Graduate Program

For the M.S. in Biotechnology, Thesis and non-thesis options are available. Student enrolled under the thesis option conduct original research under the mentorship of a full-time faculty member. Prospective thesis students are encouraged to contact a faculty member in their area of expertise prior to submitting their application. For a list of faculty, their fields of interest, and research websites, see our faculty page. The non-thesis option is comprised of coursework with a component for independent learning through mentor led independent study or independent reading. 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. Financial Support


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 five courses or 20 credits of biology. Additional co-requirements should include one year each of chemistry and mathematics (two semesters of calculus or a semester of calculus and a semester of statistics). Applicants to the Biotechnology program should have proficiency in cellular biology, genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry. 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 Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test and two letters of recommendation from persons addressing the applicant’s academic ability and potential.

International students must 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.

Application deadlines for both programs: August 1 for Fall semester and December 1 for Spring semester.


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 visiting the graduate course catalog. 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 Biology Department and WPU offer several ways to support your graduate studies. For exceptional candidates we offer graduate teaching fellowships with tuition and fee waiver with a stipend of $6,000. These awards are competitive and require a separate application through the Provost's Office.  

The WPUNJ Department of Biology is pleased to announce the availability of Biology Adjunct Faculty Teaching Opportunities for Graduate Students, a new initiative to provide financial support and teaching experience for exceptionally qualified graduate students in Biology or Biotechnology.  Students accepted under this initiative will be admitted as graduate students into the M.S. Biology or M.S. Biotechnology program and will be appointed simultaneously as Adjunct Faculty in Biology with a teaching assignment instructing laboratory sections of undergraduate biology courses.  Students with teaching assignments do not receive tuition waivers but are paid on a per-credit basis according to the current Adjunct Faculty salary schedule.  If you are considering the M.S. Biology or Biotechnology program at WPUNJ, this opportunity provides a new route to defraying the costs of your graduate education.  Contact Biology Graduate Director Dr. Michael Peek for further information.

Financial aid is also available through the Federal Stafford Loan Program. Additional information on financial assistance can be found on the Graduate Admissions Page.

Graduate Program Director

Michael Peek, Ph.D.

973.720.2247 •