The program leading to a Master of Science in biology provides advanced training to students seeking employment in biological disciplines. The Master of Science in biology also prepares students for entrance into Ph.D. programs.
The graduate program affords students the opportunity to interact closely with the biology faculty as they complete their thesis work.
Admission terms and application deadlines
Before an applicant’s file can be reviewed for full program admission, all application documents must be received in Oakland University Graduate School by the semester deadlines listed below. Incomplete applications will not be sent to departments for admission review.
- February 15 (early), April 15 (regular) and July 15 (late) for fall semester
- October 1 (early) and November 15 (regular) for winter semester
- March 1 (regular) for summer semester
- International applicants: May 1 for fall semester, September 1 for winter semester, and January 1 for summer semester.
Applications for fall semester that are received after the program due date, but before university deadlines, may be reviewed, subject to space availability.
To be considered for graduate admission, applicants must submit all Graduate Application Requirements and additional department requirements by the published application deadlines:
- Additional department application requirements
- Applicants should have earned a bachelor’s degree in biology or related subject (e.g., biochemistry, molecular biology, botany or zoology) from a regionally accredited institution or proof of a U.S. equivalent degree for foreign educated applicants.
- Applicants with an earned bachelor’s degree is in another discipline must have completed 20 credits in biology, 8 credits in mathematics, 8 credits in physics and 15 credits in chemistry. Applicants with undergraduate prerequisite course deficiencies in these areas must complete the preparatory course work before being admitted to the program.
- Applicants should have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
- Biographical sketch stating career goals
- Applicants must take the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) and arrange for their official GRE scores to be submitted to Oakland University. The institution code for Oakland University is 1497.
- New - GRE is WAIVED for the Fall 2021 semester per the department.
Applicants with an undergraduate GPA less than 3.0 with the appropriate academic background and evidence of the capacity for graduate study may be considered for admission with limited standing. Applicants who qualify for this admission status must complete a specified number of graduate credits, with a GPA of 3.0 or above within the first year of their program, to be advanced to full admission.
Admission review and assessment
Admission to graduate school at Oakland University is selective. In making admission recommendations to Oakland University Graduate School, each department assesses the potential of applicants for success in the program by examining their undergraduate records, goal statement, letters of recommendation, prerequisite courses and any other admission requirements established by the academic department.
Official transcripts must be on file in Oakland University Graduate School. The credits earned must be from a regionally accredited institution and must carry a grade of 3.0 (B) or better. Courses graded Pass/Fail or Credit/Non-Credit are not transferable. Credit must be earned within six years of the time the degree will be conferred and may not have been used toward another degree. Only courses labeled “graduate” (numbered 5000 and above) may be transferred. The total number of credits transferred may not exceed 9, and no more than 1 credit will be awarded per week of instruction (i.e., a 4-credit course must meet a minimum of 14 hours per week for four weeks-a minimum total of 56 class hours or 47 clock hours of instruction).
The Master of Science in biology degree is awarded upon satisfactory completion of 32 credits in an approved program of study, and completion of the written thesis requirement.
a. General requirements
- Four 5000-level courses in Biology (3 or 4 credits each) chosen by the students and their research mentor and approved by the Department of Biological Sciences.
- BIO 6995 Graduate Research (at least 8 credits)
- Electives (0-11 credits) - a combination of BIO 6995 and/or graduate-level courses
- BIO 6998 Thesis Seminar (1 credit)
The student must obtain approval of the written thesis by their thesis committee prior to the deadline for
submission of approved thesis set by Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning.
a. Thesis committee and proposal
During the first semester of studies, the candidate must choose a thesis adviser with whom he or she will plan and conduct the thesis research. The adviser and candidate will then select a thesis committee. The student, with guidance from their mentor, will prepare a thesis proposal which must be completed and approved by the thesis committee before the end of the student’s second semester. Students may not enroll in BIO 691, Thesis Seminar, until their thesis proposal has been completed and approved by their thesis committee.
When completed, the written thesis must also be approved by the thesis committee before it can be submitted to Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning for approval. All theses must conform to university standards (see Thesis and Dissertation ).
Good academic standing
All graduate students are expected to remain in good academic standing throughout the entire course of their graduate program. To be in good academic standing, a graduate student must make satisfactory progress toward fulfilling degree requirements, including the completion of critical degree milestones as set forth by the academic program. The student must also maintain a minimum semester and overall GPA of 3.0.
Good academic standing is a requirement for:
- Holding a Graduate Assistantship
- Receiving a fellowship or scholarship
- Advancing to candidacy for a graduate degree
- Going on a leave of absence
- Obtaining a graduate certificate or degree from Oakland University.
Additionally, graduate students must meet all department academic standards which may be more stringent than the minimum set forth by the University.
Graduate students who are not in good academic standing for any reason are subject to probation and/or dismissal from further graduate study.
Satisfactory academic progress
Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is the term used to denote a student’s successful completion of coursework toward a certificate or degree. Federal regulations require the Office of Financial Aid to monitor Satisfactory Academic Progress for all financial aid recipients each semester.
Students who fall behind in their coursework, or fail to achieve minimum standards for grade point average and completion of classes, may lose their eligibility for all types of federal, state and university aid. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for additional details.
Related program information
Plan of study
All accepted applicants, in consultation with their assigned faculty program adviser, must develop a plan of study that details specific courses the students will use to satisfy their degree requirements. The plan of study must be approved by the faculty program adviser and submitted by the student to Oakland University Graduate School.
Master’s and graduate certificate students must submit a department-approved plan of study by the end of their first semester of graduate coursework. Doctoral students must submit an approved plan of study prior to completion of the first year of coursework. (See the Graduate Student Responsibility section of this catalog.)
Note: Credit granted for successful completion of a course toward an undergraduate degree program may not be repeated for a graduate degree. If a substitution is approved, the minimum number of program-approved graduate credits will be required. A Petition of Exception - OU Course Waiver/ Substitution requesting the substitution must be approved.