Baylor University
Department of Biology
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Biology > Graduate Programs > Admissions

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The Baylor Graduate School site provides a wealth of information about the campus and our program. The link below will take you to their site and additional information.

The Biology Graduate Committee evaluates every application completed by the February 15th deadline. However, we strongly encourage applicants to submit as early as possible; early applicants with strong credentials are frequently invited to our annual recruiting event (all expenses paid) to visit our beautiful campus, spectacular Science Building, students, and faculty. Students must apply before ***January 25th*** for invitation to the annual recruiting event, preferably sooner as space is limited. We have found that >80% of the students who visit and are offered Graduate Assistantship positions in our PhD program accept our offers. Once you visit, few students find a better all-around program in Biology than what we can offer at Baylor!

Ph.D. and M.S. degrees

How do we select applicants among the many interested in our Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs? Unequivocally, the most important criterion is a mutual mentor-mentee agreement between a faculty member in Biology and a prospective student. What does this mean? We expect all Ph.D and M.S. applicants to have identified a faculty member in Biology whose research program is most closely aligned with their own research interests. Further, we expect that a Biology faculty member has responded to the prospective student (via phone, letter, e-mail) and indicated a *potential* interest in serving as their mentor, depending upon the quality of their application relative to other applicants. The key message here is that we do not consider applicants who have not identified and contacted a prospective faculty mentor in our department.

The intent is to determine a priori whether we are a "good fit" for each other. When you apply, please indicate in your personal statement the name of the professor with whom you wish to study and that you have been in contact with this individual.

Applicants accepted to our Ph.D. or M.S. program possess at least a B.S. degree (M.S. preferred for Ph.D. degree applicants) in Biology, Biochemistry, or related field, a minimum GPA of 3.0 (typically >3.5), minimum GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning scores typically at or above the 70th percentile, excellent letters of recommendation from professors or employers who know you well, and a strong personal statement demonstrating maturity, innate interest in biology, and sufficient research experience to be successful in graduate school.

Applications to our Ph.D and M.S. programs are typically only considered for fall matriculation. Our funding structure for assistantships is based on fall-semester admission. Further, we prioritize assistantship funding for Ph.D. students. We admit a much higher proportion of Ph.D applicants than M.S. applicants. Those interested in the M.S. degree are most likely to gain admission by working with a professor who has grant funding for a research assistantship and tuition remission. Several current M.S. students are supported in this way.

Whether M.S or Ph.D, applicants must apply by the 15 February deadline for Fall admission (again see the top of this page for details about our recruiting event--please apply early, definitely before January 25th). Exceptions include grant-funded research assistantships that may start in spring or summer sessions and deferred admission for legitimate personal reasons.

MA-Health Professions Program

Applications to the MA-Health Profession program are only considered for summer matriculation (first summer session begins around June 1). This is a full, 1-year program that requires summer coursework to complete all degree requirements in time for graduation the following May.

As with most professional degree programs (e.g., MBA), students do not receive stipends and are responsible for most, and sometimes, all of the 30 semester hours of tuition required for the degree. Top applicants may receive a tuition scholarship, ranging from 5 to 20 semester hours of credit. However, tuition scholarships are merit based and limited. Top students are also given the opportunity to serve as teaching assistants in health-related courses (e.g., Anatomy and Physiology) if we are short PhD student TAs to cover all of the labs.

Most applicants accepted to this program possess a B.S. degree in Biology, Biochemistry, or Chemistry, a minimum GPA of 3.0 (usually >3.5), GRE verbal and quantitative reasoning scores at or above the 70th percentile, and a strong personal statement demonstrating maturity and a commitment to a career in a health-related field.

The application deadline for this program is February 15, no exceptions.

All degree programs: We require the following when you apply:

  • official scores for the GRE General Exam (but not the Subject Exam);
  • TOEFL score (for international students);
  • official transcripts for all college and university studies (from which we compute both overall GPA and biology GPA);
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from educators or employers who can evaluate your professional abilities, accomplishments and potential for success in graduate studies;
  • $50 application fee (can be submitted electronically with your application).

Please complete and submit the electronic application available on the Graduate School website.

If you have additional questions not answered here or elsewhere on our website, you may contact the Graduate Program Director by e-mail only ( However, do not send any application materials to the Department of Biology or the Graduate Program Director; all materials must be submitted directly to the Graduate School following their online application submission instructions.

Department of Biology