Thesis-based MS degree
Students pursuing a research thesis-based MS degree are required to present the results of original research in the form of a written thesis to a faculty committee as part of completion of the degree. Learn more about faculty research and reaching out to faculty you would like to work with.
Application Due date
The following minimum coursework requirements must be met prior to enrollment in the program:
- At least two Biology courses (or related subject area, such as environmental science)
- One semester of Statistics AND one semester of either Organic Chemistry, Genetics OR Ecology
SCHOLASTIC RECORD (TEST SCORES)
The PBC Program looks for appropriate preparation for advanced study and considers each application holistically. We no longer accept GRE scores. If English is your second language and you have not previously attended a school where English was the primary language of instruction, you will need to submit TOEFL scores. Below are suggested minimum scores.
- TOEFL: 577 (paper-based); 233 (computer-based); 90 (internet-based)
- TOEFL test scores for applicants applying to Fall quarter 2021 may not be older than September 1, 2019.
For more information, please see The Graduate School's application requirements.
The Application Process
The Graduate School requires that all applicants submit their materials online through The Graduate School website. The application fee for 2020-2021 is $95 for both domestic and international applications. If you would like to request a fee waiver, learn more here.
Completed applications should contain the following materials:
- Completed electronic Graduate School application form, including a personal statement. The personal statement should not exceed 2 pages and should address:
- Why you want to pursue a graduate degree
- Why you want to pursue a graduate degree in the Northwestern/Chicago Botanic Garden Program
- Your research interests and faculty members with whom you might like to work
- Information you think is relevant with regard to your past experiences and future goals
- Official transcripts from all academic institutions attended (additional information for international students). Unofficial transcripts can be accepted for review, but if accepted into the program, you will be required to submit an official transcript.
- Two letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your academic and research achievements or other relevant experiences.
- For applicants whose native language is not English, you must also submit TOEFL scores that are less than two years old.
- Current resume or CV.
For more information on the application process, please see The Graduate School website.Back to top