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Department of Biology Master of Science in Human Biology

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Master of Science in Human Biology Admission Requirements

The master’s program is competitive, accepting 3-5 highly qualified students a year. Admission requirements set the precedent for the competitive nature of the program.


  • Most of our graduate students come with bachelor's degrees in anthropology, biology, human biology, or a closely related field. Although there are no set restrictions on what your undergraduate degree can be in, students must have built a strong foundation in anthropology and the sciences. 
  • Prior completion of a minimum of eight courses in anthropology and the natural sciences. Ideally, we look for physical anthropology, statistics, anatomy (human or vertebrae), physiology and chemistry. Students must have completed at least one semester of human or vertebrate anatomy, including dissection, and at least one semester of majors-level chemistry.
  • A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 grade scale.
  • Minimum scores of 150 on both verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE and a score of 4.0 or better on the writing section is recommended.

Prior experience

We are looking for highly-motivated students who have already had a hand in some aspect of skeletal analysis, archeological fieldwork, or scientific laboratory work. The experience can be paid or volunteer, for credit or not-for-credit, for short durations or for extensive periods of time. Please be detailed in your application about any prior experience you have had. Specific types of experiences that we look for include:

  • Being a teaching assistant for a science or anthropology course
  • Taking an archeological, paleontological or geological field school
  • Assisting with forensic or archeological human remains casework 
  • Volunteering in a professor's lab and assisting in scholarly research projects
  • Taking courses or training workshops in forensics
  • Completing an internship at a laboratory, museum, or other scientific facility
  • Taking advanced independent study courses in which you have conducted in-depth research
  • Attending or giving papers at student conferences of professional scientific meetings
  • Publishing articles in student or scholarly journals, or other significant writing experiences
  • Completing an undergraduate honors degree and finishing an honors project or thesis

Applying for admission

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Completed UIndy online application (by Jan. 15 for priority consideration)
  • A typed personal statement outlining the following:
    • Career goals
    • Research interests
    • Reason for applying to the program
  • A typed list of all relevant coursework, with grades received, in the following:
    • Anthropology
    • Natural sciences
    • Anatomy
    • Archeology
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Geology
    • Physics
    • Math
    • Any other related courses
  • A current resume or curriculum vitae listing the following:
    • Prior work and volunteer experience
    • Field schools
    • Special training
    • Publications
    • Presentations
  • Three reference letters submitted via the human biology reference forms. Reference letters should be mailed directly to the College of Arts & Sciences Graduate School. Please choose individuals who are either familiar with your academic performance or have supervised you in anthropology or science-related activities and research.
  • Official transcripts showing any and all undergraduate and graduate coursework.
  • Official GRE scores submitted by the testing agencies.
  • $30 application fee (checks to be made to University of Indianapolis)

We strongly recommend that applicants visit the program and set up a personal interview. To arrange a visit, please contact Dr. Stephen Nawrocki, program director. Applicants should bring to the interview a current resume or vitae and a list of relevant courses they have taken. 

Additional requirements for international students

  • International students whose undergraduate coursework was not completed at an English-speaking institution must achieve a minimum score of 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test. Official scores must be submitted by the testing agency.
  • Provide a course-by-course credential evaluation to show that you have completed the U.S. equivalent of a bachelor's degree. To view a list of agencies that offer this service, see the international student admissions page.

Application deadlines and acceptance

All material must be submitted directly to the College of Arts & Sciences Graduate School by Jan. 15. If a student is not admitted with his or her first application, he or she may apply to the program at a later time. However, the success rate for re-applications is low, and it is likely that the applicant will need to make up deficiencies in the first application. Suggestions for additional coursework and work experience can be provided upon request.

Unless otherwise noted, send all information to:
College of Arts & Sciences Graduate School
Graduate Program in Human Biology
1400 E. Hanna Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46227