Prepare for Success
To prepare for the Department of Biological Sciences graduate program, you should have a genuine interest in biological systems, research and teaching. If you are interested in building a career in private industry, particularly in management or administrative positions, you should also possess strong business and communication skills and be familiar with regulatory issues and marketing and management methods.
When applying for the program, please be familiar with the department’s Web site and the research interests of the faculty. Ideally, contact one or more of the faculty members in whose work you’re particularly interested before formally applying. In the application, you’ll be asked to highlight your research interest areas and goals; indicate if there is someone (or several) with whom you’d be interested in working.
To be admitted into the program, you’ll need good undergraduate grades and several letters of recommendation as well as solid performance on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). If you are an international student, you will also need to do well on the TOEFL examination.
Your First Year
As a graduate student, you will complete a teaching practicum, in which you'll teach undergraduate laboratory sections, a statistics course and several elective courses. These electives correspond with your area of research and are identified with your advisory committee. In addition, Master of Science (M.S.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) students take professional development for biologists, ethical issues in biological research, and several seminar or journal club courses. It generally takes two years to complete the M.S. and four to six years to complete the Ph.D. option.