electronic equipment in one of the labsThe Biological Sciences Graduate Program utilizes a rolling admissions process by which applications are evaluated as they are received. However, 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. All applications are initiated through the new University of Alabama Graduate School application portal. Following review by the Graduate School, applications meeting the minimum criteria are referred to the department admissions committee for further consideration.

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.

Please Note: Prospective applicants for the M.S. and Ph.D. degree programs are strongly 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. Most successful applicants will have established a mutual interest with a faculty member who is willing to serve as the student’s research advisor and in whose lab the student will conduct his/her research.

To learn about faculty-specific research interests and for faculty contact information visit the departmental Faculty Directory.

Questions about the graduate program and the application process can be directed to Kimberly Tsoukalas (krandall1@ua.edu).


The application consists of:

  • Applicant Data Sheet
  • Statement of Purpose, an important part of the application, which 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.
  • TOEFL score, if English is not the applicant’s native language. International applicants must earn a TOEFL iBT score of ≥80 (or equivalent IELTS score of 6.5). Students requiring financial support as Graduate Teaching Assistants must have a TOEFL iBT speaking subtest score of 21 or higher. The University of Alabama GRE/TOEFL code is 1830. More information regarding international applicants and requirements may be found at the Graduate Schools International Admissions page.
  • 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.
  • GRE scores are no longer required by the department, but applicants may submit their GRE scores if they wish to. Some mentors may request GRE scores before accepting students into their lab. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact prospective mentors prior to applying.

All of the above application materials should be submitted online via the University of Alabama Graduate School application portal.