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Application Procedure

Admission to our graduate program is extremely competitive. A candidate for admission to the graduate program in the Department of Biology must submit online to the Graduate School: an application, official results of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test, transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work, a statement of research interests, language-proficiency tests (international students), and two letters of recommendation. It is imperative that your application be complete. Acceptance into the graduate programs depends on all of your qualifications and letters of recommendation. Generally a score of at least 50th percentile in both verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE is expected for successful candidates. 

All entering graduate students must be accepted by a Major Advisor before admission into the Biology Graduate Program. It is the responsibility of the student to initiate the process by contacting faculty. Your application will not be reviewed until an advisor accepts you. You will find a list of our faculty members, their e-mail addresses, and a short synopsis of their research interests on the following page:

Applications for the fall semester should be received by February 1.  Applications are not accepted for spring semester, unless the applicant is requested by a faculty member. Applications received after February 1 will be considered, but the applicant may not be included in financial-aid decisions.

International students must submit English-language proficiency test scores (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE-A). Students from countries with English as their official language are exempt from these requirements. Acceptable results of the TSE or the SPEAK tests of spoken English and a personal interview are required for International Students to be eligible for a Teaching Assistantship.
Successful candidates for the graduate program in biology should have a strong background in biological sciences including general biology, genetics, ecology, physiology, chemistry, and mathematics. Students with deficiencies may be admitted in Conditional status, and must remove deficiencies before enrolling for the third semester of residency (both summer terms equal one semester) and achieve a B (3.0) average on all course work attempted during the probationary period. Remedial courses may not be counted toward degree requirements.

The application process has two steps.

First, apply on line or (in exceptional cases) mail an application to the Graduate School along with the required application fee. Applicants who have not paid application fees will not be considered for admission in the Department of Biology. The Graduate School requires: official transcripts for all undergraduate/graduate work, GRE, and a language-proficiency test (international students). Address below:
The UM Graduate School
The Graduate House
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677
Phone: 662.915.7474
Fax: 662.915.6557

You can check on your application status at this website:

Second, the Department of Biology requires the following additional material.  It can also be submitted on line with the Graduate School application:

  • area of interest within Biology (ecology, botany, physiology, fisheries, etc.).  Fill in the blank of the on-line form;
  • a typewritten statement of your research interests and career goals (statement of purpose);
  • at least two letters of recommendation (these should be sent directly from the recommender). You indicate the email address and name of the person, and they make recommendation on line.

Should you need to submit materials to the Biology Department, the address is below:
Chair of Graduate Studies
University of Mississippi
Department of Biology
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848

We no longer require the following:

  • GRE subject test in Biology;
  • Proficiency in a second language