How to Apply


Applications are submitted online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. To begin the application process, please see the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences website. For additional information about the application process, please contact the Biology Graduate Program Coordinator. Students must complete the online application.  Applications submitted as PDFs to the department cannot be accepted.

Applicants interested in the Biology-affiliated Integrative Doctoral Fellowship in Quantitative Neurobiology of Behavior will have the opportunity to note this in the online application portal and submit a separate statement of interest for this program. Prospective applicants from underrepresented groups who feel they may not yet have sufficient training and research experience for admission to the doctoral program may also wish to investigate UVA's Bridge to the Doctorate Program

Prospective M.S. in Biology degree students must identify and communicate with a Biology faculty mentor prior to submitting an application for the M.S. program in Biology.  No prospective master's student application will be accepted unless a mutually agreeable arrangement has been established between the prospective student and mentor.

A non-refundable fee of $85 is due at the time the online application is submitted.  The Graduate School grants application fee waivers to members of select organizations listed on the GSAS website. If you believe that you are eligible for a needs-based fee waiver, please contact the Office of Admissions once you are prepared to submit the application online to request the application fee waiver.

The application portal is open now, as of September 15th​. The deadline for receipt of applications for graduate programs is December 1st, 2021.  The Biology Graduate Committee will meet in early December to review all completed applications. Spring admissions are rare, but will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the Biology Graduate Program Coordinator if you are interested.

Please note that all questions relating to submission of admission materials including transcripts and letters of recommendation are the responsibility of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.  All materials must be sent directly to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences via the online application website.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Contact Information:

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Office of Admissions
PO Box 400775
583 New Cabell Hall
Charlottesville, VA  22904-4775

Phone:(434) 243-0209
Fax: (434) 924-6737
Email: [email protected]

Please see our FAQ section for the most common applicant questions. 



An applicant’s personal statement should answer the following questions: Why do you want to obtain a graduate degree? Which faculty research programs (laboratories) are of interest to you?

Because of the short duration of the M.A./M.S. programs, applicants pursuing an M.S. in Biology degree must identify and contact potential thesis advisor(s) in advance of application; for these students, this relationship with a prospective faculty mentor should be discussed in the personal statement.


At least two letters of recommendation should be submitted electronically through the online application system. Once you have submitted the contact information for a particular reference within the online application, that individual will receive instructions via e-mail for submitting a letter of recommendation on your behalf. 

Letters of recommendation should be sought from faculty in your proposed field of study who are sufficiently familiar with your work to make a comprehensive evaluation of your abilities. If you have already undertaken a graduate program, at least one of the letters should be from a faculty member who is familiar with your academic performance at the graduate level.


Applicants must upload unofficial transcripts of their entire post-secondary academic record to the online application, including all undergraduate- and graduate-level coursework. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the faculty’s review of your application. If you accept an offer of admission to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, you will be asked to provide official transcripts from each college or university you have attended to the GSAS Admissions Office.


The University of Virginia receives all TOEFL scores directly from Educational Testing Services (ETS). Please utilize the institution code 5820 to ensure that scores are properly directed to the University. No department code is necessary.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are no longer required for application. 


All international students must submit TOEFL scores.