Applying to the Graduate Program

The Biological Sciences Graduate Program utilizes a rolling admissions process by which applications are evaluated as they are received. However, applications are not reviewed until they are complete. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by December 10 prior to the fall semester in which studies are to begin in order to be considered for all available graduate assistantships and fellowships. Students may also be admitted to begin study in the spring semester, although availability of financial support is limited.

The goal of the admission process is to identify students who will thrive in the program and continue to successful research and/or teaching careers. The application should contain information that allows us to judge the applicant’s academic and research potential, and that allows us to determine whether a suitable match exists with potential faculty mentors.

Prospective students are encouraged to contact one or more faculty members prior to the application process to discuss their research interests and to determine whether space is available in the research group. Click here to see faculty research interest areas.

The application consists of:

  • The Applicant Data Sheet.
  • The Statement of Purpose. The Statement of Purpose is an important part of the application, and should be carefully written to include the applicant’s research interests and possible mentors among the faculty. The personal statement should also include motivations for undertaking graduate training, and future career goals.
  • Transcripts from previous institution(s). A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale is required for unconditional admission to the Biological Sciences Graduate Program.
  • GRE scores, sent to us directly by the testing agency. Copies of scores sent by the applicant are not acceptable. A cumulative GRE score (Verbal plus Quantitative.) of 300 or higher is required for unconditional admission to the Biological Sciences Graduate Program. Applicants are not required to take a GRE subject test.
  • TOEFL score, if English is not the applicant’s native language. We generally require a TOEFL iBT score of ≥80 (or equivalent IELTS score of 6.5). Students requiring support as Graduate Teaching Assistants must have a TOEFL iBT speaking subtest score of 21 or higher. Exceptions to these minimum standards are considered on a case-by-case basis. The University of Alabama GRE/TOEFL code is 1830.
  • An application fee.
  • Three letters of recommendation, provided by faculty members who have direct knowledge of and can comment on the applicant’s academic and research potential. Letters from friends, employers for non-laboratory jobs, clergy, etc. are usually not helpful. All letters of recommendation must be submitted online via the Graduate School’s document processing website. A link to this website is provided via email to references listed on the application.

All of the above application materials should be completed online via the Graduate School website. The University of Alabama Graduate School webpage contains detailed instructions and all of the application materials.

For other questions on the admission process, contact Dr. Stevan Marcus, Director of the Graduate Program (uabscgrad@ua.edu).