MA Program Information and Admission Requirements

Master of Arts Degree Program

The Master of Arts degree in Biology is for students wishing to gain additional knowledge in any area of the biological sciences. This is a non-thesis master's degree designed for individuals seeking additional background in biology, individuals wishing to strengthen their application to professional school (e.g. medicine, dentistry, Ph.D. programs, etc.) or resume for science-related careers in government or industry, and secondary school science teachers. Students can focus their studies in one of the following concentrations or choose to not declare a concentration and consult with an academic faculty advisor to create an area of specialization.


1. How do I register for the Individual Investigation course? 

  • MA students have opportunities to pursue research projects and gain experience working with state-of-the-art instrumentation under the guidance of members of the biological sciences faculty through Individual Investigation. 


  • The Individual Investigation course is a student-initiated course. MA students who are interested would directly contact faculty members to discuss the details of course set up. The form of MA Individual Investigation can be versatile. Students can perform hands-on research, in-depth literature reading and review, data analysis, etc. The length of the course could be half semester, one semester or multiple semesters. Please noted that 1 credit hour equals to 3 hours/week working hours for a full spring/fall semester. Please CLICK HERE for current openings in one of the many faculty’s research laboratories.  


  • An application form needs to completed by both student and the faculty he/she will work with prior to registration. The form can be found in the Biology Form library or CLICK HERE. Please submit the signed e-form to the MA coordinator via After approval, a notification will be sent to you to register for the Individual Investigation course that is set up for you. 


2. How can I find out what courses are offered each semester? 

  • Go to 
  • Sign into Flashline 
  • Hover over the Student tab on the left 
  • Under Resources, select Courses & Registration 
  • Select Look Up and Register for Courses 
  • At the bottom of the next screen hit I Acknowledge 
  • Then at the bottom of the following screen hit I Acknowledge again 
  • For Select by Term, hit the drop-down arrow 
  • Select Fall 2021 (or whatever semester you are searching in the future) 
  • 1/2 way down on the next screen:  
  • For Subject: hit the drop-down arrow and select Biological Sciences 
  • Skip the next 4 categories 
  • For Course Level select Graduate 
  • You can skip all the rest of the categories 
  • Hit Class Search at the bottom 
  • ** If you are ever looking for a specific course number or name, you can enter them in the Course Number or Course Title fields 
  • ** If you are trying to find courses taught by a specific instructor, you can hit the drop-down for Instructor and select the faculty member you are looking for 
  • On the next screen, you will get a class list for the semester you specified 
  • The blue numbers are the unique CRN’s that every course is assigned / it will be followed by the BSCI course & section number and course name, along with instructor, dates and course location, etc. 


  • For more information, please go to the following webpage 


3. Where can I find program requirement for my concentration? 

  • The program requirement, including the course list of Major requirements, Concentration requirements, Concentration Electives and minimum Total Credit Hours can be found on our MA program webpage. 



  • If you have taken some of the required courses before (at the graduate or undergraduate level), those required courses can be waived and substituted. Please complete the Course Substitution and Waiver Approval form and submit it to the MA coordinator via form can be found on the Biology Forms page or Click Here


4. How many credit hours do I need to register for each semester? 

  • The Kent State University MA in Biology program requires 31 credit hours in order to graduate.  5 concentrations are offered, so students should note the coursework required for each concentration and work with the MA Program Coordinator, Dr. Jen Mou ( to determine what courses to take.  The coursework can be completed at a student’s own pace without deadlines for finishing the required credits for graduation. However, students are required to register for at least 1 credit hour for each of spring and fall semesters. Summer courses are offered, but students are not required to register for any summer courses.

5. How to register, add/drop a course? What should I do if I need a late registration? 

  • General information can be found in the following webpage 

  • For BSCI MA students, we recommend you to email your tentative course list to the MA coordinator ( and graduate secretary ( for double checking and approval. Please do so at least 2 weeks before the semester starts. 




1.   Is the GRE required for the MA Biological Sciences graduate programs?

  • The GRE is NOT required.

2.   Why is the GRE listed on my application checklist as being required?

  • The GRE is NOT required & will be removed manually from your checklist.

3.   Are English Proficiency scores required if my education was in Nigeria or another country that offers waivers and was taught in English?

  • No.  Nigeria & other countries are on the waiver list, so you do not need to submit proof of English proficiency if educated in those countries.  Check the eligibility for an English Proficiency Waiver: English Language Proficiency | Kent State University

4.   Why is the English Proficiency listed on my application checklist as required when my education was from Nigeria or another country that offers waivers and was taught in English?

