Graduate Programs and Degrees

Deadline for applications to the Biology PhD and MS programs is January 5, 2022. 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. We have found that the majority 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.

PhD and M.S. degrees

How do we select applicants among the many interested in our Ph.D. and M.S. degree programs?
The answer depends upon whether you are applying to the Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology (EEO) or Cell, Molecular, Health, and Disease (CMHD) tracks.

EEO students should identify a faculty mentor prior to or during the application process based on their personal research interests. This is important because EEO faculty seek applicants who have undergraduate and/or graduate research experience in an area closely aligned with their own lab's research. It's critical for EEO applicants to contact faculty directly to express their interest in working with them.

CMHD students may apply to work with a specific faculty mentor, but all students participate in lab rotations during the first year before matching with a mentor’s lab.

Whether you're applying to the EEO or CMHD track, please indicate in your personal statement the name of the professor(s) with whom you wish to study and whether you have been in contact with this (these) individual(s).

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 January deadline for Fall admission. We typically only consider students for fall admission. Exceptions include grant-funded research assistantships that may start in spring or summer sessions and deferred admission for legitimate personal reasons.

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

  • TOEFL score (for international students);
  • official transcripts for all college and university studies (although unofficial transcripts are ok prior to acceptance);
  • 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

B.207 Baylor Science Building
One Bear Place #97388
Waco, TX 76798-7388

(254) 710-2911