• Application materials must be submitted to the Graduate School by December 1 for admission the following September
  • OEB does not consider applications for spring admission
  • Most admission decisions are completed by March

Admission Requirements

Admission is competitive. While OEB no longer reviews GRE scores as part of the admissions process, prospective students should have substantial undergraduate training in the life sciences or paleontology, with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.00. Successful applicants, especially those for the doctoral program, typically have prior research experience.

To ensure that our students have a productive research experience during their graduate training, admission to OEB requires sponsorship by an OEB faculty member who agrees to serve as the prospective major advisor.

Faculty Sponsor

Applicants must contact faculty with whom they propose to study prior to filing an application. To begin the process of locating a faculty sponsor, our list of faculty can be filtered by four broad areas: Animal Behavior, Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Organismal Biology.

More information on Finding a Faculty Sponsor can be found here. Faculty who have notified us that they are seeking students are also listed.

Once you have found an OEB faculty member who is willing to sponsor your application, include this information in your Personal Statement (part of the Graduate School’s Application).

Application Process

Click on this link: Graduate School Information and Application. Note that domestic applicants from underrepresented groups may qualify for an application fee waiver. Click on this link for more information: UMass Graduate Recruitment. In addition to completing the Graduate School application, all applicants must submit the following materials:

  • All undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  • Personal Statement (your statement should include a description of your research interests and experience, as well as the name of your faculty sponsor
  • 3 letters of recommendation

Students whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL scores; foreign applicants are strongly encouraged to submit additional evidence of facility in English.

Once you have submitted your application to the Graduate School and received your Admissions ID and Admissions Access Code, you can check your Application Status on the Graduate School Admissions web page.

Financial Support

All students admitted to OEB are provided financial support. Doctoral students normally receive support for five years. Most students are supported though Teaching Assistantships (TA's) and/or Research Assistantships (RA's). Some student are funded through intramural Fellowships at a similar rate or through external Fellowships from their own grants. Most students receive summer support from their advisor.

Both TA's and RA's carry a full tuition credit, curriculum fee credit, health insurance and a waiver of most fees. The current rate of funding is $23,050 for the academic year or $31,543 with a summer stipend. Fees that are not waived are Service Fee, Graduates Senate Tax and a portion of the Mandatory Health Fee. For students enrolled full time, this amounts to approximately $750/semester.