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Graduate Admission and Assistantships: How to Apply

Academic Requirements for Admission:

  • Bachelor's degree in biology
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 or higher for the last 2 undergraduate years
  • No GRE or foreign language requirement

Required Admission Materials:

  1. Completed Graduate Admission Application (available from School of Graduate Studies, 309/298-1806,
  2. Three (3) letters of reference from teachers, employers, or advisors that are familiar with your academic record and your ability to be a successful graduate student,. These references can be submitted by mail, e-mail or on-line ( If you send your letters of reference by e-mail, they should be sent to: the Graduate School at
  3. Written statement addressing the following questions:
    1. What general area of biology (botany, microbiology, zoology, or biology education) are you interested in studying?
    2. What specialized area(s) of biology (animal physiology, aquatic biology, education research, plant ecology, marine mammalogy, molecular biology, pathogenic bacteriology, wildlife biology, etc.) are you interested in studying?
    3. What are your personal goals in graduate studies and how do they relate to your future professional objectives?
    4. What experiences or skills do you have that are relevant to your application?
    5. What are your expectations of the Graduate Degree Program in Biological Sciences at Western Illinois University?
    6. If a graduate teaching assistantship was available, would you be interested and why would you want the assistantship?

Required Graduate Assistantship Materials:

  1. Completed "Application for Graduate Assistantship" (.pdf, available from School of Graduate Studies, (309) 289-1806,
  2. The required 3 letters of recommendation and written statement required for admission also satisfy the School of Graduate Studies requirements for these materials when applying for a Graduate Assistantship. They do not have to be submitted a second time.


  • Admission - applications accepted anytime
  • Assistantships - March 1 for following fall semester, October 1 for following spring semester, or until appropriate candidates are found.