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Indiana University Bloomington

Department of Biology

Graduate Studies

How to Apply to GCDB

Application deadlines:

  • December 1 for international applicants
  • December 1 for domestic applicants

Minimum entrance requirements include an undergraduate major in one of the biological sciences or in a related field (such as chemistry, physics, or mathematics). Applicants should have a general background in biology or a related science, including laboratory experience. Undergraduate course work in chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics and and/or physical sciences is desirable. We require official undergraduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, and official results of the Graduate Record Examinations. Prospective applicants should feel free to inquire about possible exceptions to these requirements, since a unique academic background may be an asset, and deficiencies can be made up early in the graduate program.

A complete application includes:

  • A completed application form submitted through the online application system of the University Graduate School.

  • Departmental pre-application – The departmental pre-application can be completed prior to or at the same time you submit the University Graduate School application. To submit the departmental pre-application form, please go to

  • Official transcripts (electronic or hard copies) from all undergraduate and Master’s programs (if applicable) institutions attended. U.S. applicants should have transcripts sent to Biology Graduate Office, Myers Hall, Room 150, 915 East Third Street, Bloomington, IN 47405-7107. International applicants should submit transcripts directly to the Office of International Services/Admissions, Poplars 221, 400 East Seventh Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405 (

  • Official results of the Graduate Record Examinations (quantitative, verbal, and analytical). The biology subject GRE test is also recommended. These should be mailed directly to our address from the Educational Testing Service. (Please note that the process of scoring those exams and mailing out results frequently takes several weeks.)    Institution code is 1324, Department code 0203.

  • Three letters of recommendation. Be sure to contact your recommenders in advance so that they have time to write and submit their letters by the application deadline.

  • A 300–500 word statement of purpose regarding your current and future research interests, your goals, plans for your professional career, and reasons for selecting your field of study.

  • A list stating your teaching, research, and/or industrial experiences; a list of publications, if available; and any college or professional honors and awards. This information may be provided in a resume or CV.  (May be placed at the beginning of your statement of purpose.)

  • Official results of the TOEFL Examination (international students only).  Institution code is 1324, Department code 99.

All required admission and financial aid documents (such as letters of recommendation) should be sent directly to the Graduate Program Office by the deadline.

Application options:

The following links will open in a new browser window. This window will remain open for you in the background. There is an application fee of $55 for U.S. citizens ($65 for international applicants). The University Graduate School participates in several programs designed to expand participation of underrepresented minority groups in graduate education. Prospective student applicants who apply through one of four programs can receive an application fee waiver from the University Graduate School. The programs are (1) Project 1000; (2) McNair Graduate Fellowship Program; (3) Committee for Institutional Cooperation (CIC) FreeApp Program (waiver application); and, (4) National Physical Science Consortium (NPSC).

  • Option 1: Online application system through the University Graduate School. All forms are completed online. Select "Admissions" from the menu on the graduate school page and follow the link for applying online. The direct link is

  • Option 2: If you do not have ready access to the web, or have trouble downloading the necessary forms, please contact Gretchen Clearwater at:




    (812) 855-1861

    (812) 855-6082


    Graduate Office
    Department of Biology
    Myers Hall 150
    915 E. 3rd St.
    Bloomington, IN 47405-7107

We welcome inquiries about our graduate program. All inquiries concerning the features of the various programs in Biology, or the status of an application, should be directed to the phone number, email, or mail address shown above. Inquiries about a specific research program carried out by an individual faculty member should be sent directly to the relevant faculty member. However, note that admission decisions are made by a committee and it is not possible for an individual faculty member to accept an applicant directly. A student must first be admitted by the admissions committee.

Admission Decisions

All applications are reviewed by a faculty committee in the program of interest and also at the departmental level. Our goal is to select students with the motivation and creativity to advance the field of biology. To do this we consider all aspects of the candidate's record and application; GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, personal statement, research experience, and accomplishments. In the evaluation of an undergraduate's transcript, particular attention is paid to work in laboratory courses and science courses. The GRE advanced subject test is not required for admission, but is strongly recommended. The admissions committee also makes decisions about the type of financial support awarded to the applicant. Applicants who are accepted into the program must respond no later than April 15th to the offer of admittance. After the deadline, promise of support can no longer be guaranteed.

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