Graduate Programs In Biology and Biotechnology

The Department of Biology offers two graduate degree programs: M.S. in Biology and M.S. in Biotechnology. Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Graduate courses are normally scheduled for the late afternoons, evenings, and Saturdays. Classes are small and students have a close working relationship with the faculty. Full-time students can expect to complete the course of study in about two years, while part-time students may take longer. The degree must be completed within six years of matriculation. 

  1. Application Procedure
  2. Graduate Courses
  3. M.S. Biology
  4. M.S. Biotechnology


The minimum requirement for admission is a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, preferably with a major in biology or a related field. Undergraduate courses should include at least 16 credits of biology including at least one course each in general biology and genetics and one year each of chemistry, physics, and mathematics (two semesters of calculus or a semester of calculus and a semester of statistics).  In addition, biochemistry would be a plus for the Biotechnology program.  A cumulative undergraduate average of at least 3.0 on a scale of 0 to 4.0 is expected. Lower GPA’s will be considered based on overall strength of application.

In addition, we require a satisfactory score on the  on the General test of  Graduate Record Examination and two letters of recommendation from persons acquainted with the applicant’s academic ability and potential.

International students must also take a GRE subject test in  Biology or Biochemistry Cell and Molecular Biology, supply a World Education Service (or its equivalent) evaluation of their undergraduate transcript and, depending on their country of origin, have a satisfactory score on  the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

Application forms and graduate catalogs are available from the William Paterson University Graduate Office. To complete your application file, submit the following: completed application form, two letters of recommendation, official college transcripts, and scores from the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination. Application fee is $50.

If you are accepted to one of our graduate programs and wish to be considered for a Teaching Assistantship or Fellowship, contact our graduate program director for more information.


We offer approximately 25 graduate courses within the M.S. programs. Descriptions of graduate courses including prerequisites and number of credits can be found by clicking Academics (bottom of page). If you are currently enrolled as a student at WPUNJ, you can find Graduate Biology courses which are scheduled for the current academic year by clicking here for the current course rotation or go to the university catalog for current semester offerings.


The M.S. in biology is a 30-credit degree program that offers advanced courses  and seminars in many areas of Biology including molecular biology, ecology, organismic biology, and biotechnology. The program offers a solid background for further graduate study toward a doctorate in biology or related fields, provides teachers with additional experience in the theory and practice of biology, and trains biologists to pursue applied fields such as electron microscopy, tissue culture, ecology and biotechnology.

At the end of the program, you may opt to complete a thesis or take the non-thesis option. All students are required to pass an exit examination. For students pursuing the thesis option, their thesis and its oral defense before a faculty panel will constitute the exit exam.  Students pursuing a non-thesis option are required to complete a course in Independent Study or Independent Reading, write a paper and present their findings before the faculty. This will constitute their exit exam.

Financial aid is available in the form of Graduate Assistantships and departmental scholarships to a limited number of graduate students 


The M.S. in biotechnology is a 36-credit degree program that prepares you for a variety of opportunities in this rapidly growing field, which deals with the implementation of the latest technological developments in industry, medicine, and agriculture. You will receive training and experience in the areas of molecular biology, plant and animal tissue culture, gene expression, protein chemistry and recombinant DNA technology using state-of-the-art instrumentation. You may also choose from a variety of electives in other areas, such as immunology, electron microscopy, microbial ecology, evolution, pharmacology, molecular biology of diseases, bioethics, virology etc.

All students are required to complete a course in Independent study or Independent reading. A paper summarizing your findings from you’re research or independent reading and an oral presentation before a faculty panel will constitute the final exit exam.

Financial aid is available in the form of Graduate Assistantship, and departmental scholarships to a limited number of graduate students.

Graduate Program Director

Michael Peek, Ph.D.

973.720.2247 •