Application Information

Applicants must apply by January 1 for full consideration to start the following fall semester.

Requirements for the Program

We expect students entering the program to be familiar with the fundamental principles of biological science. Usually students have majored in biology or one of its subdisciplines. Majors in chemistry, mathematics, computer science, or physics are acceptable, with a strong minor or concentration in biology.

Students also should have completed the following courses by the time they enter the program:

  • chemistry through organic or biochemistry
  • one year of physics
  • one year of mathematics through calculus


It is possible to waive some of these requirements, but students from a nontraditional background should contact the Director of Graduate Admissions for guidance.

Get answers to frequently asked questions about the admissions process.

A completed application consists of:

  • Official College Transcript
  • Completed online university application form which includes a statement of your Previous Research Experience (if applicable), a statement of your Personal Goals, AND the names of Potential Faculty Mentors.
  • Official scores from the TOEFL test if English is not your native language (a minimum score of 100 is required by our department). English proficiency can also be documented with an approximate 7.5 overall ban score on the the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
  • Two letters of Recommendation (submitted on-line)*
  • *Please note that your letters or recommendations will be requested automatically within approximately 48 hours of completion of your application. To assure that your recommenders have sufficient time to write and submit their letters, you will need to complete your online application early and/or make arrangements that letters will be send promptly after receipt of the online request. 
  • NOTE: The GRE General Test is no longer required. The Biology Subject Test is also not required.

Faculty members play an integral role in the Admissions Process

Our program is a research graduate program, and we can only accept a student into the program if a faculty mentor has agreed to accept them into their laboratory. Therefore, faculty evaluations of potential graduate students are important to decisions about admissions. We highly recommend contacting tenure track faculty members with whom you would be interested in working. Our web site includes email addresses, phone numbers, and links to the research web pages of faculty. Our site also has a comprehensive list of faculty publications. If there is anyone of interest to you, please contact the person directly. We cannot stress enough the importance of this step. 

Most graduate students are fully supported by the University of Cincinnati

Most graduate students in our department receive a University Graduate Scholarship, which pays tuition and fees. In addition, students can receive additional support as a Graduate Assistant. GA's, under the guidance of faculty members, assist in undergraduate classes and laboratories. The amounts of the GA stipends are $22,000 and $17,000/year for Ph.D. and M.S. students, respectively. 

We only accept applications via the Graduate School web site.

Headshot of Dr. Stephen Matter

Dr. Stephen Matter

Director of Graduate Admissions, Department of Biological Sciences

PO Box 210006, Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006

(513) 556-9768