Before submitting an application, please take a few minutes to learn about the research programs in Biology at KSU. Your career goals will be better met if you chose a research topic that is of interest to you, but it is also important that this research topic is among the areas of expertise of our current research faculty. For more detailed information on individual research, click on individual faculty names on the Research Programs page.
Deadlines for Receipt of Completed Applications (NOTE: These application deadlines may not correspond to those found on the graduate school web pages, but these are the official deadlines for the KSU Biology Division. If you are applying to the Biology Division graduate program, please ignore the deadlines on the KSU Graduate School web pages and use the deadlines listed below.)
- For Fall (August) admission: Applications should be received by Dec 15
- For Spring (January) admission: Applications should be received by August 1
Applications for admission can be considered at other times of the year if funds are available; this depends on acceptance of offers, funding of new grants, and other parameters which cannot be predicted on an annual basis. In order for late (or early) applications to be considered, however, they MUST BE COMPLETE. See below for information on what constitutes a complete application.
We do not have separate admission "quotas" for foreign and domestic students. We will choose the best qualified applicants, whether foreign or domestic, from the applicant pool for each admission round.
Separate application for assistantship is NOT required; we offer full financial support to all students whom we admit. Currently we offer support of $20,020 plus tuition per calendar year. We provide this full financial support, via either a teaching or research assistantship, for all students whom we accept. This support is the same for both foreign and domestic students, and is offered for the duration of the graduate education period, contingent upon reasonable progress toward the degree. In other words, if you are accepted for admission into the program, you will be supported as long as you make reasonable progress toward a degree. ALL graduate students are eligible for in-state tuition and fees.
The application form is submitted electronically via the KSU Graduate School (see link below). All other supporting materials shoud be sent to:
Biology Division Graduate Affairs Committee
c/o Diane Ukena
116 Akert Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506-4901
The following materials are required for a completed application:
- Graduate school application form, completed. This is an online application process; click here to get more information and to start the process.
- A $50 application fee ($75 for international students); credit card, personal check drawn on a US bank, cashier's check or postal money order made out to: Kansas State University Graduate School. Instructions for payment can be found at the application link above.
- Statement of aims and objectives (see below for guidelines)
- Three Letters of recommendation. There is no required form or format; please instruct your referees to simply submit a letter on official letterhead stationery to Graduate Affairs Committee, Biology Division, Ackert Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan KS 66506-4901. We prefer that referees send letters directly to us; if letters are to be included in a total application packet, they should be in signed and sealed envelopes.
- Official transcripts, one copy of each
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (scores from both computer-based and paper versions are accepted) The institution code for KSU is R6334; the department code for the Biology Division is 0203. Only the general GRE is REQUIRED. Subject exams are NOT required, but if you have already taken these please feel free to send in your scores. This can provide the admissions committee with additional information about a candidate. Information about the GRE can be obtained from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) at:
Graduate Record Examination, ETS
Princeton, NJ 08541
or contact the ETS on the WWW at http://www.ets.org/ for more information. (NOTE: The KSU Biology program does not have a numerical cut-off for GRE performance. We have found that GRE scores are not a good sole predictor for success in graduate school, i.e. some students with excellent GRE scores do not perform well in graduate research, and others with marginal GRE scores turn out to be excellent researchers. For that reason we do not have a minimum required score for the GRE, but merely use the GRE score as one parameter in our admission decisions.)
- Additional requirements for students who are not US citizens or permanent residents.
- Additional application/processing fee (see above); cashier's check, postal money order, credit card, or personal check from a US bank, made out to: Kansas State University Graduate School.
- Affidavit of Financial Support: This document is required by our graduate school, but is actually not relevant for applications to our program , since we offer full financial support to all who are admitted, and we don't admit anyone whom we cannot support. So please just read and sign the first part of this document, and ignore the rest.
- Evidence of English language proficiency is required by the KSU Graduate School. Additional information about appropriate tests and test scores can be found here. (NOTE: The KSU Biology program requires a higher score on the following:
TOEFL Internet Based Score - 100 (needs a score of 22 on the Speak Test)
TOEFL Computer Based Score - 250
TOEFL Paper Based Score - 600
IELTS - 7.0 (only good for 2 years)
- We do not review incomplete applications.
- Due to the large number of applications which we receive, we do not routinely inform applicants when their application packets are received, or when they are completed. If you wish to inquire about the status of your application, please email our admissions secretary, Diane Ukena, and she will make sure that your request is answered.
- Completed applications are reviewed by a committee (see Graduate Affairs Committee Tab) of five (5) to eight (8) faculty, representing the areas of physiology; genetics, developmental and cell biology; microbiology and immunology; systematics and ecology; and virology and oncology. Reviews consist of evaluations of all items listed as required. We have no minimum standard for GRE scores; this standardized test is only one of the parameters we use for evaluation of applications. Prior research experience, as indicated by publications in print or in press, or in letters of recommendation, is an important consideration in our evaluation as well. Decisions are made in favor of those applicants whose credentials are believed to indicate the most promise for becoming successful graduate students.
- Incoming graduate students may be admitted to M.S in Biology or Ph.D. Degree programs in either Biology or Microbiology. Admissions to specific research programs/laboratories within Biology or Microbiology are not made.
- Admissions are made only through the recommendation of the Director of the Division of Biology to the Dean of the Graduate School.
In the completion of the statement of aims and objectives the following questions may be of help to you. Use them as you wish.
- How well do you believe your preparation has been in the mastery of basic subject material and laboratory or field procedures and techniques in Biology and/or Microbiology? Give examples to illustrate your evaluation.
- Have you done any original research? Are the results published? If so, provide citation(s).
- How well do you believe your preparation has been in obtaining a broad background in supporting areas such as chemistry, biochemistry, mathematics, statistics and/or other areas valuable to your particular field of interest?
- Have you consulted with faculty advisors concerning the personal demands of graduate school imposed upon you as an individual and your family, should you be married? Have you considered any problems, financial, health, marital, or otherwise, that would preclude your giving predominant attention to graduate study?
- How important is the advanced degree that you seek to the completion of a successful career in the field of your interest? What ultimate objectives do you have as career goals?
- Do you have any "on-the-job" experience in the field of your interest or related areas? Give examples of things that you have done that you judge to be original and creative and that demonstrate leadership.
Applications must be submitted electronically via the KSU Graduate School at this website. If you have general questions about graduate study at KSU, please contact the KSU Graduate School.
If you have questions about the graduate admission procedure in the Division of Biiology, please see the FAQ.