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M.S. in Biological Sciences:
Non-thesis option

Admissions Deadlines

Greeley: Fall, Spring and Summer Admissions: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Online: The online program has rolling admissions. Review of completed applications (including all supplemental materials) begins on the following dates:

  • Fall term applicants: March 1
  • Spring term applicants: October 1

If available spots are not filled with the initial review of applications, additional applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all spots are filled or the term begins. We will post here if all spots are filled for a particular start term.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must apply to the Graduate School at the University of Northern Colorado before the program area reviews the applicant’s request for admission. Failure to submit all required materials will delay the evaluation and screening of your application.

Each applicant must:

  • Possess a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited college or university or a comparable degree from a foreign institution.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or better (on a 4.00 scale) for the most recent degree earned or current degree in progress.

    • If you are still completing your bachelor's degree at the time you apply, admission will be based on your current cumulative GPA, and you will need to re-submit your official transcript (showing your conferred degree and final GPA) during your first semester. If your final GPA fell below 3.00, you will be given additional requirements as defined by the academic program that must be met within one calendar year to remain enrolled at UNC.

    • If you have completed a master's degree, or at least 18 credit hours towards a master's degree, the GPA of your master's work will be used.

Take the following steps to be considered for admission:

Step 1: Complete the Application

Complete the online application.

  • Answer the application questions.
  • Send your requests for letters of recommendation.
    • Request three (3) academic or professional letters of recommendation from those who can attest to your academic potential and abilities. You will be asked to supply information for your recommenders in the application.
  • Submit the application and pay the non-refundable application fee. 
    • Domestic Students: $50 non-refundable application fee
    • International Students: $60 non-refundable application fee

Once you submit your application you will be assigned an Admissions Portal, allowing you to upload supplemental items, as listed below, and track your application through the admissions process.

Step 2: Request Transcripts

Request one official transcript from any regionally accredited college or university where a bachelor’s degree or higher was earned or is in progress (if you have earned multiple degrees, bachelor’s level or higher, an official transcript is required from each college or university where a degree was conferred). If you received a degree from UNC, you do not need to request a transcript from UNC. The Office of Admissions reserves the right to request that applicants provide official transcripts from other colleges or universities as needed. Applicants who have earned or are directly pursuing a higher degree from a regionally accredited institution without receiving a bachelor’s degree (e.g., PharmD) may be eligible to apply to the Graduate School without the conferral of a bachelor’s degree. 

Exceptions: If an applicant intends to use Veteran’s Education Benefits, an official transcript from all colleges or universities attended will be required in order to maintain compliance with Veteran’s Affairs policies.

Official transcripts from U.S. institutions should be sent via mail directly from the educational institution in an unopened, sealed envelope or through an electronically secure digital program from the issuing institution.

Mailed transcripts should be sent to:

Office of Admissions
Campus Commons
1051 22nd St

Campus Box 10
Greeley, CO 80639

Electronic transcripts from U.S. institutions should be sent directly from the educational institution to: grad.admissions@unco.edu.

The Office of Admissions does not accept email, scanned or PDF transcripts directly from applicants. All official transcripts, submitted as part of the application process, are retained by UNC and not returned to applicants or admitted students.

UNC retains submitted transcripts, from institutions other than UNC, for admitted students for up to five years after graduation or date of last attendance at UNC. Transcripts provided by applicants who were not admitted, denied admissions or did not complete their application are destroyed after one (1) year. The Office of Admissions will make every attempt to use previously submitted transcripts if they are within these timeframes. However, if the Office of Admissions cannot locate previously submitted transcripts, the transcripts fall outside the timeframes listed above or they are considered illegible, applicants must provide new transcripts.

Applicants with academic credentials from outside the U.S. will need to follow the requirements for submission of foreign transcripts. Click on the Transcripts tab for information about international transcripts.

Step 3: Optional Standardized Test Scores

You may choose to submit standardized test scores. It is expected that most applicants will not provide test scores, but they are optional for those who feel that standardized test scores will strengthen their application credentials. It is in no way required; applications without test scores will receive full review without disadvantage.

If you want to include test scores in your application, please follow these guidelines: Request to have GRE test scores sent electronically to UNC (UNC's institutional code is 4074); other scores can be submitted in hard copy form to the UNC Office of Admissions, Campus Commons, 1051 22nd St, Campus Box 10, Greeley, CO 80639.

Applicants may submit official scores from at least one standardized test with a minimum score of the following:

  • MCAT 494
  • GRE 300
  • DAT 17
  • OAT 300
  • PCAT 50th percentile

Step 4: Supplemental Items

Log back into the Admissions Portal to submit the following:

  1. All applicants should include a letter of intent. At a minimum, your letter of intent should describe your academic interests and career goals.
  2. All applicants should provide a curriculum vitae or resume that details your experience in the field in preparation for graduate school.

For advice on how to write a good letter of intent, how to create a curriculum vitae or resume and how to get the best letters of recommendation, please see this page.

Additional Information

Before admission to the program, students should have completed at least four courses in biology and a combined total of three courses in the supporting areas of chemistry, calculus or physics. Students entering the program with deficiencies in coursework will be required to complete coursework based on recommendations of the graduate committee, the school director and the advisor.

Once you apply to the UNC Graduate School and your application packet is complete, your application will be reviewed by the Graduate School and then sent to the faculty/program for an admission recommendation. The timing of the admission decision depends on each individual program’s deadline and review process.

International Applicants

International applicants (non-U.S. citizen/non-U.S. Permanent Resident) please refer to the International Admissions Requirements page for further information about submitting transcripts, English proficiency scores, passport copy and financial documentation.

For More Information 
For more information about the admission process, please email the Office of Admissions at grad.admissions@unco.edu or call 970-351-2881.

STEM Designation 

This STEM-designated degree program meets the qualifications of students on an F-1 visa to apply for a 24-month extension of post-completion optional practical training (OPT). For more information regarding OPT, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s Optional Practical Training for F-1 Students.

Please note: This designation does not apply to degree programs that are offered online.