Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of factors that our admissions team considers, as we focus on holistic review of each applicant. However, the most important indicators of success are having previous, hands-on research experience, strong letters of recommendation from research mentor(s), and the ability to communicate their interests, goals and previous experiences in their application materials. The most competitive applicants have about 1-2 years of research, whether that be as an undergraduate research worker/volunteer, post-baccalaureate, a research technician, or through summer research prep programs. No matter the manor in which you gained your research experience, our committee wants to know what you have learned about the science you studied, what interested you and how it has impacted your future interests and goals.

No. Students admitted into the program complete research rotations to help them identify a project and lab that will be a good fit for their dissertation studies. Because of this, you do not need to have a confirmed supervisor prior to applying. It can be helpful, however, to contact professors you are interested in working with to see if they will be recruiting students during your year or if your interests may be a good match. Applying to grad school is an expensive and requires a lot of work, so this may help narrow down your choices. Whether or not you have previously made contact, does not impact your admission chances.

The ABBS program is a fully funded, first-year program; you do not need to apply separately to be considered for this funding. All incoming students, regardless of citizenship status, are offered a $30,000 yearly stipend, payment of tuition, and health insurance. You will also have guaranteed funding, as long as you are making satisfactory progress, for the next 4-5 years in the lab & program you join. After your first year in ABBS, the lab and program you join will begin funding you, at the same rate you started at in ABBS or higher. Your funding source (teaching assistantship vs research assistantship, fellowship awards, grant funding, etc.) may change year to year but you will be supported regardless.

The application fee is $90.00 for each application.

The ABBS program is not able to provide any fee waivers, regardless of financial or citizenship status.

Occasionally, the Graduate College's Office of Diversity & Inclusion will sometimes provide fee waivers to students who have participated in specific sponsored programs. You can review the accepted programs and apply for the waiver here:

Our application numbers vary from year to year, but in the last 5 years, we have averaged about 300 completed applications. The admissions committee typically invites 90-115 students to interview and then offer admission to 60-70 from this group. Our final cohort of students is usually about 25-35 students.

The admission process for ABBS occurs from early December through mid-March. Our admission process starts with application reviews, followed by invited interviews, and then the committee will make offers for admission. The application review process will take about 2 weeks. Applicants who have been chosen for interviews will be notified starting in mid-December and then select a recruitment session to attend. Our interview weekends for Fall 2024 are January 11-13th and February 15-17th. The admissions committee will extend offers following each recruitment session. We will host virtual interviews For candidates who are applying from outside of the United States. Any additional offers after the interviews will be extended on a rolling basis through early April.

The minimum GPA required by our Graduate Admissions office is a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. On very rare occasions, we have successfully petitioned for students with GPA below the minimum to be admitted and join our program. If you fall in this category, please reach out to the Graduate Program Coordinator by email.