Applicant FAQ's

Applying to the Program

It is recommended that applicants have a Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a biology-related field. Students who have a M.S. degree in a related field are encouraged to apply. Previous research experience is highly desirable but not essential.

All application materials should be uploaded via the UA Graduate College’s online admissions application, including your unofficial transcripts and any supplemental materials. Official transcripts should be sent only to the University of Arizona Graduate College. You can learn more about specific admissions requirements here and on the Graduate College’s website.

You will need to upload unofficial transcripts, a personal/research statement, resume/CV, contact information for three letter writers, and any additional information that you think may strengthen your application. International students from non-English speaking countries are also required to submit TOEFL scores or an alternative English proficiency credential accepted by the UA Graduate College. 

Your statement of purpose should be approximately 1-3 pages in length and at minimum address the following questions: What are your goals and objectives for pursuing this graduate degree? What are your qualifications and indicators of success in this endeavor? 

On the application, you will be asked to provide a list of faculty members in our Department who 1) you are interested in working with; and 2) you’ve corresponded with regarding your research interests (if any).

The most important thing you can do as a prospective student is make contact with potential faculty advisors to determine if their area(s) of research match your own interests. Finding a good fit between you and a faculty mentor will be critical to your success in graduate school. Please review our faculty members and their research interests—this will give you a good sense of the work that they and their current students are doing.

As a part of the online application you will need to register your recommenders. They will then receive an email directly from the University of Arizona instructing them to upload and submit their letter of recommendation. While electronic submission is preferred, the email will also include information on how to submit a hard copy letter. (Note: You will still be able to complete and submit your application if your letters have not yet been received).

All applications must have a minimum of three recommendation letters.  Please do not submit more than four letters. The letters of recommendation should be written by faculty who can speak to your academic and research ability. 

The University of Arizona's institution code for sending official electronic score reports is 4832. 

The University of Arizona's minimum requirement for the internet-based TOEFL is 79 for the combined score. Students who have an overall score lower than 79 cannot be admitted to the Graduate College and/or any UA graduate programs. EEB has no defined cut-off for TOEFL scores other than the University minimum.  However, to be eligible for departmental Teaching Assistantships you must have a minimum score of 24 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL.  Your TOEFL can be sent directly to the University of Arizona Graduate College; our institution code is 4832.

Yes, the Graduate College will accept the IELTS and the Pearson PTE Academic.  Please see the Graduate College website for information about the minimum scores required. 

All application materials are due December 1 each year.  The EEB Graduate Admissions Committee begins evaluating applications immediately after this deadline, and typically complete their review by mid-January. You may expect an update on the status of your application after this time. Applicants who are being considered for admission will be invited to our prospective student recruitment week (usually early February) for an interview.


The Department makes every effort to support doctoral students who make acceptable progress in their first ten semesters of study unless other arrangements were agreed upon at the time of acceptance. Funding includes all forms of stipend support, such as teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and research fellowships from any source. Support beyond the third year is contingent upon a student's continued progress in their dissertation research. Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) provide the primary means of support for EEB Ph.D. students. GTAs teach small introductory classes, facilitate discussion sections connected to large lecture courses, and run laboratory sections. The typical GTA has a 50% appointment, working between 16.5 and 20 hours per week.  In addition to their stipend,  Graduate Assistants also have their tuition cost waived (both in-state & out-of-state) and receive student health insurance (year-round coverage).

Graduate Assistants (both teaching and research positions) receive $11,500* per semester and Graduate Associates receive $12,500* per semester.  In addition to their stipend, Graduate Assistants/Associates have their tuition cost waived (both in-state & out-of-state) and receive student health insurance coverage.  A student who passes their comprehensive exam will be promoted from Graduate Assistant to Graduate Associate.  *Current rates for academic year 2023-2024. 

Graduate Assistantships/Associateships (both teaching and research positions) do not cover mandatory student fees, course fees, international student fees, or program fees. It is the student’s responsibility to pay these fees by the first day of class (to avoid late fees). Learn more about mandatory fees and other course fees.

Yes, international students are eligible to receive Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs), provided that their TOEFL or IELTS scores meet the minimum requirement for teaching. The minimum scores for the teaching requirement are higher than the admissions requirement. To be eligible for a GTA, an international student must have a minimum score of 24 on the speaking portion of the TOEFL. For IELTS, they must have a total minimum score of 7.5.


Yes, the University of Arizona offers student health insurance.  Graduate Assistants have year-round health insurance coverage paid for by the University as a part of their contract.  For more information, visit the Campus Health website.