NOTE: Starting Fall 2019, the Department of Biology no longer requires the GRE for application to its PhD or MS programs.

The Biology Graduate Program offers three degrees; the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)  and two Master of Science degrees (thesis and non-thesis programs). We make decisions on applicants to these programs in two cycles separated by degree as described below. We welcome applications from any interested student. We are committed to fostering a diverse student body and our current students are a near-equal mix of men and women and include members of multiple racial and cultural groups. For each degree, applicants are selected for admission based on their overall academic records, test scores, prior experiences, and on their expressed interest in research areas corresponding to our faculty expertise.

Admission Process for PhD and thesis MS

We formally begin considering applicants for the Ph.D. and thesis MS starting in January and continuing until near April 15. Generally, Ph.D. applicants are considered first, and thesis M.S. students as openings arise, and it is wise to get your application in by 1 January for full consideration. We strongly encourage students interested in either of  these two programs to contact likely faculty mentors before applying. You can do this by reading individual faculty research pages, areas of research, or training programs . While not required, you are encouraged to contact potential mentors by email to learn more about research in those labs and to address any specific questions you may have about graduate training.

Your application will include a variety of personal and contact information, your transcripts from undergraduate and any prior graduate education, and your resume (or CV). Review the Biology Department specific instructions (PDF) on your CV and personal statement content before completing your application. 

If English is not your native language, then you should submit either TOEFL or IELTS scores. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for application for graduate study though if you have scores you can submit them (GRE institution code is 1837, Department Code is 0203). 

Successful applicants have the right mix of credentials and there is no hard rule about criteria because so much depends on the pool of applicants and their specific interests. Generally our admitted students have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (out of 4.0), and for non-native English speakers a TOEFL score of at least 550 on paper based test or 213 on the computer-based test (CBT) or 79 on the internet-based test (iBT). We advise you to follow the application checklist closely to assure that all of your application materials are sent; keep in mind that your application cannot be evaluated until all materials are received.

Please apply through the Apply Yourself portal and be sure to select the PhD or thesis Masters option as appropriate. 

Admission Process for Non-Thesis MS

Applications for starting in the fall semester will be considered as they are received up until July 1 of that year. We also accept applications to start in spring semester. These will be considered as they are received until November 15. Please apply through the Apply Yourself portal and be sure to select the non-thesis Masters option.

Admission into the coursework Master’s program is a separate process from the Ph.D. and thesis Master’s programs. Recommended minimal requirements for consideration include:

  1. An undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher,
  2. Two letters of reference that attest to their qualities as a student,
  3. A personal statement that explains how a non-thesis Masters’ from our department will fit into the applicant’s subsequent career plans
Any questions regarding the UK Graduate School application processes should be directed to the Graduate School

Should you experience any technical problems with ApplyYourself, please direct your question to the Graduate School.

Decisions on admission will be made continuously. Accepted students are responsible for tuition, as no financial assistance from Biology will be offered at the time of admission. Tuition and Mandatory Fees. Please consult for other sources of aid. 


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