The Department of Biological Sciences offers all the benefits of an active research and training department. With a low graduate student-faculty ratio, we provide individualized attention to every student. Faculty advisors, assisted by our graduate coordinator, carefully guide and support our students through each phase of their graduate education.
Applicants are holistically evaluated according to their undergraduate coursework, their grade point average score (GPA), their graduate record examination score (GRE), their letters of recommendation, written statement of goals and interests, and background and experience. Applicants may have undergraduate degrees from biological, computational, or other disciplines. However, applicants are expected to have scholarly competence in biology, computer science, or/and mathematics.
Application deadline: January 1st. The graduate programs in the Department of Biological Sciences do not admit for the Spring semester. Applications to the Applied Molecular Biology (AMB) Master’s Program are considered on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. For best consideration to the AMB program, apply by March 1st.
Requirements for admission
To be admitted to graduate study in the Department of Biological Sciences, students should have the following recommended preparation:
Candidates with a biological or related degree
- Calculus (one semester)
- Organic Chemistry (two semesters with laboratory)
- Physics (two semesters)
- Genetics (one semester)
- Cell Biology (one semester)
- Research Experience (preferred, but not required)
Candidates with a computational or related degree
Candidate students with an undergraduate degree in Computer Science, Bioinformatics, Information Systems, or related fields only require the programming skills and biological background included within their degree. Candidate students with an undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry or related fields applying to the Computational, Bioinformatics, and Systems Biology Area of Specialization are expected to have basic programming skills (equivalent at least to a one semester course).
- Completed Graduate School application
- A bachelor’s degree at an accredited four-year college or university
- Statement of academic goals and research interests
- Three letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all college-level institutions attended
- Official report of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test*
- Official report of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) from applicants whose native language is not English. A minimum score of 80 on the iBT is required for admission.
*GRE scores are waived for all students applying for Fall 2021 admission. Starting after Fall 2021, all programs will be GRE-optional, except for the AMB program. Applicants for the AMB Master’s program must submit their GRE scores. UMBC alumni applying to AMB are waived from the GRE requirement.
Applying for admissions
Our programs admit students for Fall matriculation only. Please note, prior arrangements with a research mentor is not required at time of application. It is recommended that applicants include faculty or research areas they wish to work with in their goal statement.
Please direct questions about the application process to the Graduate Program Coordinator.