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Biological Sciences

Admission and Application Requirements

Applicants who satisfy the general admission requirements of the Graduate School will be considered for admission to the Master's program in Biological Sciences. Application deadlines are typically one month prior to the start of the semester for which the prospective student is applying, but applicants wishing to receive full consideration for a teaching or research assistantship should apply by March 15 for fall admission and October 1 for spring admission. If you intend to apply for a Competitive Graduate Award (CGA), the deadline for submitting all of your application materials is the first Friday in December of the previous year by 4:30 PM. If you apply for the CGA but your SIUE application is incomplete, your award application will be removed from consideration. Click here to find out more about the CGA.

The application process includes completing an application to the SIUE Graduate School, submitting all required documents, and finding a faculty member in Biological Sciences who is willing to act as mentor.

In order to apply for admission to the Master's program in Biological Sciences, you must complete ALL of the items on the following checklist:

o Complete the SIUE Graduate School Application

This can be done online or a hard-copy application can be downloaded and mailed.

o Pay the $40 application fee

o Submit a Personal Statement/Letter

The letter should summarize the applicant's preparation and experience leading to the undertaking of a Master's program of study at SIUE, and outline the applicant's academic and career goals, highlighting the role that a Master's degree in Biological Sciences at SIUE will serve in meeting those goals. The letter should be e-mailed or mailed to SIUE Graduate Admissions (address below).

o Submit Official Academic Transcripts

The applicant should ask their universities or colleges to mail the official transcripts directly to SIUE Graduate Admissions (address below). Students accepted into the Biological Sciences graduate program are expected to have completed course work equivalent to the requirements for the SIUE undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences. If not, they will be expected to resolve any deficiencies by completing additional course work beyond that required for the graduate degree. Upon admission to the program, the student shall consult with his or her faculty mentor to review the student's academic record, and develop a plan of study that will address any perceived academic deficiencies.

o Submit at Least Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

These letters will preferably be from professors, instructors and/or individuals who are familiar with the applicant's academic and professional preparation for undertaking a Master's degree in the Biological Sciences. The applicant should ask the references to e-mail or mail their letters directly to SIUE Graduate Admissions (address below).

o Submit Official GRE Test Scores (if required)

GRE scores are only required if the applicant has a cumulative undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 (out of 4.0). If required, the official GRE scores should be mailed to SIUE Graduate Admissions (address below).

o Find a Faculty Mentor

Applicants will not be accepted into the Master's program in Biological Sciences until a faculty member in the department has agreed to act as mentor. It is the responsibility of the applicant to identify a mentor that would be a good fit for their research interests, and to contact that faculty member about becoming the applicant’s mentor.

Applicants can access a list of the faculty, with contact information and research interests, by clicking here. Applicants should review the information on the web pages and select a faculty member who has compatible research interests. Applicants must then contact that faculty member to begin a dialogue about their academic/professional interests and to inquire whether the faculty member would agree to act as a mentor.

Once a faculty member has agreed to mentor the applicant in a Master's research project, he or she will write a letter to that effect to the Biological Sciences Graduate Program Director. The application file is not considered to be complete until this mentor letter has been added and all other required items have been received.

NOTE: International students must submit some additional items (English Language Verification, Bank Statements, SIUE Financial Form, Biographical Page from Passport). For more information, please see the Graduate School Information Page for International Students. International students who need to improve their English language skills may consider enrolling in the English as a Second Language program at SIUE.

All items in the above checklist should be e-mailed to or mailed to Graduate Admissions at the following address:

Graduate Admissions
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Box 1047
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1047

In addition, if the applicant wants to be considered for a teaching or research assistantship, a Teaching/Research Assistantship Application must be e-mailed to the Graduate Program Director (, hand-delivered or mailed to the following address:

Graduate Program Director
Department of Biological Sciences
outhern Illinois University Edwardsville
Campus Box 1651
Edwardsville, IL 62026-1651

Do NOT mail your Personal Statement/Letter, Transcripts, Letters of Reference, GRE scores, etc. to the Graduate Program Director in the Department of Biological Sciences. All of these items should be e-mailed or mailed to Graduate Admissions (see above).

Once the application is complete, it will be reviewed by the Graduate Committee of the Department of Biological Sciences, which will decide whether to admit the applicant to the Biological Sciences Master's Program. Applicants will be notified in writing once a decision has been made.

If you have any questions about the application and admission process, please contact the Biological Sciences Graduate Program Director.

Graduation Requirements

For the final examination in biological sciences for either the Master of Arts or the Master of Science degree, students meet with their advisory committee for a public oral defense of the thesis or research paper.

If you have questions about the graduation process, including due dates for completion and defense of thesis, please contact the Biological Sciences Graduate Program Director.

Photo of graduate student in lab


Department of Biological Sciences
Graduate Program Inquiries
Office Phone: (618) 650-3927
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