Graduate admissions in biological sciences
Here is a list of some frequently asked questions regarding our admissions process into the graduate program for biological sciences.
Will my application be reviewed if I have not yet paid the application fee?
Yes. Applications containing all supporting documents are reviewed. If admitted, an applicant is required to pay the $50 fee.
Which supporting documents do you require for all applicants?
- CV (i.e. résumé)
- Statement of purpose – A guide to writing your personal statement for M.S. and Ph.D. applicants is included on the online application and is also provided below. M.A. applicants need not follow the entire guide since the program is not research-based but are encouraged to focus on A and B instead.
- Three letters of recommendation for M.S. and Ph.D. applicants; two letters for M.A. applicants - must be submitted by the writer; letters uploaded by applicant are not valid.
- Transcript or transcripts – Four-year bachelor's (plus transcripts from institutions of courses transferred to bachelor's, if applicable).
- General GRE Score Report – Not required for M.A.
Do you require additional documents for international applicants?
Yes. Applicants must submit transcripts showing four years of study. Those who have a three-year bachelor's must also submit a transcript showing at least one-year completion of master's study. All international applicants must request an official course-by-course transcript evaluation for the bachelor's degree by one of the following three credential evaluation services:
- WES - World Evaluation Services
- ECE - Educational Credential Evaluators
- SpanTran - Span-Tran: The Evaluation Company
An official transcript evaluation may not be forwarded or mailed by the applicant but must be sent directly from the evaluation services office to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
The University requires all international applicants, whose country's first language is not English, to submit a TOEFL or IELTS English proficiency exam report. To be valid, the TOEFL or IELTS must be no more than two years old upon your application date. Scores that are older than two years cannot be reported by the Educational Testing Service.
The credential evaluation service charges a fee. Will the university reimburse me for the fee I paid?
Yes. The fee paid will be reimbursed during your second semester. Visit the international applicant site for further information.
Does your program require submission of official transcripts/ transcript evaluation and score reports for my application to be reviewed?
No. You may upload unofficial documents for review purposes. If admitted, you are required to provide official documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions.
What are the guidelines for writing my personal statement?
Submit your personal statement addressing the following points in no more than two pages:
1. Describe your career goals and where you envision yourself in ten years.
2. Explain how this graduate degree will aid you in attaining your goals.
3. Explain how our program and faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wayne State University specifically fits into your goals. Name two to three Biology faculty members whose work interests you and why.
4. Describe what aspects of your background make you uniquely qualified to join our graduate program.
Note: M.A. applicants may focus on A through C, but need not identify faculty members since the program is not research-based.
Do you offer admission to your programs every term?
No. We do not admit in Spring/Summer. Admission to both M.S. programs and the Ph.D. occurs in the Fall term only. Admission to M.A. occurs in both Fall and Winter terms.
What are the deadlines for submission of application and supporting documents?
Ph.D. applicants are encouraged to upload all supporting documents to their application by December 1st of the year before their desired term of admission. Applications received after December 1st will be reviewed as long as positions are still open.
Applicants to either M.S. Program (Biological Sciences or Molecular Biotechnology) must submit all documents for Fall admission by March 1st for international and April 1st for domestic/Canadian applicants. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. of the deadline date to ensure review. New applications will not be accepted after the deadline.
M.A. deadlines for Fall admission are May 1st for international and June 1st for domestic/Canadian applicants. Deadlines for Winter admission are November 1st for international and December 1st for Domestic/Canadian applicants.
How do I apply?
You must apply online by visiting the graduate admissions portal.
Where may I submit official documents?
If you are admitted to the program, you should submit your documents to the following address:
The Office of Graduate Admissions
Wayne State University
5057 Woodward Ave., Suite 6000
Detroit, MI 48202
Phone: (313) 577-4723
Fax: (313) 577-0131
What are the minimum requirements for admission?
Though we list minimum requirements, they do not ultimately determine admission. Our Graduate Committee takes into consideration not only test scores, but quality and number of biology courses, research interest, GPA, letters of recommendation, and personal statement.
Following are the general requirements:
GPA of at least 3.0. An approximate total score of 300 for Verbal and Quantitative with a Written Analytical score of 3.5 and above. Although the University's minimum internet-based TOEFL for international applicants is 79/120, applicants admitted to our programs should score 90/120 or better. We accept the IELTS as well. The University minimum is 6.5 and above. Applicants to our programs must also have a firm grasp of general biological concepts.
Am I eligible to receive financial support?
All applicants admitted to Ph.D. are offered full support as Graduate Teaching Assistants. This includes up to ten credit hours of paid tuition each semester (Fall and Winter) as well as a bi-weekly paycheck plus 12 months of health, vision, and dental insurance coverage. There are no additional forms to complete. International applicants are not required to provide a bank statement or affidavit of support since our letter of offer takes the place of financial documents.
Master's students are not guaranteed support, but may be offered a teaching position in mid-July or early August.
How will I know when my application is complete?
You can logon to online application to review the checklist of documents received. As the application manager downloads documents, you will receive a personal message, informing you of what is still needed for your application to be complete.
When will I know my admission status?
Our Graduate Committee meets once a week beginning about mid-December to early January to review each application. A decision to admit may not be made immediately. Some applications could be denied early and others placed on hold for further review. Once the Committee assesses the current applicant pool, they will be ready to begin making decisions. Reviews may continue through March and April depending on how soon the programs fill. All applicants receive notification on the final decision sometime between January and May.
Is there someone I can contact in case I have other questions?
Yes. You may contact Rose Mary Priest at firstname.lastname@example.org.