Application Deadlines for Fall 2018 Admission

The application is available online through the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Generally the department does not accept new students for the spring semester, although in special circumstances this may be arranged for students in Ecology, Behavior & Evolution.


Applicants to the MA or PhD programs must have completed a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. While a degree in biology is not required, it is suggested that you at least have completed biology and chemistry courses before applying. Statistics would also be useful. Depending on your specific interests and the program to which you are applying, the most relevant courses will vary. Admission to graduate programs in the Department of Biology is competitive. We favor applicants with both strong academic records and a demonstrated aptitude for research.

Application Requirements

  • Transcripts
  • Three recommendations – We consider letters of recommendation, particularly those from individuals who can address your research experience and aptitude, a very important part of your application.
  • Personal statement/statement of purpose – A thoughtful personal statement is important and should include information on your motivation for attending graduate school, any research interests you have, and your prior research experience.
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official GRE General Test score report
  • GRE Subject Test [Recommended]: Depending on the proposed program area, the Subject Test in Biology, Chemistry, or Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology (discontinued, although scores up to 2016 can be submitted) would be appropriate.
  • Additional requirements for international students – Information for international students on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and other requirements is available on the International Student Applicant page.

Area of Interest and Faculty of Interest

Applicants should specify the research area(s) of interest on the application:

Applicants are encouraged to contact one or more faculty with whom they might wish to pursue their dissertation research. This is especially important for students interested in the Ecology, Behavior & Evolution and Marine Biology program areas, where applicants are typically admitted to work specifically with one or more faculty members. The Cell & Molecular Biology and Neurobiology program areas require laboratory rotations during which students can explore their interests, but it is often useful to contact a faculty member. Applicants interested in the NSF NRT Understanding the Brain: Neurophotonics Traineeship Program should also email for more information.

Additional Information and Program Requirements

Check out the Frequently Asked Questions page for MA & PhD applicants. Visit the GRS Academic Admissions page and the GRS Online Bulletin for more details on admission procedures and requirements.