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Application FAQs

You can go to the Graduate School website and apply online. There is a $75 non-refundable application fee.

No. Applicants may self-monitor their application status using the Graduate School's How to Check your Graduate School Application Processing Status page.

Gmail users: Please see the special note regarding spam/junk mail folders.

When your application is complete, the Graduate School will forward it to the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. At that time, it will be given a composite score based on four criteria:

  1. A weighted undergraduate grade point average
  2. Any academic honors, awards, professional affiliations, etc. you include
  3. Letters of recommendation
  4. Research and work experience.
If your composite score exceeds the cut-off, you will be notified by e-mail or letter that your application has been received by the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. Applications will then be made available to the graduate faculty who may then contact you.

In order to be accepted into the graduate program, you must be sponsored by a graduate faculty member. Applicants should not just rely on being contacted by a faculty member, but should also take the initiative to contact faculty members with whom they might wish to work.

Students who are not selected by a faculty member for a position in their lab will not be accepted into the program.

My application was received, but the faculty member I am interested in working with is not taking new students. Can my application be resubmitted for next semester?

Yes, your application may be resubmitted for the following semester.

A year off should not affect your application, particularly if you have gained some experience in the field during that year.

Your eligibility is based on your GPA, letters of recommendation, and research and work experience.

General FAQs

The GRE is currently waived as a requirement due to the pandemic. The Biology subject GRE is not required.

Master of Science in Marine Biology

The Master of Science in Marine Biology is a graduate program designed to offer students advanced training and research experience in the biology sub-disciplines as they apply to marine organisms or ecosystems.

Core courses include biological oceanography, physiology, ecology and molecular biology. The expectation is that students entering the program have a solid background in the major sub-disciplines (e.g. ecology, genetics, etc.) within biology.

Master of Science in Marine Science

The Master of Science in Marine Science is an interdisciplinary program that includes training in both the Biological and Physical Sciences. Core courses include biological oceanography, chemical oceanography, marine geology and physical oceanography.

Students may do research with a mentor or mentors from the faculties of biology and marine biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, or mathematics. Students entering this program may have an undergraduate background in any of the contributing disciplines.

You should e-mail Dr. Steve Skrabal to request information regarding the Master of Science in marine science program. You may also visit the Master of Science in marine science website for information.

While course offerings vary widely from campus to campus, a curriculum containing the following should adequately prepare you for graduate course work:

  • Two semesters of introductory physics
  • Two semesters of introductory chemistry
  • One or two semesters of organic chemistry
  • Mathematics up through at least one semester of calculus
  • Introductory biology
  • Animal or plant biology
  • Cellular and molecular biology
  • Physiology
  • Genetics
  • Ecology

UNCW's institutional code is 5907. If you are graduating from a university in the United States, you do not need to submit TOEFL scores.

The Department of Biology and Marine Biology offers teaching assistantships to students enrolled in the Biology Master's and Marine Biology Master's and Ph.D. programs based on the continued availability of funding. Students must request these assistantships (see application), and selection will be based on an evaluation of academic records, recommendations, experience, and relevant criteria.

Teaching assistantships are currently valued at $13,000 for the 9-month academic year for Master's students and $21,000 for the 9-month academic year for Ph.D. students but are paid over 10 months. The deadline for applying, if you wish to have a teaching assistantship, is February 15.

Additional stipends, including summer support, and research assistantships are also available through grant funds awarded to graduate faculty members. Details about requirements and duties associated with these sources should be discussed with the individual graduate faculty member.

Information on scholarships available can be found on the Graduate School's webpage.

For information regarding Financial Aid and for an application, please visit UNCW's Financial Aid webpage.

You first should set up appointments with those graduate faculty members with whom you might be interested in working. In addition, the Admissions Office gives campus tours Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., except on holidays. Persons interested in taking a tour should register online.

While it is not mandatory that one have a degree in biology, an examination of the admission criteria (see Admissions FAQs) clearly indicates that extensive background in the biological sciences is required.