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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Biological Sciences

Graduate Admissions & Financial Aid

How to apply for PhD or Master of Science study in Biology

Students seeking admission to the graduate program should have an undergraduate degree in the biological sciences or a related discipline.

LINK to a .pdf checklist of items required for application.

Review of applications for consideration for September begins the previous January.  For favorable consideration for acceptance and GTA support, applicants must have ALL material outlined below submitted by Jan. 1. Applications may be submitted later, but GTA support for the following September may no longer be available.

Application for graduate study in biology involves several important steps. Prospective students must submit an online application to the University of Denver, Office of Graduate Studies. 

Online Application

Within the Graduate Studies website, look for the graduate programs for the Department of Biological Sciences within the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

To submit an online application click on "Apply for Admission" and select your degree, college, major and concentration (if applicable). International students, please see additional instructions on the Graduate Studies website.  A printable confirmation page will appear after successful submission.

Letters of Recommendation

The online application requires letters of recommendation from THREE different faculty members or other professional contacts who are familiar with your potential to complete a research-based graduate degree. 

Requests for letters of recommendation are sent to your recommenders via email within one business day of the submission of your online application. You will be asked to provide names and email addresses of individuals who will be writing your recommendations. Please ensure you have accurate email addresses for your recommenders prior to submitting your application. We suggest you let your recommender know the request will be coming from the University of Denver in advance. This will allow him/her to send a letter electronically and meet the application deadline.

Essay/personal statement

The online application requires a personal statement of at least 300 words. The essay/personal statement should be uploaded electronically and attached to your online application before submission.

Declaration of area interest 

You are required to identify the program to which you are applying (Cell & Molecular Biology or Ecology & Evolution).  Applicants can also identify if they have directly contacted a faculty member(s) whose research is of particular interest to the applicant. In most cases, acceptance into the program is contingent upon support by a member of the faculty.

Application Fee

There is a $65 nonrefundable application fee, which covers the cost of processing application materials. Applications will not be considered for admission until this fee is paid.

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

The GRE is required.  Applicants must request that Educational Testing Services (ETS) forward results to the University of Denver Office of Graduate Studies. The institution code for the University of Denver is R4842. Application to the Master of Science program or the PhD program requires the General (aptitude) GRE exam.

For information concerning GRE registration please visit or contact:

Graduate Record Examination Educational Testing Service P. O. Box 6000 Princeton, NJ. 08541-6000 (609) 771-7670

Applicants should take the entrance exam well in advance of their intended application date. Please allow at least 14 business days for your general test scores and six weeks for your subject test scores to be received.  Entrance exam scores older than five years from the date of the application may not be acceptable for admission.

Proof of English Proficiency

All internationally-educated students (except those educated in English speaking countries) must provide proof of English proficiency.  Minimum English proficiency requires a TOEFEL score of 550, iBT of 80, or IELTS of 6.0.  For students seeking GTA positions, additional spoken English proficiency must be demonstrated through testing:  a minimum score of 26 on TOEFL speaking subsection of iBT, 8 on IELTS, or 50 of TSE (for paper-based TOEFL).


Applicants are required to submit one official transcript from each post-secondary institution they have attended or are presently attending, where two quarter hours (or one semester hour) or more were completed.  This includes transcripts for credit earned as transfer work, study abroad and college credit earned in high school.

An official transcript must include the original signature of the registrar and/or the seal of the issuing institution, and must be enclosed in an envelope with the stamp or signature of the registrar across the sealed flap. Proof of a bachelor's and master's degree (if applicable) is required from a regionally accredited college or university.  All credentials submitted become property of the University of Denver and cannot be copied or returned to the student or any person(s).

Mail transcripts and any additional items to:

University of Denver Office of Graduate Studies
Mary Reed Bldg. - Room 5
2199 S. University Blvd. Denver, CO 80208-4802


Only after your application packet is complete will the file be forwarded from the Office of Graduate Studies to the Department of Biological Sciences for review and consideration for admission.