here. The final deadlines for international students are May 1 for the fall semester, September 1 for the winter semester, and January 1 for the spring term.


Biology (Master of Science)


  1. Graduate core (8 credits).  At least two from:
    BIO 501 - Current Topics in Cellular and Molecular Biology. 
    BIO 502 - Current Topics in Organismal Biology. 
    BIO 503 - Current Topics in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.  
  2. Completion of one of the options below.

Thesis Option

  1. BIO 598 - Graduate Thesis.  (1 credit).  An original research project report (thesis) designed and completed in cooperation with the student’s advisor, including an oral defense of the thesis. Thesis design must be approved by the student’s individual thesis committee.
  2. BIO 599 - Thesis Research.  (5 credits). 
  3. Additional graduate-level courses in biology  to complete a minimum total of 30 credit hours.  With permission of the Biology Graduate Committee, any core curriculum course may be reelected once for credit, and up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in non-biological science may be applied toward the degree.

Non-Thesis Option

  1. BIO 596 - Seminar.  (1 credit).
  2. Additional graduate-level courses in biology  to complete a minimum total of 32 credits, which may include up to two credits in  BIO 597 - Non-Thesis Research. .  With permission of the Biology Graduate Committee, any core curriculum course may be reelected once for credit, and up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in non-biological science may be applied toward the degree.

Transfer or Lifelong Learning Course Credit

All students, with approval of the graduate committee, may transfer in or take as a Lifelong Learner up to two graduate level courses (8 maximum credits) in biological sciences. No more than two courses (8 maximum credits) of cognate, transfer, or Lifelong Learning credits may be applied toward completion of this degree.

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