What You Need to Apply
To qualify for admission an applicant must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale for the last two undergraduate years. Prospective students must apply online through our departmental Web site (see below for details). The student should have a strong background in biological sciences. Courses in statistics, physics, chemistry through organic chemistry, mathematics through calculus, and computer applications are recommended. For applicants whose native language is not English, verbal communication with a faculty member is required so that the faculty member can assess verbal skills.
Provisional admission is possible, with deficiencies to be completed prior to final acceptance into the program. Courses considered as deficiencies will not count toward meeting the requirements for a graduate degree. Deficiencies will be determined by a departmental committee consisting of the Graduate Program Council (GPC), the department head, and a temporary adviser to be assigned at the time of admission. It is recommended that students not receive all undergraduate and graduate degrees from Penn State.
The process of applying for admission to graduate school at Penn State requires the following application materials:
(All should be submitted online to The Graduate School.)
- An official GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION. Our department will pay the application fee upon receipt of your application.
- Official transcripts). One official transcript from each institution attended. Applicants must have a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale for the last two undergraduate years.
- GRE scores. GRE scores are required and will be used in our selection process.
- TOEFL scores (International Students only). For students whose first language is not English or who have not received baccalaureate or master's degrees from an institution in which the language of instruction is English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) examination. A TOEFL score of 600 on the paper test or a score of 250 on the computer-based test is required for admission.
- Three letters of recommendation. These should be from people who are best qualified to evaluate your ability to succeed in graduate study. This may include your academic advisor, instructors who are familiar with your work from their classes, supervisors from research projects, a supervisor from your place of employment, or anyone else who is able to evaluate your academic ability and motivation. The references listed on your application will be contacted directly and asked to submit separately. They will be uploaded on your application.
- Statement of purpose. This is a one- to two-page essay describing your reasons for considering graduate study, your goals after completion of your degree, and the specific areas of interest. This document can be uploaded and sent with your online application.
Complete application materials should be submitted
before the following dates:
January 10 for Fall admission
August 15 for Spring admission
The GRADUATE SCHOOL APPLICATION must be submitted in electronic format.