Biology

Application and Admission

 

Application forms are available online here. Additional materials describing the department and its graduate programs can be requested from Maryann Hempen (mhempen@jinx.umsl.edu).

Admission normally requires a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (both biology and overall), as well as an appropriate background for graduate work in biology, including courses in genetics, biochemistry, evolution, organic chemistry, college physics, and calculus. Statistics is strongly recommended.

All foreign applicants, except those from countries where English is the primary language, must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Examination. The minimal TOEFL score is 550 (paper based test), or 213 (computer based test), or 80 (internet based test). The University requires all incoming foreign students to take an English language exam during orientation week and may require additional courses in English during the first year of graduate study.

Applicants from the U.S. must submit completed application and personal data forms, which are available on line at the link above. Three letters of recommendation from previous faculty members or other people qualified to assess the applicants' capabilities for graduate study should be requested. Transcripts of all post-secondary academic work should also be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office. In addition, applicants to the Ph.D. program must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical). Although not required for admission to Master's programs, GRE scores are strongly recommended. An in-depth Statement of Purpose, including a statement of research plans, should be sent via e-mail to gradadm@umsl.edu.

Applicants from outside the U.S. must submit completed application and personal data forms. Three letters of recommendation from previous faculty members or other people qualified to assess the applicants' capabilities for graduate study should be sent directly to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services, University of Missouri-St. Louis, One University Blvd. (221), 261 Millennium Student Center, St. Louis, MO 63121-4499. Transcripts of all post-secondary academic work should also be sent to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. In addition, applicants to the Ph.D. program must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical). Although not required for admission to Master's programs, GRE scores are strongly recommended.

Students are not admitted to the Ph.D. program without enthusiastic support from a potential advisor. We urge students interested in the Ph.D. program and the Thesis Master's option to contact faculty in their field of interest directly. Applications to graduate programs are evaluated by the Graduate Committee, which makes recommendations to the Dean of the Graduate School for admission. Applicants may be invited for interviews, at the department's expense when at all possible, during February and early March. Students are also encouraged to arrange their own visits to the department at other times.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Ph.D. applicants:Stipends for teaching and research assistantships are awarded on a competitive basis to qualified graduate students in the Ph.D. program. Assistantships for Ph.D. students are currently funded at $8,500 per semester (Fall and Spring semesters only). In addition, the Graduate School covers the cost of tuition for graduate teaching and research assistants; students pay only the incidental fees. Six hours of course work is considered as full-time status for graduate teaching and research assistants. Ph.D. students may receive up to five years of support.

Ph.D. applicants who wish to be considered for financial support must submit their application by December 15. International students should submit their applications well ahead of this deadline since their files must be reviewed by the International Student Office before they are reviewed by the biology department. Applications for assistantships must be sent separately from graduate school applications to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Biology.

Teaching assistantships will be awarded only to students with demonstrated oral English proficiency. Normally international teaching assistants may not teach during their first semester on campus.

M.S. applicants: Funding for Master's students is limited; almost all Masters students are admitted without financial support. If support becomes available for a Masters student, it is generally awarded on a term-by-term basis, but will not exceed two years of support. Assistantships for M.S. students are currently funded at $8000 per semester (Fall and Spring semesters only). In addition, the Graduate School covers the cost of tuition for graduate teaching and research assistants; students pay only the incidental fees. Six hours of course work is considered as full-time status for graduate teaching and research assistants.

M.S. students who wish to be considered if support becomes available should send their application for assistantships to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Biology. Applications must be sent separately from graduate school applications.