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Graduate Program


Thank you for considering applying to the Department of Biology’s graduate program. Below you can find information on:

Students applying to the PhD program are required to have a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field. A master's degree is not required. Transfer students are considered for admission using the same criteria.

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Application Materials

We request that students apply to the department rather than to individual laboratories. The department seeks students who have a strong commitment to field or laboratory research in fundamental areas of biology.

Applicants are required to submit:

  • An online application
  • A personal statement
  • College transcripts (for all schools attended)
  • Scores on the GRE and TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
  • Three letters of recommendation (letters must be on letterhead and must be submitted online by the recommender)

All supporting documents must be submitted by using the online application system (unofficial copies of all transcripts and test scores will be accepted for the review process).

Please contact Cindy Landry at to check the status of your application.

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Standardized Tests

Our department does not publish minimum score requirements for the GRE exam. Test scores are reviewed in conjunction with other application materials when making admissions decisions. The subject GRE is not required, but recommended. The University GRE code is 2928.

International students are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exam. The University TOEFL code is 7267.

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Application Deadline

The deadline for complete applications is December 1 for fall admission. We do not admit students in the spring semester.

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Application Fee

There is a $60 application fee. If this fee would cause financial hardship, please send an email to and request a fee waiver. All requests will be approved. Please include your application number when requesting a fee waiver.

The $60 fee will be waived for applications submitted by November 1.

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Once PhD applications have been screened, candidates are invited to visit the campus for:

  • One-on-one faculty interviews
  • Meet-and-greets with graduate students
  • Tours of the facilities
  • Sojourns into the city

The department covers these expenses. International students who reside outside of the US are not interviewed in person, but may be interviewed by Skype and/or telephone.

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Financial Support

All PhD students admitted to the program are offered a competitive annual stipend (research or teaching assistantship), Aetna health insurance, and a full tuition scholarship. Support is guaranteed for five years subject to satisfactory progress toward the degree. Travel funds are available to PhD students who give a talk or present a poster at a national or international conference. The department also awards Caspari and Holtfreter Fellowships.

We also encourage students to apply for outside funding from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and private agencies. Obtaining funding from outside sources brings distinction both to the student and the department. Admission to the program is never contingent on students securing their own funds. Please see the fellowship policy PDF for more information.

The department does not offer financial support to master's students. Students may apply for financial aid through the University Financial Aid Office.

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If you have questions or would like more information about our graduate program, please contact us.

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