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College of the Sciences

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Biological Sciences
Science Building 338
(509) 963-2731

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Prospective Students

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Application Process for Biology Graduate Program

Admission is a two-step process. Applicants must first meet the general requirements for graduate study as determined by the School of Graduate Studies and Research, and then the specific requirements of the Department of Biological Sciences, which are:

  • An undergraduate degree in biology or closely related field. Deficiencies in the student’s undergraduate training as determined by the Department of Biological Sciences at the time of admission to the program must be removed without graduate credit during the first year of graduate study.
  • Students must arrange for a graduate faculty advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences to serve as their major advisor.  Prior to completing your application, contact prospective faculty advisors via email to ask if they are interested in taking new students.

All applications go through the School of Graduate Studies and Research.  Find the online form at Forms and Documents.  A complete application for Biology will include the following:

1. CWU School of Graduate Studies and Research Application (including $75 application fee; waivers are available).  

2. Statement of objectives.  Follow these specific instructions for Biology: The Statement of Objectives is limited to 500 words, and will be viewed as a sample of your writing abilities. 

Please address the following points:

a. What is your motivation for seeking a graduate degree in Biology and how will a M.S. in Biology help you reach your career goals?

b. Describe your research interests in Biology, indicate potential faculty advisor/s, and describe previous research experience and any relevant skills or training.

c. Provide an example of how you have shown persistence in overcoming obstacles to reach an academic or career objective you set for yourself.

3. Letters of recommendation (3)

4. Official transcripts

5. Curriculum Vitae (academic resume)

6. GRE scores for the general test

7. International students for whom English is a second language must provide TOEFL or IELTS scores to demonstrate English proficiency.

New students are normally accepted for entry in the fall of our academic year (mid-September).  Applications for fall quarter priority admission and assistantships are due by February 1st.  Students are encouraged to complete their graduate program in two years (although many good students have continued into a third year).

Funding Your Graduate Program

Most of our graduate students use teaching assistantships as an important source of financial assistance and that support is normally guaranteed for two years, given adequate research progress and satisfactory teaching evaluation. If you are would like to be considered for a teaching assistantship, you must complete an assistantship application form (in addition to the application for admissions). Research assistantships and summer stipends are occasionally available on a competitive basis, as are other sources of funds related to specific externally-funded projects.

For information on graduate tuition and fees, assistantships, grants and fellowships, scholarships, financial aid, and student employment, please see the Graduate Student Funding section of CWU's Graduate Studies and Research webpage.

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