Biology (MS)

Admission Requirements

Program admission requirements and application requirements can be viewed on the Department of Biology website. Questions can be addressed to or further information obtained from the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Sarah Emery, at (502) 852-5940 or sarah.emery@louisville.edu.

The following requirements/standards apply to applicants to the MS program in the Department of Biology:

  1. The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree with a major in Biology or an acceptable sub-discipline, with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  2. While there is no minimum requirement for GRE scores, competitive students usually have scores around the 50th percentile or better on the general GRE test (verbal + quantitative). MCAT or DAT test scores at similar percentiles are also acceptable. 
  3. For foreign students, a TOEFL score of 83 on the internet-based exam, at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam is required or Duolingo score of 105 (students holding a baccalaureate or advanced degree from an accredited institution in the United States or other English-speaking country are exempt from this requirement).

Deadline for Completed Applications

  • July 1 for Fall admission
  • December 1 for Spring admission.

Application Materials

Applications will be complete when the following materials have been received (final action on applications will not be taken until complete):

  • A completed graduate application form and fee
  • One official transcript of all previous undergraduate and graduate coursework
  • Official GRE, MCAT or DAT exam scores
  • Two or more letters of recommendation from persons familiar with your academic performance and capabilities
  • Official TOEFL, IELTS or Duolingo scores if required.​

Send to:

Official documentation should be sent to the Graduate School and a copy to the Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Biology

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Program Requirements

MS in Biology and Accelerated BA-BS/MS in Biology

Thesis option students are required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours; non-thesis option students must complete a minimum of 33 credit hours. 

A minimum of 12 (thesis option) or 17  (non-thesis option) credit hours, exclusive of thesis credit, must be in courses at the 600 level. Students intending to seek a PhD degree later are advised to take as many of their courses as possible at the 600 level or above. 

Thesis Option

General Background Courses
One course from two of the following categories: 16-8
Cellular/Physiology
Subcellular/Genetics
Evolution or Systematics
Population, Community, or Ecosystem Ecology
Other Coursework
BIOL 650Advanced Biostatistics4
Electives12-14
Thesis Research (600 level)6
Minimum Total Hours30

Non-Thesis Option

General Background Courses
One course from three of the following categories:9-12
Cellular/Physiology
Subcellular/Genetics
Evolution or Systematics
Population, Community, or Ecosystem Ecology
Other Coursework
BIOL 650Advanced Biostatistics4
BIOL 691Independent Research3-4
Electives13-17
Minimum Total Hours33
1

Courses to be selected by student's committee: one course from each of two (thesis option) or three (non-thesis option) Background Coursework categories.