HOW TO APPLY TO THE GRADUATE PROGRAM

APPLICATION:  

Applications are submitted online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. To begin the application process, please see the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website. For further information about the application process, please contact Shae Berghuis.

Students must complete the online application.  Applications submitted as PDFs to the department will not be accepted.

Prospective Master's degree students should note that they should not apply for the program before they've secured a faculty mentor from one of the department's primary faculty members.  No prospecitve master's student application will be accepted unless that student has a faculty mentor willing to accept them into their lab.

APPLICATION FEE:

A non-refundable fee of $60 is due at the time the application is submitted.

The Graduate School grants fee waivers to members of the organizations listed below. Contact your program advisor directly for more information.

McNair
Teach for America
Peace Corps
Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers
Vietnam Education Foundation
AmeriCorps
LS-AMP program
Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies
Leadership Alliance
National College Advising Corps
Project 1000

If you believe that you are eligible for a needs-based fee waiver, please contact the Office of Admissions once you are prepared to submit the application online and provide one or more of the following documents:

  • An unemployment benefits statement dated within the previous six months
  • A letter or FAFSA sent from your undergraduate institution indicating that the expected family contribution (EFC) toward the current academic year's tuition is zero.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  

Your completed application must be received by December 15, 2012 for the Fall 2013 semester.  The Biology Graduate Committee will meet in early January to review all completed applications.   Spring admissions are rare, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis, please contact Shae Berghuis if you are interested.

No application will be accepted for review if submitted after December 15, 2012.

TROUBLE WITH THE ONLINE APPLICATION?:

Please note that all questions relating to the applicant’s online application, and submission of additional admission materials including transcripts, and letters of recommendation are the responsibility of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.  All test scores, transcripts and letters of recommendation must be sent directly to the Graduate School.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Contact Information:

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Office of Admissions
PO Box 400775
101 Randall Hall
Charlottesville, VA  22904-4775
Phone: (434) 924-6740
Fax: (434) 924-6737
Email: grad-as@virginia.edu

Please see our FAQ section for the most common applicant questions. 


APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS  

PERSONAL STATEMENT:    

An applicant’s personal statement should answer the following questions:

Why do you want to obtain a graduate degree? Which faculty research programs (laboratories) are of interest to you? Because of the short duration of the MA/MS programs, Master degree applicants are strongly encouraged to identify and contact potential thesis advisor(s) in advance of application.

LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATION:

At least two letters of recommendation (more than 4 letters of recommendation are strongly discouraged) should be submitted electronically through the online application system. Once you have saved the contact information for a particular reference within the online application, that individual will receive instructions via e-mail for submitting a letter of recommendation on your behalf. 

Letters of recommendation should be sought from faculty in your proposed field of study who are sufficiently familiar with your work to make a comprehensive evaluation of your abilities. If you have already undertaken a graduate program, at least one of the letters should be from a faculty member who is familiar with your academic performance on the graduate level.

TRANSCRIPTS:

Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts of their entire post-secondary academic record to the online application, including all undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework. Transcripts that are not stated in English must be accompanied by a translation into English.

Please do not request and mail official transcripts from these institutions as part of the application process. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the faculty’s review of your application. If you are offered admission to the Graduate School, you will be asked at that time to send official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to the GSAS Admissions Office.

Average GPA for incoming Fall 2011 student: 

3.471

INSTITUTION CODE:

The University of Virginia receives all GRE and TOEFL scores directly from Educational Testing Services (ETS). Please utilize the institution code 5820 to ensure that scores are properly directed to the University. No department code is necessary.

GRADUATE RECORD EXAMINATION SCORES:

Official scores from the Graduate Record (GRE) are required to complete an application.  There are no minimum GRE test scores required to apply for the program.  The GRE Biology Subject Test is recommended but not required.  Official scores may be requested from the GRE website.

