Why UM-Flint

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

Research with Real-World Impact

Researchers in pursuit of breakthroughs in biology must have exceptional critical thinking skills and extensive training. The Masters of Science in Biology prepares you with the knowledge and experiences you need to be an essential member of a research laboratory and play an investigative role in scientific discoveries that change lives. Specifically designed for students who are driven to pursue biological research in the private or public sectors or teach secondary science, the MS in Biology blends sophisticated hands-on training and techniques within new areas of research. As part of this rigorous program, you’ll work alongside faculty members who are conducting important and diverse research across the field of biology. 


Our biology courses are taught by experts in their fields. They bring their knowledge, insight, and field experience to the laboratory environment. You’ll be invited to actively participate in their research, working alongside faculty mentors on leading-edge projects that have real-world impact. 


Build on your undergraduate degree in biology or a related life science. The MS in Biology program offers an in-depth curriculum that integrates the latest advances in biology, including new research techniques and areas of study.


You’ll have access to UM-Flint’s fully equipped laboratories, allowing you to test your hypotheses and explore new findings using the latest research and analytic technology. 


You have the option to pursue your MS in Biology on a parttime basis to accommodate your busy schedule as a working professional. Or you may choose to immerse yourself in this program on a full-time basis to fast track your degree. You also have the ability to select a thesis or non-thesis track, depending on your goals and interests.

THESIS TRACK: Thesis research and defense (9 credits) and additional courses to complete 30 total credit hours (View Our Top 50 Downloaded Thesis Papers)
NON-THESIS TRACK: Graduate Seminar (1 credit) and additional courses to complete 32 total credits


You’ll complete your MS in Biology with a small group of fellow biologists who share your passion for research. This structure enables you to develop a strong support network for personal and professional development. Lab work, field trips, and team based projects create a collaborative environment that builds your communication and critical thinking skills.


As part of the world-renowned University of Michigan community, you’ll also have access to the full academic and research resources at the Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor campuses.



  • Cell Biology, Ecology, Genetics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pre-Calculus Mathematics
  • General Physics
  • Statistics (preferably, Biostatistics) recommended


A. Graduate Core (8 credits)

At least one from:

  • BIO 501 - Advanced Cellular/Molecular Biology (4)
  • BIO 503 - Advanced Ecology/Evolutionary Biology (4)


  • BIO 505 - Scientific Methodology (4)

B. Option of Choice

One of the following options:

Thesis Option

  • BIO 598 - Graduate Thesis (1) (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.
  • BIO 599 - Thesis Research (1-5) (8 credits)
  • Additional graduate-level courses in biology to complete a minimum total of 30 credit hours.  With permission of the Biology Graduate Committee, up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in non-biological science may be applied toward the degree.

Non-Thesis Option

  • BIO 596 - Seminar (1)
  • 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, up to two graduate-level courses (8 credits maximum) in non-biological science may be applied toward the degree.

Transfer or Lifelong Learning 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 credits maximum) in biological sciences. No more than two courses (8 credits maximum) of cognate, transfer, or Lifelong Learning credits may be applied toward completion of this degree.

Additional information on the Master of Science in Biology including course descriptions can be found in the catalog




  • A bachelor’s degree in biology or related life science from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum overall undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Completion of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 in required prerequisite courses
  • Completion of the following prerequisites at a regionally accredited university:
    • Cell Biology, Ecology, Genetics
    • Organic Chemistry
    • Pre-Calculus Mathematics
    • General Physics
    • Statistics (preferably Biostatistics) recommended

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


To be considered for admission, submit an online application below. Other materials can be emailed to FlintGradOffice@umich.edu or delivered 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 two-three 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 Dates

Submit all application materials to the Office of Graduate Programs by 5 p.m. on the day of the application deadline. This program offers rolling admission with monthly application reviews. To be considered for admission, all application materials must be submitted on or before:

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

*You must have a complete application 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, October 1 for the winter semester, and January 1 for the spring term.