How to Apply

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Students are accepted during the Spring semester for enrollment in the Fall. Applications for Fall enrollment should be filed with the Graduate Selections Committee by December 15. Later applications may be considered.

When a student is accepted into the OU Biology Graduate Program, the student is accepted directly into the laboratory of an individual faculty member or has at least one faculty member who is willing to serve as a potential sponsor (for the CBN Ph.D. program). Therefore, there are three key things to keep in mind before applying.

First, introduce yourself to all Biology faculty members with whom you share strong research interests, and make sure they have a chance to get to know you. It is important to communicate with a faculty member and to get that person interested in having you as a student. If there is more than one faculty member that would be interested in you, be sure to introduce yourself to all of them. Don't be afraid to contact faculty. They want to hear from you!

Secondly, spend some time to really get to know the faculty. All of our graduate programs require successful completion of the research thesis or dissertation. This, as well as your success in your career after you leave the program, will depend on the quality and creativity of the science that you do while you are here. Therefore, you need to make sure that you find a faculty mentor who is a good fit for you. Consider several things: Do you share research interests? Does the faculty member have space for you? Also, does your learning style fit the structure or independence offered by a particular faculty member?

Finally, and this is critical, talk to the graduate students to help you make the aforementioned decisions. More than anyone else, the students know what it is like to be in the program. Ask students about their experiences working with the faculty member whom you are interested in as a potential mentor. Be sure to speak with several students, since different people can have very different opinions.


You will need to submit the OU Graduate Admissions application via the online form. You are encouraged to submit portions of your application as soon as they are ready.

  1. Complete the OU application at the Office of Graduate Admissions webpage.

As part of the application, you will need to upload the following documents:

    1. Curriculum Vitae that includes information related to your educational and professional background, such as positions held, honors and awards, honors research topic and any presentations or publications.
    2. Personal Statement that describes what area(s) of specialization you would like to pursue as a graduate student in our program, what generated your interest in this area and in OU, and your eventual career plans.
    3. Unofficial copy of transcript(s) from the school where you earned or will earn your undergraduate degree and any graduate degree.
    4. Unofficial copy of your Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
    5. Applicants whose native language is not English, an unofficial copy of your TOEFL iBT or IELTS exam score.
  1. Arrange for letters of reference (at least three) to be submitted via the online OU application form.

  2. Arrange for a complete set of official college transcripts to be sent to:

University of Oklahoma
Office of Graduate Admissions
1000 Asp Avenue room 127
Norman OK 73019-4076

  1. Arrange for an official copy of your scores on the GRE General Test to be sent to us. The Advanced Biology GRE is not required, but is strongly advised.Institution code for OU = 6879, Departmental code for Biology = 0203
  1. Applicants whose native language is not English: Arrange for official score reports for one of these tests to be sent to OU:
    1. TOEFL internet-Based Test (iBT) - The institution code for OU is 6879, Department of Biology code is 35.
    2. International English Language Testing Service (IELTS)

These scores allow us to assess your language skills and ability to instruct using English. OU’s English language proficiency requirements for teaching assistantships are described here.


To obtain additional information about our graduate program, you may send a request to, or write to:

Chair, Graduate Selections Committee 
Department of Biology 
University of Oklahoma 
730 Van Vleet Oval
Norman, OK  73019

Please note that your application is not considered complete without all of the appropriate recommendations, transcripts, and test scores.



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