How to Apply to NMU's Graduate Biology Programs

Graduate students should be familiar with the contents of the current Northern Michigan University Graduate Bulletin at the time of their admittance into a degree program. A guide for graduate students that expands on the Graduate Bulletin with respect to requirements and policies pertinent to individuals majoring in biology is found at Guide for Graduate Study in the Department of Biology.

Required Documents

Applicants for admission to the Northern Michigan University College of Graduate Studies and the Biology Department graduate program in Biology must submit the following directly to the College of Graduate Studies:

  1. Completed Application for Admission
  2. Application for Graduate Assistantship (if desired)
  3. Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges
  4. Three letters of recommendation.
  5. An essay describing your background, research interests and career goals as well as preferred start date.

In addition to the materials submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Biology Department, potential graduate students must identify a member of the Biology Department faculty to serve as a graduate thesis advisor and have that faculty member submit a memorandum indicating willingness to serve in such a capacity.

International Students

In addition to the documentation above, International Students must also:

  1. Hold or obtain an F-1 or J-1 visa
  2. Submit official transcripts through an acceptable clearinghouse
  3. Present a Declaration and Certification of Financial Responsibility
  4. Submit evidence of proficiency in English (a minimum TOEFL score of 550 is required)

International students are encouraged to consult the International Affairs office by telephone (1-906-227-2910) or at

Application Deadlines

Typically students begin their graduate program in the fall semester as the majority of Graduate Assistantships become available then.  To be considered for a Graduate Assistantship it is necessary to submit both an application for admission to the graduate college and a graduate assistantship application.  Assistantships typically offer a tuition waver and stipend and are therefore competitive. 

For fall enrollment:

  • February 15 – Deadline for submission of complete application to be eligible for fall-awarded Graduate Assistantships
  • May 1 – End of consideration of applications for fall admission

For winter enrollment:

  • September 15 – Deadline for submission of complete application to be eligible for winter-awarded Graduate Assistantships
  • December 1 – End of consideration of applications for winter admission