Application FAQ

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Please contact us if you have questions that are not answered below.

How many students do you accept every year?

The average class size per year is 15-20 students.

Does the Biology Graduate Program accept part-time students?

The Biology Doctoral Program is a full-time program.  Students who are admitted into the Biology Master of Science Program may elect the number of credit hours per semester.

How long does it take to get a PhD?

It takes, on average, 5.5 to 6 years.

What kind of academic background is required?

EEOB Program: Typically, applicants have an undergraduate degree in biology or related sciences. Ideally, the undergraduate record should be strong in all areas.  All applicants, regardless of major, should show evidence of ability to perform well in science courses, particularly those stressing quantitative skills. Many successful applicants have had some sort of independent laboratory or field work experience indicative of an informed commitment to a research career. This experience should be detailed in the personal statement section of the application.

MCEB Program: Ideally, the undergraduate record should be strong in all areas with evidence of substantial preparation for advanced study in the research areas covered by the MCEB program. The ability to perform well in science courses, particularly those stressing quantitative skills, is most important. Many successful applicants have had some sort of independent laboratory or field work experience indicative of an informed commitment to a research career. This experience should be detailed in the personal statement section of the application.

Do I have to contact a faculty member prior to submitting my application?

We encourage applicants to contact biology faculty members they might be interested in working with.  Faculty contact can be found on our website – [link to faculty page].

How do I submit an online application?

To access the online application, please click on the following link:

Apply Now

  • Please be aware you will be leaving the University of Utah Biology Graduate Program site and going to the online application system: ApplyYourself (AY) with Hobsons. Your information is transmitted through a secure server.

  • You will need to "Create an Account" and register to begin your application process. Please make sure to save your PIN number to get back into your application. In addition to your PIN number, the system will have you choose a password that you will need to remember if you wish to access or complete your application at a later date.  The online application is free

How do I upload documents to my online application?

To upload paper documents, you need to scan them with a scanner/printer, save them in .pdf file format, and then upload the files in the appropriate place.  If you have several pages for your transcript, for example, then you will scan each page then merge all pages into one document and then save.  The file cannot exceed 2500 KB in size and you may need to reduce the file size. You can reduce document size or optimize scanned pdf file to make the document smaller. These functions can be found under the document tab of Adobe Acrobat.  Do not attempt to upload a document that is password-protected or that contains macros as it would cause the process to fail.

Transcripts

In the Education section of the AY application, please upload pdf copies of ALL of your official transcripts from each college or university attended (college/university level only). These transcripts will be used as working copies during the admissions evaluation process. Transcripts sent to the Office of Admissions will not be uploaded to the AY application on your behalf.

What is the application fee?

The online application is free.

What are the average GRE and GPA scores?

GRE:  
Verbal 156
Quantitative 151
Analytical Writing 4.5

Minimum GPA:  3.0

Average GPA:    3.4

Please upload a PDF copy of your score sheet(s) into your AY application.  When making a decision, we review the entire application not just test scores and GPA.

Is the subject test required?

We do not require the subject portion of the GRE.

What are the TOEFL / IELTS requirements and waivers?

English proficiency may be demonstrated by graduate applicants in one of the following ways:

  • TOEFL: minimum score of 80 (Internet-based test) or 550 (paper-based test)
  • IELTS: An overall minimum band score of 6.5
  • An associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university completed within two years of admittance
  • A bachelor’s degree or higher completed within the last two years from an officially-recognized college or university in one of the following countries: Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland).

All TOEFL and IELTS test dates must be within two years of admission for scores to be valid.  The Biology Graduate Program does not accept TOEFL or IELTS scores that expire prior May 1, 2018.

The following applicants do not need to submit proof of English proficiency:

  • Native speakers of English who are citizens of Australia, Canada (except Quebec), Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland)
  • Continuing students currently enrolled at the University of Utah and moving from one degree level to another, or one program to another (with a break of no more than two years between the 'change' from one degree level/program to the next).

If an applicant does not meet one of the standards outlined above, but feels their professional and/or educational experience merits English proficiency, please contact the International Admissions Office (iao@sa.utah.edu) for information on filing a Petition for English Proficiency.

When should I take the GRE and TOEFL/IELTS?

The results for the ETS GRE and ETS TOEFL will be available 10-15 days after the test date.  The IELTS will be available 13 days after the test date.  Please upload your scores in the "Post Submission" section of your AY application no later than January 3, 2018.

What is the institution code?

The institution code for the University of Utah is 4853.  This is the same code for the GRE, TOEFL and IELTS tests.

Can I submit GMAT or MCAT test scores?

GMAT and MCAT test scores may not be submitted in lieu of the GRE.

Writing Sample-Essay-Publication?

Not required

My recommenders have not submitted letters of recommendation. What should I do?

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted into the "ApplyYourself" system by your recommenders by the deadline of January 3, 2018. You can log back into your application and resend the recommender notification.  If you would like to send a reminder, check the box next to his/her name and click on the "resend" button. This will automatically generate a reminder email.  Applicants who apply to the Biology Graduate Program must waive their right to view recommendation forms and letters.  This is done through the recommendation section in ApplyYourself.

When is the deadline?

The application deadline for fall 2018 is January 3, 2018.

January – mid February:   Review of applications
March 1 – March 4:   Interview visits for applicants residing in North America
mid March – late March:   Applicants are notified of admissions decision
April 15:  Decision date for acceptance of admission offers by applicants.

How many students do you accept every year?

Between our two programs, we receive ~140 applications each year, and typically accept ~15% of those applicants. Our average class size is 15 students.

How will I know if I am accepted?

You will receive an offer letter from the Biology Graduate Program after your personal interview.  Your official acceptance letter (and I-20 certificate for international students) will come from the University of Utah Office of Admissions after they review your documents and determine that you have meet the Graduate School admissions requirements. The official acceptance letter will be sent by postal mail and will contain your student ID number and important registration information. Your accepted status is not official until you receive both letters.

What are the financial benefits?

Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology Program benefits
Molecular, Cellular and Evolutionary Biology Program benefits