Graduate Programs in Biology

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a M.S. degree necessary before I apply to the PhD program?

  • No, a bachelors degree is required. Students interested in receiving a PhD should apply directly to the PhD program.

What if I specifically want to look at the Master's Programs?

What are the Minimum application requirements / Pre-requisites?

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • GPA of 3.0
  • PHD: Undergraduate preparation should preferably include (1) 18 credits in biology, (2) 2 courses in mathematics (at least 6 credits); (3) 2 courses in physics with laboratories (at least 6 credits); and (4) 4 courses in chemistry with laboratories of which 2 courses must be in organic chemistry with laboratories (at least 12 credits). For MCDN applicants should have taken Biochemistry and Genetics; for EEB, Ecology, genetics, evolution

What GRE scores are needed for graduate school?

  • Only the GRE General Test scores are required
  • Other tests such as GMATs or MCATs are not applicable or accepted.

What is the English Proficiency requirement for international students?

  • TOEFL is required of all International Students.
  • The Department's Graduate Admissions Committee will recommend Admission ONLY for students whose scores meet the following minimum TOEFL score:

    • A Student with a GRE Verbal score in at least the 60th percentile must have minimum TOEFL score of 600 (paper) OR 250 (computer) OR 100 (iBT) OR 7.0 (IELTS).
    • A Student with a GRE Verbal score of 40th to 60th percentile must have a minimum TOEFL score of 620 (paper) OR 260 (computer) OR 105 (iBT) OR 7.5 (IELTS).
  • A student with a TOEFL score below 600 (paper)OR 250 (computer) OR 100 (iBT) or 7.0 IELTS is NOT eligible for a state-funded assistantship.

What are the GRE and TOEFL Codes for UAlbany Biology Department?

  • GRE institution code is 2532.
  • TOEFL institution code is the same, 2532.

How many credits are required to complete the doctoral program?

How many credits are required to complete the masters program in Biology?

  • A total of 30 credits is required to complete the MS program in biology.

Can I transfer credits to your graduate program?

  • Yes. For the M.S. program, only 6 credits can transfer and the decision is made upon admission to the program. For the PhD program, which is a 60 credit program, at least 50% of the program requirements must be completed while in residence.

How can I get an application?

How much is the application fee?

  • The current processing fee for MS and PhD applications is $75 and must be paid for an application to be considered complete and reviewed by the department. There is a fee of $20 to process applications for Non-Degree status. The fees are never waived.

What type of financial support is available?

  • Stipends for the first year of study in the PhD program are at a minimum of $20,000. Tuition scholarships are also available for these supported students. International graduate students must comply with the department English proficiency requirement to receive a teaching assistantship. M.S. students are awarded assistantships based on the availability of funds.

What type of research is available?

  • Go to our Research links to view research opportunities. Also try selecting keywords that interest you and peruse the research interests of the Faculty.

How are Admissions Decisions made?

  • Once an application is complete [application form, fee paid, 3 letters of reference, all prior transcripts, statement of goals the file is transmitted to the department office.
  • The entire file and all required components are reviewed by a committee of faculty and a recommendation is sent forward to the University Graduate Admissions Office.
  • Students should expect at least 2 weeks for a file to be reviewed once the file is received in the department office.

Where do I mail my application?

  • See instructions at
  • All application materials MUST be mailed to the University Graduate Admissions Office, UAB, Rm. 121. DO NOT mail materials to the department office. This will significantly delay review of your file.

What type of Housing is available?

  • On-campus apartments (
  • Off-campus apartments in a variety of urban, suburban and rural settings. This is the most popular choice for graduate students.

What are the deadlines for application?

  • Applications must be received by January 15 to receive full consideration for Fall semester. Late applications will be considered if funding is available.
  • We do admit students in the Spring Semester, however, we discourage this option for doctoral students due to the nature of the 1st year curriculum. Application deadline for the Spring Semester is November 1.
  • We do not review applications for the Summer Semester.

I want to make a visit to the department, whom do I contact?