The mission of the M.S. Degree Program in the Department of Biology at the University of West Georgia is to provide graduate students the knowledge and training necessary to pursue advanced graduate education, professional studies, or employment. In pursuit of this mission, the Department of Biology offers a M.S. Degree Program via either a thesis and non-thesis track.

For more information, please see the Academic Catalog.

  • Overview

    The Department of Biology at the University of West Georgia will provide opportunities for personal and professional development to students, faculty, staff, and the broader university community through excellence in teaching, research, and service. Teaching: The Department of Biology will implement and maintain a rigorous curriculum which facilitates an understanding of the major principles and concepts in the biological sciences, promotes critical-thinking and communication skills, and fosters a continuous interest in learning. Research: The Department of Biology will provide and maintain student-oriented research opportunities which will facilitate a comprehensive understanding of biology and the scientific process, enhance the quality of instruction, promote professional development, and further the state-of-knowledge in the biological sciences.

    Method of Delivery

    Courses are 100% face-to-face.


    The University of West Georgia is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

    Credit and transfer

    Total semester hours required: 36
    Maximum Hours Transferable into program: 6
    A transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the UWG Transfer Team ( Course application to a program is subject to review by the department.

  • Cost

    This program may be earned entirely face-to-face. However, depending on the courses chosen, a student may choose to take some partially or fully online courses.

    Save money

    UWG is often ranked as one of the most affordable accredited universities of its kind, regardless of the method of delivery chosen.


    • Total tuition costs and fees may vary, depending on the instructional method of the courses in which the student chooses to enroll.
    • The more courses a student takes in a single term, the more they will typically save in fees and total cost.
    • Face-to-face or partially online courses are charged at the general tuition rate and all mandatory campus fees, based on the student's residency (non-residents are charged at a higher rate).
    • Fully or entirely online course tuition rates and fees my vary depending on the program. Students enrolled in exclusively online courses do not pay non-Resident rates.
    • Together this means that GA residents pay about the same if they take all face-to-face or partially online courses as they do if they take only fully online courses exclusively; while non-residents save money by taking fully online courses.
    • One word of caution: If a student takes a combination of face-to-face and online courses in a single term, he/she will pay both all mandatory campus fees and the higher eTuition rate.
    • For cost information, as well as payment deadlines, see the Student Accounts and Billing Services website

    There are a variety of financial assistance options for students, including scholarships and work study programs. Visit the Office of Financial Aid's website for more information.

  • Courses


    A combination of 5000-level and 6000-level courses may be used to complete graduate degree requirements, but a substantial portion of the degree program should be at the 6000 level. A topic for thesis research should be identified before the end of the second semester of the degree program. The degree candidate should submit a brief thesis proposal to the advisory committee at this time and should schedule qualifying exams before the end of the third semester. The advising committee may approve up to two course substitutions from departments other than biology if such substitutions are appropriate to the research interests or career goals of the student.

    These are not all required courses. For Thesis, 7 3-hour BIOL courses must be taken at the 5000/6000 level. BIOL 6984, 6983, and 6999 are always required as well.

    For Non-Thesis, BIOL 6984 and 6995 are required on top of ten three hour 5000/6000 level courses.

  • Faculty
  • Admissions

    Guidelines for Admittance

    • All graduate applicants must complete the online Grad Application. A one-time application fee of $40 is required.
    • Applicants should also review the Graduate Studies Website for individual program specific requirements and tasks that must be completed prior to admission. See Graduate Studies Application Process.
    • International applicants are subject to additional requirements and application deadlines. See Procedures for International Students.
    • Official transcripts from a regionally or nationally accredited institution are required and should be sent directly to the UWG Admissions Office.

    Program Specific Admittance Guidelines

    • Current resume
    • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Personal statement up to one page, including 3 components:
      • Their reasons for pursuing a graduate degree in Biology
      • The specific area(s) (sub-discipline) of Biology in which they are interested
      • The type of degree (thesis track or non-thesis track) they wish to pursue.
    • Official GRE scores

    A student entering this program is normally expected to have an undergraduate degree in biology. Students without a degree in biology or students lacking certain background courses in biology and related sciences may be expected to complete undergraduate courses to compensate for deficiencies. All students must take the GRE general test.

    Graduate students must select an advising committee by the first pre-registration period following admission on any basis, or one will be selected for them by the Department Chair.

    Application Deadlines

    Specific Graduate Admissions Deadlines are available via the Graduate School

    * Application, app fee, and document deadline

    See The Scoop for more specific deadlines.

    Admission Process Checklist

    The Graduate Studies Application Process checklist is available here

    Send official transcripts and admission documents to: 

    Graduate Admissions
    University of West Georgia
    Mandeville Hall
    Carrollton, GA 30118

    One exception: If you will not ever be traveling to a UWG campus or site, you may apply for an Immunization Exemption. Contact the Immunization Clerk with your request.


    Dr. Melissa Johnson
    Phone: 678-839-4043

  • Dates

    Specific dates for Admissions (Undergraduate only), Financial Aid, Fee Payments, Registration, Start/End of term, Final Exams, etc. are available in THE SCOOP.

  • Objectives

    Students will communicate scientific information through the acquisition, organization and presentation of scientific information in written and/or oral form.