University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Biology

Applying, Finances, Support

Apply to the Graduate College Online

Complete information on the application process can be found here APPLICATION INFORMATION. Also, please visit the Graduate College WEB SITE for additional helpful information.


View costs on the Student Financial Services website.

Tuition stipend for T.A.s

The GTA stipend for the 2012 - 2013 academic year is $17,500 and a tuition scholarship covering a maximum of 24 total credit hours of graduate level coursework and thesis research credit each academic year. In addition, the Graduate College and the Department of Biology will contribute significantly to your health insurance.

Applicants should hold an undergraduate degree showing a high degree of academic achievement. The equivalent of a major in a biological science, including coursework in mathematics, physics, and organic chemistry, greatly strengthens an application.

PLEASE NOTE: To apply to the Biology Graduate Program:

  1. Identify one or more Biology research laboratories that interest you and be sure to communicate with the faculty member in charge of the laboratory directly. Click HERE for Faculty information.
  2. Fill out the online Pre-application FORM (Note: we do not send materials from the pre-application to the Graduate College. This pre-application is strictly to help our department plan and look for your formal application)
  3. You must apply online. Click APPLICATION INFORMATION to access the official UVM application form. PhD candidates are highly favored over MS applicants.


  • Application deadline is December 15
  • Applications received by December 15 will have a better chance of receiving financial support
  • Applicants must submit scores from the aptitude sections of the GREs*
  • For students whose native language is not English, scores from the TOEFL* test are required
  • The research of our faculty is grouped into two clusters: Cell and Molecular Biology and Ecology-Evolution-Animal Behavior. You will be required to write a "Statement of Purpose". Please be specific about what your interests are and whose research (See Faculty members) you are interested in. Please feel free to contact a Faculty member directly via email with questions about your interests and goals and include your motivation for choosing UVM.

For additional information about the graduate program see the Graduate Student Handbook and the Graduate Resources section.

International students: Assistantship and Fellowship support is limited and highly competitive. If you are interested in the Biology Department, please contact Dr. Judith Van Houten, Biology Graduate Committee Chair, to determine the possibilities for funding before you apply. For additional international questions, please visit the International Education website.

*GRE and TOEFL Score information

GRE scores: GRE scores are required for your application. The Department Code for GRE is 0203. The Department of Biology (University of Vermont) Institution Code is 3920.

TOEFL scores (international students): minimum acceptable score for admission is 80 and 100 for financial aid. The Department Code for TOEFL is 35.

Evaluation of applications

The Biology Advisory Council screens applications to determine whether a potential match between a student's stated interests and the research programs of faculty can be found. If so, the application is circulated among faculty for their individual evaluation. Applicants of interest to faculty are invited to campus for an interview. The interview is intended to acquaint prospective students with our programs, to provide an opportunity to meet current graduate students, and to determine whether an applicant would contribute to, as well as benefit from, our programs. The on-campus interview is the single most important segment of our evaluation procedures; if a personal visit is not feasible, a telephone interview can be conducted. Following the interviews, the Advisory Council makes decisions concerning acceptability of each applicant, and may offer financial support. Typically acceptance decisions and offers of financial support are made on a rolling basis. Please note that this date precedes the application deadline. For this reason, early application is advisable. Candidates who are seriously considered will be contacted by email and a phone interview will be scheduled.

Application status: The applications are on a rolling basis until April. If you have not heard from Dr. Van Houten about a phone or in-person interview, it means that you are on a waiting list. If you have other offers to consider, please let her know and we will let you know where you are on that list.

Financial support

The department has two mechanisms for supporting its graduate students. Most receive graduate teaching fellowships, which require approximately 20 hours of service per week in undergraduate laboratory teaching. Other students may be supported on research grants as graduate research fellows, involved in the programs of their major professors. For students offered financial support, the Department of Biology normally guarantees three years for M.S. students and five years for students in the Ph.D. program.

We encourage graduate students to support their own research by writing grant proposals. Of the students in our Ph.D. program, over half have been awarded grants in their own names.

For other Financial Aid questions, please visit Student Financial Services.

Health Insurance

Students who are taking at least six credit hours (graduate students included) are eligible* to purchase the student health insurance plan or pay the prerequisite student health fee. Go to the Student Insurance website for information on current premiums and a description of the health coverage offered.

*International students are REQUIRED to purchase this insurance plan.

All GTAs, GRAs, and predoctoral training students supported by the University of Vermont will receive support for health-care coverage from the Graduate College and Department. The coverage will consist of a pro-rated portion of one-half of the premium cost for the Single Student Health Insurance.

Last modified November 08 2016 04:32 PM