How To Apply

Apply Now for Fall 2015 Admission! The M.S. in Biology program starts each fall (late August) and spring (late January). The priority application dates are March 15 for fall admission and October 15 for spring admission.

PLEASE NOTE: As you start your application, click here for important instructions and items required by all graduate programs. In addition, read below for instructions specific to the M.S. in Biology.

International applicants please click here for important instructions.

Bachelor's Degree Background

Applicants who hold a Bachelor's degree in Biology are preferred. Students with a degree in other scientific fields (Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, etc.) are also eligible to apply for the program. If such a student is admitted, additional coursework at USF might be required.

Areas of Research

The graduate program in Biology has openings for new students in the following research areas for Fall 2015:

Behavioral Biology
Cancer Biology
Conservation Genetics
Developmental Biology
Plant Ecology

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Biology department faculty in the research area of their interest before submitting the online application.

Statement of Purpose

A two-page statement that describes your reasons for choosing a particular area of research for graduate study, your science background and experience, and your educational and professional goals.

Tests and GPA Requirements

The GRE general test score is required and the subject test in Biology or Biochemistry/Cell/Molecular Biology is strongly encouraged.

Average GRE general exam scores:

Verbal Quantitative Analytical Writing
153 (54%) 156 (63%) 4.3 (68 %)

An official TOEFL score is required of international applicants. A minimum TOEFL score of 100 (internet-based) is required for consideration. A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 or higher is required. After review of an application, coursework in USF's Intensive English Program may be recommended or required. The USF school code for the GRE and the TOEFL is 4850.

Biology applicants should hold a GPA (grade point average) of 3.2 or higher (on a scale of 4.0 as the highest score) in their undergraduate major and in upper-division coursework in the field of Biology.

Advising, Registration, Orientation and Start of Classes

Admitted students can contact the Department of Biology for details about the advising and registration schedule, as well as start of classes, in late August for fall students and in late January for spring applicants. Dr. James Sikes, the Graduate Director for Biology, can be contacted at 415.422.6367 or at