Graduate Admissions


  • August 1 for admission the following January
  • December 15 for admission the following August

Applications can also be reviewed at any time at the request of faculty members who have research funding available and are looking to recruit a specific student.

Optional Rotations

Applicants with research interests in Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Conservation Biology and similar fields typically apply to work with a specific faculty mentor and enter directly into that laboratory. They often are in communication with the faculty member prior to beginning the program to discuss projects and funding.

Applicants with research interests in Microbiology, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Developmental Biology and similar fields can apply with a specific faculty member in mind but often have broader interests at first. Considerable flexibility is available. Depending on how student and faculty interests align, some students may go straight into specific labs whereas others may conduct rotations. Rotating students do short projects in 2-3 different labs during their first semester to explore different research opportunities and find the best fit for their interests.

What we are looking for

Applicants must have a BS or equivalent 4-year undergraduate degree completed by the time they begin graduate studies. We do not require a specific undergraduate major or GPA, but successful candidates will demonstrate core disciplinary knowledge of the life sciences. Because our program provides research degrees, we expect applicants to have research experience and clearly stated research interests.

A key issue in graduate admissions is finding matches between applicants and faculty mentors. Be sure to mention in your personal statement if you have been in contact with a faculty member(s) who is (are) interested in recruiting you into their lab.. Even if you have not been in contact with anyone, be sure to mention at least one faculty member with matching research interests. And if-you are interested in doing lab rotations with multiple faculty, please list faculty with whom you might want to rotate.

We value diversity and encourage applications from underrepresented groups.


All applications must be submitted through the KSU Graduate School’s online system and must include:

  • A personal statement of goals and experiences: The personal statement should explain your past research experience and your long-term career goals. It should describe research interests you may wish to pursue as a graduate student and explain how suchinterests are aligned with the research programs of one or more KSU Biology faculty.
  • Official transcripts
  • Contact details for three professional references
  • $50 application fee ($75 for international applicants)
  • GRE scores are NOT required but can be provided if available (KSU institution code: R6334; Division of Biology departmental code: 0203)

International applicants

Most international applicants who are not US citizens or permanent residents are required to provide proof of English language proficiency, though anexception exists for international students from English speaking countries. The KSU Graduate Handbook provides additional details, including a listing of designated English speaking countries. The Division of Biology has a more stringent requirement than the Graduate School and expects a TOEFL IBT of at least 100 or an IELTS score of at least 7.0.

The KSU Graduate School requires international applicants to submit an Affidavit of Financial Support. This is a Graduate School requirement, but it is not relevant to Division of Biology admissions because we only admit students for whom we provide full financial support. Please read this document and sign the first part but you do NOT need to provide the extensive financial information required from self-supported international graduate students.

Questions can be directed to the K-State Biology Graduate Program office specialist:

Sara Smith
116 Ackert Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506-4901
Phone: 785-532-6615
Fax: 785-532-6653