Graduate Admission

Please contact Dr. Herman Mays, Director of the Department of Biological Sciences Graduate Program, with any questions:

Phone: 304-696-6692

Admissions Guidelines and Deadlines

General Requirements for Full Admission

  • An undergraduate minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Three strongly supportive letters of recommendation preferably from academic or other professionals in a position to evaluate the applicant’s capacity as a student and scholar.
  • A written statement (250-500 words) outlining the applicant’s educational and professional goals that outlines the applicant’s scholarly interests and their goals in the graduate program. The statement must clearly identify a graduate faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences who has agreed to serve as the student’s advisor. Applicants should not list an advisor unless that faculty member has agreed to this role. It is not necessary to include a written acceptance letter for the advisor. The admissions committee will confirm the faculty member’s commitment to serve as the student’s advisor.
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools from which the applicant has received credit.
  • Any supporting material that is required from the applicant including letters of recommendation and transcripts should be sent to:
    Marshall University
    Graduate Admissions Office
    100 Angus E. Peyton Drive
    South Charleston, WV 25303-1600

Please note: Provisional admission may be granted on a case-by-case basis to promising candidates who do not meet these requirements.

Deadlines to Complete Application for Graduate Admission

Applications for admission to the program are accepted throughout the year. However, graduate teaching assistantship (GTA) positions are open until filled beginning in April for GTA positions for the Fall semester and in October for GTA positions starting in the Spring semester. Later applicants may not be awarded a GTA if all the positions for the upcoming semester are filled so applicants are encouraged to not wait until the last minute in completing their applications.

How to Apply


Step 1: Identify a faculty advisor

Applicants to the graduate program must contact faculty members whose work is of interest to them before applying. Applicants are required to identify a graduate faculty member in the department who agrees to serve as the advisor in the written statement of educational and professional goals. This is especially critical for MS students where an original research thesis is a requirement of the degree. The number of projects in a lab is finite, so it is to an applicant’s advantage to discuss potential graduate opportunities in a lab early. Faculty research interests and contact information may be found under the faculty research heading of the department webpage. Applicants applying for acceptance into the MA degree program must still contact potential advisors and identify a preferred advisor in their statement of educational and professional goals but may be accepted without a firm commitment from a particular advisor, although a commitment from an advisor is preferred for MA students. Applicants are encouraged to contact the department with any concerns about identifying an advisors and efforts will be made to match the applicant with a suitable faculty advisor.

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

Apply online by completing the online application form and paying the relevant application fees. Application fees may not be waived. Supporting material should be sent to the graduate admissions office and references may be uploaded or emailed directly to Graduate Admissions ( by the recommender. We strongly recommend that applicants consult the graduate admissions webpage to learn more about graduate studies at Marshall and to obtain additional information about the application process. International students have additional requirements for admission and should consult the international graduate admissions site prior to applying to the graduate program. Additional requirements may include submitting proof of English proficiency, however for some countries where English is the primary language in education, applicants may be exempt from this requirement. A list of countries exempt from the proof of English proficiency requirement is available on the admissions website. Because of the length of time required for student visa applications in most countries, international students are strongly advised to have their applications submitted a year in advance of their preferred starting semester.

Step 3: Apply for a Graduate Assistantship or secure other support if needed.

The guidelines for graduate assistantships in BSC outline the responsibilities and expectations of graduate assistances. To be considered for a departmental GTA, a student must have been accepted to the Biological Sciences graduate program or have completed their application and have a pending acceptance. Applications for GTAs will be submitted through the Marshall University Human Resources (HR) website. Search for graduate assistantships under “Position type” to see what positions are available, or you will receive notice once you have completed your application regarding the availability of new GTA positions on the HR website. Some graduate students may obtain support from a research award to their advisor or some other avenue of funding outside of the GTA positions. Students should consult with their advisors about opportunities for research assistantships and other sources of support prior to their first semester in the program.

Step 4: Confirm the admissions office has received your application materials.

Applicants are expected to keep track of their application throughout the process and ensure that all required materials arrive in the admissions office, including letters of reference and transcripts. Please contact the Director of the Biological Sciences Graduate Program Dr. Herman Mays at 304-696-6692 regarding applications for admission and GTAs, or the Graduate College at 304-696-4723 regarding admissions materials to confirm that everything has arrived.