Admission deadlines: Fall - December 1 (Ph.D.); January 15 (M.S.)
Standardized test scores: GRE general test recommended but not required (institutional code 5246).
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the PhD and M.S. program are:
- Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
- TOEFL: 600 on paper-based or 100 on Internet-based; or
- PTE Academic: 68
Recommendations required: Three (3) recommendations
Prior academic records: Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.
Statement of purpose: In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.
Applicants are required to establish correspondence with one or more potential research advisors in the Biological Sciences Department prior to submitting your application. You should mention these individuals in your statement of purpose, explain how your interests match their research program(s). Applicants who have not discussed with faculty their interests in the program are unlikely to be admitted.
International applicants only: Please follow this link - - to review the International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College  of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 72 credits, including one-3-credit required course and 6 to 27 credits in thesis research.To advance to candidacy, successful completion of at least 45 credits of approved graduate-level coursework and completion of a general examination, comprising both written and oral examinations, are required. Students entering the program with a master's degree may be allowed to transfer up to 30 credits of graduate-level coursework into the program.

Required courses
BISC 6205Foundations in Cell and Molecular Biology
or BISC 6238 Foundations of Ecology
or BISC 6276 Foundations in Evolution
BISC 8999Dissertation Research (taken for at least 6 but no more than 27 total credits)

 Students can choose to focus on one of two research areas: Cellular and molecular biology, or systemics, evolution, and ecology. Coursework is designed to prepare each student for a general examination in three specific fields of study relevant to their chosen research area. These fields of study are determined in consultation with an advisory committee appointed for the candidate.

Following the field examinations, students undertake dissertation research under the guidance of a dissertation director. The final examination is an oral defense of the dissertation.