Course Requirements

Minimum Course Requirements

The student, in consultation with the major professor, will determine an initial schedule of courses. A complete plan should be finalized by the end of the first year, after consultation with the M.S. Advisory Committee. Students should attempt to complete their formal courses during the first year.

Thirty (30) credits beyond the Bachelor’s degree are required. Specific course requirements are listed below. Additional credits can be from Independent Study, research, or additional graduate coursework. At least 24 credits must be in Biological Sciences.

  • 12 (of 30) credits must be earned in formal courses and seminars (i.e., not research, colloquium, or independent study)
    • Two (2) seminars are required, to a maximum of four (4) credits.
    • Note: the Bio Sci 934, 935 and 936 “Research Advances” seminars DO NOT count as graduate credit.
  • 12 (of 30) credits must be in Research (BIO SCI 990)
  • 4 (of 30) credits must be in Colloquium (BIO SCI 900)

A student may transfer graduate-level coursework into their degree program pending approval of the student’s advisor and the Graduate Program Director. For graduate-level coursework taken at UWM, up to 12 credits may be eligible for transfer. For graduate-level coursework taken at other institutions, up to 10 credits may be eligible for transfer.


Continuation in the M.S. program is at the discretion of the Graduate School, the departmental Graduate Committee and the major professor. A 3.0 (4.0 basis) average or better is required in all work taken as a graduate student. Students receiving a grade of less than a “B” in Biological Sciences coursework or an overall GPA < 3.0 will receive a letter of warning from the Graduate Program Director. Grades of D or F are unsatisfactory and do not count in meeting degree requirements. Poor performance will result in the student’s dismissal from the Biological Sciences Graduate Program.