Graduate Program Information
Push the Edge of What is Possible
Our graduate programs in biological sciences (MS, PhD), biochemistry and molecular biology (PhD), and Peace Corps Master's International (MS) along with our labs and facilities provide for exciting academic and research experiences. Studies interdisciplinary in nature and practice and are lead by our diverse faculty members.
Our research collaborations are cutting-edge in topics including: environmental microbiology, biotechnology, pathology, biochemistry of plants, human diseases, genetics and physiology, aquatic biology and ecology, the effects of emission-control devices, and the use of alternate fuels. Explore our programs to learn more about what the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Tech can offer you.
Biological Sciences—MS, PhD
There has never been a more exciting time for you to become a biologist! As our knowledge advances, graduate-level education has become even more necessary for pursuing a career in the biological sciences in areas such as industry, government, and academia. We offer two graduate degrees in biological sciences: the MS and the PhD. Our programs provide a stimulating, interdisciplinary, and intellectual atmosphere for career development.
MS Focus in Clinical Laboratory Management
Students may elect to focus their MS studies in clinical laboratory management (CLM). The focus option consists of approximately one-half science courses and one-half business courses—integrating both theoretical and practical aspects of laboratory sciences with management theory. The program is flexible and suitable for both the experienced clinical laboratory scientist and the recent graduate. It not only provides knowledge and expertise in CLM, but also challenges the student to learn more about rapid developments in immunology, microbiology, and biochemistry. This non-thesis option within the MS degree allows for completion of the Biological Sciences MS degree within a relatively short period of time. Past candidate projects have included studies using computer analysis of cost accounting to study CLM, computer models for productivity analysis, and writing and assembling laboratory manuals.
Interdisciplinary and Non-Departmental Opportunities
Our department is associated with some diverse interdisciplinary degree programs and departments on campus, giving our students interesting and unique opportunities for graduate study:
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology—PhD
The Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) PhD program at Michigan Tech allows students and faculty to come together and seek answers to some of the world's most pressing problems. Built on the strength of pre-existing graduate programs in biological sciences, chemistry, and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, the interdisciplinary BMB program provides students with the opportunity to focus on the study of biochemistry and molecular biology through the lens of a wide variety of subject areas.
Peace Corps Master's International—MS
The Master’s International Program is a partnership between Michigan Tech and the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps Master’s International (PCMI) Program in Biological Sciences allows students to use their knowledge in biology, health science, or medical laboratory sciences to serve overseas as laboratory technicians, secondary biology and science teachers, and environmental educators. Our students provide the technological knowledge and skills necessary to work in partnership with host-country teachers and officials.
Department of Kinesiology and Physiology
The Department of Kinesiology and Physiology at Michigan Technological University is one of the fastest growing on Michigan Tech's campus. The Biological Sciences Department has partnered with them to offer a number of graduate topics related to biological sciences.
Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Water Resources Systems
The Certificate in Sustainable Water Resources Systems provides interdisciplinary breadth in water resources management, focusing on policy, the natural sciences, and the applied sciences. This certificate complements a wide range of disciplines, including natural resource management, business and policy, environmental and civil engineering, geology and geological engineering, and environmental policy. Students develop an advanced understanding of the problems surrounding the sustentation of water resources systems, and the technology employed in effectively managing this precious natural resource, within the context of their chosen field.
Admissions and Departmental Requirements
These requirements will help you gain admittance into our programs and stay on track:
Applications are reviewed on an individual basis using a holistic approach.
- Application Requirements
- Admissions Types
- Graduate Application
- Statement of Purpose
- Official Transcripts
- 2 Letters of Recommendation
- Résumé / Curriculum vitae
- TOEFL: Recommended Score of 85 iBT
- IELTS: Recommended Overall Band Score of 6.5
Fall Semester: January 15
Prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact individual faculty members.
- All grades must be a B or better in the major subject areas and GPA of 3.0. If your GPA falls below a 3.0 then you are automatically on probation.
- 2 credits of graduate seminar (BL5500 seminars, BL5501, and BL5503, as well as the Distinguished Ecologist series in Forestry FW5000 and the KIP5350). The Departmental Seminar BL5502 does not count toward the seminar requirement but is required during your first year, either fall or spring.
- 12 credits of graduate (5000 level) coursework for MS. The MS requires 20 credits of coursework (min of 12 credits of 5000 level).
- PhD requirements include 2 credits of graduate seminar/presentation. The PhD requires 30 credits beyond the MS. If MS is ‘skipped’ then 60 credits total are required and they need to fulfill the MS requirements of 12 credits of 5000 or above.
- Annual CV updates required to track performance and improve our program, used to determine GTA allocations include: Professional Preparation, Awards, Publications, Teaching Experience, Funding History, Presentations and Professional Meetings Attended, and Service.
- Be an active member of the scholarly community (e.g., attend seminars, be productive member of academic community)
- Participate in our peer-mentoring program
- Be responsible to staying on top of the required forms for your degree as found at Graduate School website.
Advisor and Graduate Advisory Committee
Your Advisor is a member of the faculty with whom you work to design, implement and defend your graduate academic program and thesis. The ideas generated are not only yours but are intellectual property of many (you, your advisor and committee members, and possibly the funding source) please consider and acknowledge that.
If for some reason you feel you are not getting the guidance you feel you need please see the Graduate Director before considering any change in advisor. Open communication will help to limit the likelihood of needed change.
Your graduate committee must have at a minimum:
- For PhD students: 2 faculty from the department and one external member (outside the department).
- For MS students: only 2 members are needed from within the department
With advisor select committee and meet by second semester (forms M2, D4A). Meet with potential committee members to get a feel for your potential working relationship, committee advises on coursework, future career direction/tools, etc. Visit the degree requirements on the Graduate School website for additional information about requirements.