PhD in Biology: How to Apply
Application requirements and information about financial support are listed below.
Our program is federated across Rutgers-Newark and NJIT. Students can work with faculty, do research, and take classes at either institution, regardless of where they are matriculated. However, funding mechanisms and administrative details can differ between universities. Therefore, we encourage you to apply to the university that houses the lab of your potential Faculty Mentor. If you are considering several options on either side, don’t worry about it too much. We will help to figure out the best option. Our Recruitment and Admissions Committee will help you through the process, and we recommend contacting any of committee members before you start the application process. The current members are:
Recruitment and Admissions Committee
As an applicant to the program, you are expected to meet a number of criteria, as listed below. Our Recruitment and Admissions Committee selects applicants for video and on-site interviews based on those criteria, but can make exceptions based on your strengths in other areas. Usually, you should have:
- An undergraduate degree in biology or other pertinent area of science.
- A strong foundation in chemistry (general and organic) and physics.
- Completion of one year of mathematics, preferably calculus.
- A grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or better.
- If you are an international applicant and your primary language is not English, you are required to submit your test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
To be considered for financial support, your completed application should be submitted by December 15, 2023 for admission for Fall 2024. Admission for the Spring semester is only considered in exceptional cases, as it will complicate your course progression. Applications should include all undergraduate and graduate transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a Resume or CV, and TOEFL scores (if applicable). The GRE is not required for the Biology PhD admissions process. Letters of recommendation or the previous work record should show some indication that research potential exists.
As the program is to a significant degree based on faculty research endeavors, admission depends not only on prior academic performance, but also critically on available opportunities and funding in individual or collaborating laboratories, which can vary considerably from year to year. Student funding usually comes from a combination of Teaching Assistantships, University Fellowships, extramural stipends, and faculty research grants. You are strongly encouraged to contact potential mentors to discuss opportunities.
Incoming full-time matriculated students are awarded Teaching Assistantships or nominated for University Fellowships on a competitive basis by the Department Chairs, on the recommendations of the Admissions and Recruitment Committee and the Graduate Directors. Teaching Assistantships are academic or calendar year awards and are renewable on a yearly basis, usually for not longer than a total of five years. Decisions about Teaching Assistantships are made based on student qualifications, current support of students in labs of individual Graduate Faculty, and the balance of funds distribution across program tracks and research fields. Both incoming and continuing students are encouraged to apply to national, regional, and state level funding agencies to obtain grant support for their intended research.