Please contact Dr. Herman Mays, head of the Graduate Committee, with any questions:

Phone: 304-696-6692

Admissions Guidelines and Deadlines

General Requirements for Full Admission

  • A global undergraduate minimum GPA of 2.75
  • An undergraduate science minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Composite verbal and quantitative GRE test scores (the biology test is not necessary):
  • Combined score of 1100 if the test was taken before 8/1/2011
  • Combined score of 300 if the test was taken after 8/1/2011
  • Three strong letters of recommendation

Please note: Provisional admission may be granted to promising candidates who do not meet these requirements. Contact us for further information.

Deadlines to Complete Application for Graduate Admission

  • Fall Admission and Graduate Assistantship: April 15 or August 1 (late admission)
  • Spring Admission and Graduate Assistantship: November 15

How to Apply

Students must have their complete applications submitted by April 15 for admission in the following fall term, and November 15 for admission in the following spring term in order to receive full consideration for admission and Graduate Assistantships. Late submissions for admission in the fall term are accepted until August 1, but these will only be considered for graduate assistantships based on departmental need.
Apply online We recommend that you download and print the Graduate Application Checklist to ensure that nothing is forgotten. Downloadable forms require Adobe Reader for viewing and printing.

Step 1: Identify potential faculty advisors

Students applying to the MS program are strongly advised to contact faculty members whose work is of interest to them before applying. The number of projects in a lab is finite, so it is to your advantage to to discuss possible acceptance into a lab early. Faculty research interests can be found by following the link to the right. Admission into the MS program without an advisor is permissable, but it may limit your choices once you have arrived. Contact us if you have any concerns about identifying potential advisors.

Students applying to the MA program can also identify potential advisors early in this way, however as lab work is not the major focus of the degree it is acceptable to arrive without an arranged advisor. These students will have a meeting early in their program to assign their advisor.

Step 2: Fill out the Graduate College admission application form, and arrange for supporting materials to be sent

Links are provided to both the online application form (preferred) and the downloadable .pdf form, which can be filled out and mailed. We strongly recommend that you follow the Graduate College link to the right, to learn more about graduate studies at Marshall and to obtain additional information about the application process.

In addition to the application form, the following supporting materials are required

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools from which you have received credit. Printouts or opened copies are not acceptable.
  • GRE scores (Information on the GRE can be found through Marshall’s Testing Center or the GRE website. Arrange to take the exam early to ensure that the scores arrive in time!
  • Recommendation letters from three (3) professional references, mailed directly by the person providing the reference or sealed in a signed envelope. These letters must be solicited by the student.
  • A written statement of educational and professional goals (250-500 words) that outlines your rationale for pursuing these goals in the Department of Biological Sciences at Marshall University. At the end of this statement, include the names and contact information of your three professional references, and the name of your Faculty advisor at Marshall if known. Do not list an advisor here unless that person has agreed to accept you, in writing. It is not necessary to include the written acceptance letter of the advisor.
  • All application materials must arrive at the Graduate College in Charleston, WV, by the due date. Please note: Due dates provided by the graduate college are different than those for the Department of Biological Sciences; the deadline dates listed above are the dates you must adhere to in order to receive full consideration. The mailing address is:Marshall University
    Graduate Admissions Office
    100 Angus E. Peyton Drive
    South Charleston, WV 25303-1600

Step 3: Apply for a Graduate Assistantship (if desired)

Learn more about graduate assistantships in BSC here. In order to be considered for a departmental GA, a student must have been accepted to the Biological Sciences graduate program, or have submitted their application and be awaiting acceptance. Applications for GAs will be submitted through the Marshall Human Resources web site: click here. Search for graduate assistantships under “Position type” to see what is available now, or you will receive notice once you have completed your application and new positions are posted.

Step 4: Confirm receipt of your application materials

Please keep track of your application. It is your responsibility to ensure that all materials arrive, including letters of reference and transcripts. Please contact Vickie Crager in the Department of Biological Sciences at 304-696-5413 regarding Graduate Assistantship applications, or the Graduate College at 304-746-1901 regarding admissions materials to confirm that everything has arrived.

Additional information for International Students

International students must apply for student visas and complete other requirements before attending Marshall. Please visit Marshall University’s Center for International Programs for more information. Click here for to apply as an international student.