The Biology Ph.D. program

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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?
  A total of 60 credits are required for the doctoral program.
Can I transfer credits to your graduate program?
  Yes. For the Ph.D. 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?
  All applications are handled by the Office of Graduate Education. See Step-by-Step Instructions to Apply at All applications must be submitted online.
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. See Financial Support for Biology Ph.D Students
What type of research is available?
  Go to our Research Opportunities page to view labs with openings for students. 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 submit my application?
  See Step-by-Step Instructions to Apply at All applications for graduate programs at the University at Albany are submitted online. DO NOT submit 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?
  Deadlines and requirements for applications to the Biology Ph.D. Program can be found on the Office for Graduate Education web site.
I would like to visit to the department. Whom do I contact?
  Admissions Committee Chairperson Melinda Larsen