Guidelines for International Applicants to
Graduate Studies in Biological Sciences
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Please visit the Center for International Education (CIE) for admissions information specific to international students. 

The following items are required when applying for admission to either the M.S. or Ph.D. programs.

Deadlines for Application
Applications must be submitted by January 1.

Application Form:
The applicant must complete and sign an application form. The online application is available at: www.graduateschool.uwm.edu/students/prospective/apply

Application Fees:
A $56 application fee and a $40 evaluation fee are required. You may submit one payment of US$96 payable to University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. You may submit a check payable through a U.S. bank or an international money order. These fees cannot be waived and are required before your application will be reviewed.

Transcripts:
Original or officially certified copies of all grade reports for all undergraduate and graduate studies, as well as original or officially certified copies of all academic diplomas, certificates, and national or other major examination results. Official records must be submitted in the native language and must be accompanied by an official English translation (See http://www4.uwm.edu/cie/?cat=currentstudents&pagenum=1089 for translation policy). Photocopies that are not certified by the institution that issued them or photocopies with only the seal of a notary public are not acceptable. Official records should be sent directly from the institution to: ISSS Admissions, Center for International Education, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2441 East Hartford Avenue, Garland Hall 138, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE):
The General tests of GRE are required. Subject tests in Biology are not required. The University's Institution Code is 1473 and the Department Code is 0299. Official scores must be sent directly by the Educational Testing Service to: Graduate Program, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340, USA.

English Proficiency:
All applicants are required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. The English Proficiency requirement applies to both graduate degree and non-degree applicants. This requirement can be met with 1, 2 or 3 below.
  1. Receipt of a baccalaureate or higher degree from UWM, or another approved institution where English is the sole language of instruction. International applicants also must meet the following criteria:
    1. the degree must be earned within two years of your expected enrollment at UWM, and
    2. the applicant must have attended this institution a minimum of 2 years and must have a "C" (2.00 on a 4.00 scale) or better average on all course work completed.
  2. A minimum TOEFL (http://www.toefl.org/) score of 550 PBT or 213 CBT. Official TOEFL scores must be sent directly from ETS to UWM at: ISSS Admissions, Center for International Education, University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2441 East Hartford Avenue, Garland Hall 138, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA. TOFEL scores cannot be more than 2 years old. UWM's school code for TOEFL is 1473.
  3. A minimum IELTS (http://www.ielts.org/) score of 7.0 or better. Graduate departments may require a higher IELTS score; refer to their admissions materials for more information.
Test of Spoken English: TAST (TOEFL Academic Speaking Test) or Internet based TOEFL (iBT):
A score of 3.0 or higher on the TAST or 23 or higher on the iBT is required for all international students supported by a teaching assistantship (TA). Students may be offered teaching assignments if they receive 2.5-2.83 on TAST or 19-22 on the iBT if they enroll in the Oral Skills for International teaching assistants (ITA) and Graduate Assistant course concurrently (Information about this course is below). The Department will not issue a letter certifying TA financial support if the TAST score is below 2.5 or the iBT score is below 19 on the iBT. Official TAST or iBT scores must be sent to: Graduate Program, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413, USA. If you need TA support, your application will not be processed until we receive your TAST or iBT score.

For additional information about TAST or the iBT, please go the ETS website: http://www.ets.org and go to the TOEFL section.

To interpret TAST scores, please refer to the following scale:

Score: 3.0 and above. Oral English skills sufficient for classroom teaching. No further English language training needed.

Score: 2.50 to 2.83. Oral English skills marginally sufficient for classroom teaching. Student may be placed in the classroom, but may need extra supervision and support. Concurrent registration in the "Oral Skills for International Teaching Assistants" class is required. Contact the ESL Office for information.,

Score: Below 2.50. Oral English skills not sufficient for classroom teaching. The "Oral English Skills for International Teaching Assistants" course given by the English as a Second Language Program and SPEAK score of above 3.00 is required before assuming classroom duties. Contact the ESL Office (Curtin Hall 672) for information at 229-5757.

To interpret the internet based TOEFL (iBT) Scores please refer to the following scale:

Score 23 - 30. Oral English skills sufficient for classroom teaching. No further English language training needed.

Score 19 - 22. Oral English skills marginally sufficient for classroom teaching. Student may be placed in the classroom, but may need extra supervision and support. Concurrent registration in the "Oral Skills for International Teaching Assistants" class is required.

Score below 19. Oral English skills not sufficient for classroom teaching. The "Oral English Skills for International Teaching Assistants" course given by the English as a Second Language Program and TAST score of above 3.00 or iBT above 23 is required before assuming classroom duties.

The TAST (Academic Speaking Test) or iBT requirement does not apply to students supported by a Research Assistantship (RA). In the Department of Biological Sciences, an RA is only provided through an individual faculty member's grant. Students interested in working with a particular faculty member can contact them directly to inquire about the availability of RA support. Faculty web pages are available from online faculty pages.

Letters of Recommendation:
The student is required to submit two (M.S. applicants) or three (Ph.D. applicant) letters of recommendation from people who can evaluate the student's potential for scientific research. These letters should be sent directly to: Graduate Program, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340, USA.

Personal Statement:
The applicant must provide a personal statement discussing reasons for graduate study, with a clear statement of the student's objectives. The letter must include the following:
  1. Reason for pursuing graduate studies
  2. A specific area of interest
  3. Faculty members in whose laboratory you would consider conducting your research.
The student is advised to make early contact directly with individual faculty members in the Department who share mutual interests. Please indicate the names of professors you want to do your research with on your statement. Information about individual faculty and their research interests are available from online faculty pages. This statement should be sent directly to: Graduate Program, Department of Biological Sciences, P.O. Box 413, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0340, USA.