MS (Non-thesis Track)


The non-thesis track of the Master of Science in biology is ideal for two types of students:

    • Those seeking to enhance their academic record in preparation for future application to medical school or another professional healthcare graduate program such as veterinary school or physician assistant programs. If this describes your situation, you will also have access to our Pre-Professional Health Advising services. A Pre-Professional Advisor will help you become the most competitive applicant you can be by providing assistance with the application process to medical/professional school and helping you find health-related volunteer and research opportunities.


  • Those seeking to advance their careers in a scientific profession where a doctorate is not required.

Students who intend to go on for a doctorate in biology or who intend to seek another research-based doctorate program in the future should instead apply for the thesis-track MS program.

Admissions Infomation

The non-thesis MS program – unlike our other graduate programs – can be started either in the Fall or the Spring semester. The deadline to apply for Fall admissions is May 1, and the deadline to apply for Spring admission is October 1. Applicants will need to submit test scores from either the GRE (Graduate Record Examination), the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test), the PCAT (Pharmacy College Admission Test), or the DAT (Dental Admission Test).

Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in biology or related field with extensive coursework in this area.

To apply, please see our How to Apply section.

Program Outline and Timeline

The non-thesis MS consists of 30 graduate credits, at least 20 of which will be in Biological Sciences. Specific course selection will be made in consultation with an advisor who will help students choose classes that best fit his/her professional goals. At least one laboratory and two seminar courses (with presentation) must be included in the course selection.

The normal course load for a full-time graduate student is 9 credits; the typical full-time student will complete the program in 3 to 4 semesters. However, one year graduation plans are possible. Students planning to complete the program in one year will have increased credit loads and should get in contact with their advisor immediately upon admission.

Guidelines and Policies

  • All non-thesis track Masters graduate students are expected to meet with their graduate advisor once per term and submit an updated Plan of Study on or before the first day of instruction for that semester. These reports will form the basis for recommendation of students for departmental scholarships and awards.
  • MS Degree (Non-thesis Track) Guidelines
  • MS Degree (Non-thesis Track) Checklist
  • UWM Graduate School Academic Appeal Procedures (UWM policy requires programs and departments to have procedures for graduate students to appeal academic decisions such as grades or scholastic standing. These procedures ensure the protection of students’ rights. These pages serve as a reference on procedures for graduate student academic appeals.)


  • Plan of Study (MS-Non-thesis Track)
  • Request for Exception (Use this form to request an exception from a Graduate School requirement. For example, you would submit this form to request an exception to register for only one credit during the semester you are graduating. Please note that you must specify the reason you are requesting this exception AND your advisor, as well as the Graduate Program Coordinator, must submit a written response supporting the reasons for your exception request.)
  • Application for Masters Graduation (Note: Deadline to apply for graduation is early in the semester in which you plan to graduate.)