Orange Alert

Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides information for our research-based programs in Biology (PhD and MS). For information about our course-based program in Biotechnology, please see the MS Biotechnology pages here.


Am I qualified for the program?

We prioritize PhD applicants that have research interests that match with those of our graduate faculty members. We look at your entire experience, previous education, and other information to determine if you will be successful in our program and if our program is the right fit for you.

Is my international degree sufficient for admission?

You can find information about degree equivalencies here.. If you are still unsure about the equivalency, please contact biograd@syr.edu. A WES evaluation is not required, but all application materials must be provided in English.

If you have any other questions about the international student requirements please check here or contact international@syr.edu.

Is there a minimum English proficiency score?

We do not have minimum score requirements on English proficiency exams. If your previous degree was taught in English or if you are from a country where the primary language is English, you are not required to submit English proficiency scores. If we ever doubt your English proficiency, we may schedule an interview to confirm your fluency.

What funding opportunities are there for students?

Our PhD students are guaranteed funding for 5 years and our MS students are guaranteed funding for 2 years. This funding usually comes in the form of teaching assistantships, research assistantships, or fellowships. The award package includes full tuition coverage and a stipend. Students are also encouraged to seek out external sources of funding, and several have received prestigious fellowships including the NSF GRFP.

When is the application deadline?

The priority application deadline is December 1st. Applications submitted after that may be considered, but those submitted by the deadline are prioritized. Our review process occurs through February. Decisions aren’t generally announced until later in the Spring.

Can I apply for the Fall, Spring, or Summer?

We focus primarily on admitting students for fall matriculation as this timeline aligns best with our graduate program. Applications can be deferred, if necessary, after the student is accepted into the program.

Should I contact faculty?

While it is not required, we do recommend that you reach out to faculty that you may be interested in working with. You can find our graduate faculty listed here. You will need to list three faculty members that you are interested in working with on your application.

Are GREs scores required for my application?

GRE scores are not required but recommended for application.

Can I get an application fee waiver?

The graduate school currently waives application fees for McNair Scholars, Fulbright students, veterans, and SU alumni. Students from Iran can request a fee waiver directly from the graduate school by emailing grad@syr.edu. The Biology Department additionally has a limited number of fee waivers available. If this fee would cause financial hardship or prevent you from applying to our program, please send an email to biograd@syr.edu to request a fee waiver. In your email, please attach a CV and indicate the reason for your request along with a brief summary of your research interests, including what general area of biology research you would like to pursue at Syracuse University. We highly recommend indicating specific faculty members from our list of graduate faculty whose research interests match yours.