Admission to EEB is competitive. Out of approximately 100 applications per year, ~12 students are admitted, 25% of whom are international. The average GPA for the current incoming cohort is approximately 3.7 (on a 4.0 grading scale). For international students, TOEFL scores of at least 79 overall, plus 21 on Writing and 19 on Reading are required. GRE scores are not required for the application or admission to EEB.
The application deadline for Fall 2023 admission is December 1, 2022.
Prospective students must have earned a B.S., B.A., or equivalent undergraduate degree at an accredited institution of higher education. Required academic preparation typically includes coursework in biology (plant and animal), genetics, chemistry (organic and inorganic), calculus (differential and integral), and physics. For students with demonstrated academic abilities, coursework deficiencies can be filled during the first year of graduate study.
Required documents for admission include:
- Online application
- Application fee (cannot be waived)
- Transcripts (unofficial)
- Personal Statement and Diversity Statement
- Three letters of recommendation
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores (International students only)
All application materials must be uploaded directly to the online application system. Do NOT mail any paper documents to the Graduate School Admissions Office.
Utilize the Application Checklist to ensure that you complete your application correctly and completely. Make sure all materials are included before you submit.
A decision on your application will be emailed to you after your application has been carefully reviewed by the admissions committee. Financial assistance and admission notifications begin around mid-February.
Applying to graduate school in EEB is different than applying to college. While you would usually apply to a program or school for undergrad, for graduate school you often apply to work with a particular faculty member. This requires that you connect with faculty before applying, in order to determine whether they are a good match with your interests as well as funding availability.
Below is a timeline that will help you navigate the process, as well as other resources from students in the program:
Summer (one year before start date): Start looking through the faculty members in the program. Look through their lab or personal websites and think of whose research matches your interest and you find exciting. Keep in mind that faculty members are often associated with multiple programs and departments, so they might advise students in EEB even if their appointment is in a different department.
Late summer/early fall: Contact faculty members you are interested in working with. You can often find instructions in the best way to contact them in their websites. Some prefer a call, while others prefer an email or letter with certain information such as a CV or transcript attached. If they don’t reply or answer the first time, try again, your email might have gotten lost in their inbox!
Faculty will reply back with information on whether they have space and funding to take on a student. If they are not taking students that year, it is fair to ask them if they know of other faculty who they think might be a good match for you.
Fall semester: Follow up with faculty members who seemed interested in taking you as a student. Set up a phone or Skype interview. This will allow both of you to figure out whether you are a good match for their lab and whether you should apply for the program. You can also contact current or past students in the lab if you have questions for them.
Take your TOEFL (if applicable), and apply for fellowships such as the NSF GRFP. Ask for recommendation letters from previous mentors or professors who can speak to your ability to succeed in graduate school.
Late fall semester: Turn in your application and other related materials!
Early spring: You will be invited for interviews at schools interested in taking you as a student. This will be an opportunity for your potential adviser and the department to get to know you in person, as well as for you to see what the school and students are like. It is also a great opportunity to learn about funding options and other opportunities.
Spring: Admission decisions are made and you will have until April 15 to make a final decision. Don’t be discouraged if your application is not successful. This can be due to limited funding and it is not necessarily indicative of your potential as a student.
Also, here is a document with more information and tips on the application process and graduate school in general.