  • Since Nigeria & other countries are on the waiver list, you do not need to submit proof of English proficiency if educated in those countries.  It will be removed manually from your checklist.

5.   Can I apply for admission for Fall, Spring or Summer semester?

  • Yes.  We accept students in our MA program year-round.

6.   Can I submit my UNOFFICIAL transcript with my application?

  • No.  Unofficial transcripts are not accepted.  We accept copies of OFFICIAL transcripts with your application.  If you are accepted into our program, we will ask you to have your official transcripts submitted directly to our university at that time.

7.   Am I able to get an application fee waiver?

  • Unfortunately, we do not offer application fee waivers.

8.  Is my GPA high enough for me to be eligible for your MA program?

  • The minimum GPA the university accepts for graduate program admission is 2.75/4.0.  International transcripts will be converted to the US 4.0 scale by our Office of Global Education.

9.  Where do I go to find Application & Admissions requirements?

10. Where is information for the MA program & concentrations that are offered in Biological Sciences?

11. How do I upload documents to my application portal?

  • We are unable to accept document submissions via email. All application requirements and supporting documents must be uploaded through your applicant portal. You may follow the below instructions:
  1. Go to your status page on your applicant portal and scroll to “upload materials”
  2. Click on “choose file”
  3. Click on “upload”

If you have any additional questions, please contact our MA Coordinator, Dr. Jen Mou, at or contact the Biological Sciences Graduate Office at or call (330) 672-2819.

Graduate Assistantships are NOT available for students enrolled in the MA program.

MA Concentrations include:

  • The Self-Guided Biology program (no concentration) allows students to select their area of specialization in consultation with an academic faculty advisor.
  • The Biological Data Analytics concentration combines required courses in data analytics and elective options in biology to provide students with the understanding of the type of data collected while conducting biological research and how to analyze it.
  • The Cellular and Molecular Biology concentration provides a heavy focus on cell-to-cell interactions and signaling pathways to give students a deep understanding of the cellular and molecular processes that occur within cells and physiological systems.
  • The Medical Biology concentration provides students with a deep understanding of physiological systems and the mechanisms that underlie various disorders and disease pathologies.
  • The Environmental Biology concentration provides students with a balance between better understanding the relationships between organisms and the environment and how this balance can be sustained through environmental management and conservation.

** We offer rolling admissions into the MA program for Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. **

MA Admission Requirements

  • Official Transcripts
  • Bachelor’s degree from accredited college/university
  • Goal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation (minimum 1)
  • CV/Resume
  • English Proficiency (if educated outside the United States) or eligible for an English language proficiency waiver. CHECK ELIGIBILITY FOR AN ENGLISH PROFICIENCY WAIVER

Competitive Applicants

  • GPA > 2.75 required for unconditional admission
    • If you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement (2.75) please talk to us about potential options
  • Solid science background with at least 18 credits of Biology
    • If you do not have the recommended biology background, please talk to us about potential options.
  • Clearly explain why they seek a Master’s in Biology and which concentration they wish to pursue
  • Meet English proficiency requirements
    • 94 TOEFL-internet
    • 587 TOEFL-paper
    • 7.0 IELTS
    • 82 MELAB
    • 65 PTE
    • 120 Duolingo English Test (DET)


**  Application fee waivers will be available for DOMESTIC applications submitted between October 23 - 30, 2023.  **

MA program has continuous enrollment. Click here to apply.

A maximum of 12 semester hours of graduate course work may be accepted by transfer from accredited institutions offering the master’s degree, but the grades will not be calculated into the GPA.  The credits will be accepted provided:

1. Graduate credit was received from that institution;
2. The work was of “A” or “B” quality;
3. The work fits into the program;
4. Credit is less than six years old at the time the degree is conferred at Kent;
5. An official transcript with an accompanying explanatory letter is filed in the department;
6. The student’s adviser, department graduate committee and the dean approve.

Graduate Assistantships are NOT available for students enrolled in the MA program.

Students should consult with the MA Coordinator, Dr. Jen Mou (who will serve as their advisor), with any questions. Once admitted Dr. Mou will work with students to structure a course of study applicable to their professional needs, academic training, and interests. 

If students have further questions about this program, please contact:
Graduate Office, Biological Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Kent State University
Kent, OH 44242
Phone: 330-672-2819