Admissions Review Criteria
The applicant's overall GPA should be considered with special attention to math and science courses. It may be useful to consider whether grades have trended upwards during the undergraduate career, or whether the candidate mentions extenuating circumstances for low grades. In any case, please keep in mind that a special approval is required to admit any candidate with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0. The GRE is not considered.
Research Experience & Potential
Research experience is a valuable indicator of a candidate’s aptitude for a career in science. Indicators of such experience may be found in a candidate’s CV, personal statement and letters of recommendation. Experience in a specialized area of research, although helpful, is not an absolute prerequisite for consideration of a candidate. The goals and interests candidates express in the personal statement will be evaluated alongside prior experience.
The personality trait "Grit" is associated with energetic pursuit of long-term goals. Also known as effortful persistence, grit is a validated predictor of future success in the face of challenges that is not strongly limited by sociodemographic boundaries (Lechner, 2019, PLoS One). Candidates who score well in this category will have taken advantage of available opportunities, demonstrated sustained commitment to difficult projects, or illustrate examples of meeting challenges and overcoming adversity.
School of Biological Sciences
Candidates will show evidence of compatibility with the School of Biological Sciences by identifying potential faculty mentors in an authentic way, by speaking to broad interests in one or more of the areas of strength within our research community (ecology, organisms, molecular, cellular and evolutionary biology), and by commitment to communicating science to non-specialized audiences.
Follow the instructions on the application site to submit the following:
- Online Application
- TOEFL/IELTS Scores (International student only) -- minimum TOEFL score is 80 or higher & minimum IELTS score is 6.5 or higher. Click this link for information about TOEFL waiver application.
- Three letters of recommendation
- Statement of Purpose (essays are typically 1 to 3 pages in length)
- Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Applicants are encouraged to submit their application materials well in advance of the deadline. Official transcripts and English proficiency test scores (international students only) are required.
For further information on required forms, the application process and general application questions, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.
Application Fee Waiver
The application fee is $55 for domestic applicants and $65 for international applicants.
Domestic students may use the application fee waiver code apply24biol for Fall 2024 in the Application fee waiver code field under at the bottom of the Additional Materials section.
International students are not eligible for a fee waiver for Fall 2024. The non-refundable graduate application fee is $65 for international applicants. The application fee must be paid in order to consider your application complete.
Application fee waiver codes are program specific and data entry errors or codes created by other programs will not be honored or credited. The University of Utah and School of Biological Sciences cannot reimburse or reverse application fees paid by the applicant.
Faculty and departments are not able to provide or sponsor application fee waivers for international students.
- December 1, 2023: Application deadline for Fall 2024
- December - mid January: Review of applications
- February 8 - 11, 2024: Interviews for applicants
- Mid to late February: Applicants notified of admissions decision
- April 15: Decision date for acceptance of admission offers by applicants. The University of Utah subscribes to the Council of Graduate Schools April 15 Resolution.
All Ph.D. students in good academic standing receive up to five years of financial support, either as a Teaching Assistant or as a Research Assistant. In addition, the School of Biological Sciences (Biology) will provide a basic health insurance plan to students who are not otherwise covered by a policy. Tuition coverage is included (domestic and international students) and requires 9-11 credit hours of graduate-level course work per semester, excluding summer.
The School of Biological Sciences/Biology participates in the fellowship program “Enhancing Diversity and Graduate Student Success (EDGES) of the College of Science. All students accepted to the Biology Graduate Program will be invited to apply to this program and priority for awards will be given to admitted students seeking Ph.D. training.
Living in Utah
What's it like Living in Utah? Graduate students from the School of Biological Sciences and Molecular Biology show newbies why the Beehive State is the place to get your graduate degree.