Admission Requirements

University Requirements

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average of 3.0 on a 4-point scale (for regular admission status)

For non-native English speakers, whether international or U.S. citizens or permanent residents, proof of English proficiency as demonstrated by one of the following:

Non-native English speakers should note that the requirements are for admission purposes only. All non-native English speakers are required to check in at KU's Applied English Center upon arrival. Some students may be required to complete an English proficiency exam and to complete English training courses before enrollment in regular courses is allowed.

  • Official scores from the TOEFL or IELTS achieved no more than two years before the semester of admission. Detailed information about English Proficiency Requirements for admission to Graduate Studies is available on the University of Kansas Graduate Studies website. Below are the minimum scores for regular admission:
    • Internet-based TOEFL: reading, writing, and listening scores of at least 20
    • Paper-based TOEFL: all parts at least 53
    • IELTS: overall band score at least 6.0 and all individual band scores at least 5.5
  • Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) earned in residence from an accredited U.S. institution of higher education.
  • Graduation with a baccalaureate degree (or higher) from a program taught in English at an international institution. This does not apply to degrees earned online. Verification of English instruction from the university is required as part of the application and can be from a catalog or program description brochure or an official letter from a department chair, dean, or other university official stipulating English as the language of instruction. The applicant must also complete a telephone interview with a KU representative.

Department Requirements (see how to apply page for additional information).

The departmental graduate admissions committee reviews the record of each applicant. The committee considers the candidate's overall undergraduate record in the context of the institution(s) from which the record was received. The student's academic record in the specialization is also important. The master's degree is not a prerequisite for entering a Ph.D. program. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required for your application. You may choose to submit GRE scores if you feel they help inform your academic abilities.  However, choosing not to submit scores will not affect your chances of admission.  Applicants who are not native speakers of English must provide certified scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language or from the International English Language Testing System or must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an institution that uses English as the language of instruction.

Faculty recommendations, honors, awards, undergraduate research experience, publications, and professional experience are considered. The EEB Admissions Committee bases their admission decision in part on the letters of recommendation. The more information the recommender can provide about the applicant the more useful the letter of recommendation. Please click here to see an example.

Motivation, enthusiasm, and realistic career goals as evidenced by the applicant's essay are particularly important.

There are two paths for being admitted and entering a laboratory for graduate study in EEB. The most common path is through direct admission to a faculty laboratory. However, if you are unsure about joining the lab of a single faculty member, you may instead do laboratory rotations in two to three labs prior to entering just one.

Whether seeking direct entrance into a lab or a rotation, students are encouraged to seek a faculty sponsor through correspondence with one or more faculty members prior or during the application process. If students would prefer to do rotations with two or three faculty members in their first year, they should indicate a general field of interest and a short list of prospective faculty mentors on their application.

Below are some possible rotation themes. We provide them simply as examples and you should feel free on your application to identify your own set of faculty whose research interests you.

Example Rotation Themes:

  • Vertebrate Systematics: Richard Glor, Rafe Brown, Town Peterson, Leo Smith, Rob Moyle, Jocelyn Colella
  • Plant-Genotype Phenotype: Lena Hileman, John Kelly, Maggie Wagner
  • Insect Evolutionary Genetics and Genomics: Jenny Gleason, Justin Blumenstiel, Jamie Walters, Rob Unckless (MB Affiliate)
  • Disease Ecology: Folashade Agusto, Maria Orive, Town Peterson
  • Plant-Microbe Interactions: Maggie Wagner, Jim Bever, Ben Sikes

Admitted students with one faculty sponsor are promised a financial support package that includes a stipend and tuition sponsorship from a combination of teaching assistantships and research assistantships financed by faculty grants. Rotation students will be supported either through a teaching assistantship or a combination of teaching assistantship and research assistantship supported by the faculty rotation cohort in the first year. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. A financial support plan for rotation students will be provided once the student finds a suitable mentor.

The number of students admitted is limited. Qualified candidates may be denied admission because of lack of a faculty sponsor, financial support, or research facilities.

Non-Degree Seeking Student Requirements

  • Bachelor's degree
  • Minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average of 2.0 on a 4-point scale
  • Proof of English proficiency as outlined under "University Requirements."
  • Instructor permission prior to enrolling in classes


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