GRE Results Verbal Score Old Scale Verbal Score New Scale Verbal Percentile Quantitative Score Old Scale Quantitative Score New Scale Quantitative Percentile Combined Total Score Old Scale Combined Total Score New Scale
Please note that these are average scores. Scores that fall above or below are still considered competitive.
Fall 2011 549 N/A 72nd 728 N/A 77th 1277 N/A
Fall 2012 558 158 72nd 688 156 69th 1246 314

 

TOEFL SCORES:

All international students must submit TOEFL scores in addition to GRE scores. The minimum internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score requirement is 90 (including sectional minimums of 22 in speaking, 22 in writing, 23 in reading and 23 in listening). The minimum paper-based TOEFL score requirement is 600. Applicants may submit scores from the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) instead of TOEFL scores. The minimum IELTS score requirement is 7.0. In any case, the date of the reported test must fall within two years of the application deadline. Admissions committees will consider applications with scores that do not meet the minimum requirements.

The TOEFL is not required of applicants who have or will have obtained a degree from an institution where English is the primary language of instruction. The TOEFL requirement will automatically be waived for an applicant who submits an application indicating these circumstances.

TOEFL Results IBT Listening IBT Reading IBT Speaking IBT Writing Total Combined Score
A IBT TOEFL score of at least 90 is preferred.
Fall 2011 26 27 22 25 99
Fall 2012 25 27 22 27 101

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Are there minimum GRE scores, GPA requirements or TOEFL scores required to apply for the program?

No, at this time there is no minimum GRE or GPA requirements.  Admission to the program is based upon a number of factors including an applicant’s personal statement, prior research, letters of recommendation, GRE and TOEFL scores, and GPA.
 
The minimum internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score requirement is 90 (including sectional minimums of 22 in speaking, 22 in writing, 23 in reading and 23 in listening). The minimum paper-based TOEFL score requirement is 600. The minimum IELTS score requirement is 7.0.
What kind of funding is available for graduate students?

Ph.D Students:

All Ph.D. graduate students are assured support for five years of study, contingent on satisfactory progress in the program.  Such support includes the annual stipend (set each year by the faculty – currently $27,000.00) and full payment of tuition and academic year fees.  Support may be provided in the form of a fellowship, traineeship, Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, or a combination of these, depending on student qualifications and the availability of funds.

During the first year of study, Ph.D. students are supported with a twelve month award (currently $27,000.00).  This award may be provided in the form of a fellowship, traineeship, Teaching Assistantship, Graduate Assistantship, or a combination of these.

MA/MS Students:

Financial support for Master’s students is not guaranteed by the department.

Students in the Master’s degree program are eligible for Teaching Assistantships and Research Assistantships, depending on the availability of funds.  Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 to qualify for continued financial support.  In addition, eligibility for continued support through Teaching Assistantships requires satisfactory performance by the student in their teaching assignments.  Master’s program teaching assistants are required to fulfill the same TA requirement and evaluation process as described above for Ph.D. teaching assistants.

Can my application fee be waived?

A non-refundable fee of $60 is due at the time the application is submitted.

The Graduate School grants fee waivers to members of the organizations listed below. Contact your program advisor directly for more information.

McNair
Teach for America
Peace Corps
Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers
Vietnam Education Foundation
AmeriCorps
LS-AMP program
Summer Institute for Literary and Cultural Studies
Leadership Alliance
National College Advising Corps
Project 1000

If you believe that you are eligible for a needs-based fee waiver, please contact the Office of Admissions once you are prepared to submit the application online and provide one or more of the following documents:

  • An unemployment benefits statement dated within the previous six months
  • A letter or FAFSA sent from your undergraduate institution indicating that the expected family contribution (EFC) toward the current academic year's tuition is zero.

I’m having trouble with my online application, whom should I contact?

Any questions or technical issues regarding the online application or the submission of additional required materials (GRE scores/Transcripts/etc..) must be directed to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Office of Admissions
PO Box 400775
101 Randall Hall
Charlottesville, VA  22904-4775
Phone: (434) 924-6740
Fax: (434) 924-6737
Email: grad-as@virginia.edu