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Biological Sciences

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International Applicants

Our doctoral program encourages applications from all highly qualified students, including international applicants. Presently, our program has about 65 graduate students, about 1/3 of which are international students.  The number of international students we admit varies each year depending on the applicant pool and the specific needs of the faculty.

Students holding degrees in the physical or biological sciences are especially encouraged to apply to the Graduate Program, but applicants from other fields will be considered. In appropriate cases, background deficiencies may be made up in the first year of the program or in the summer prior to entry. Students are advised to take the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) as early as possible. Any applications completed prior to December 1 will be considered.  Please encourage referees to submit letters as soon as possible since applications cannot be considered complete until the letters of recommendation are received. You should apply to our graduate program online. There is no application fee for an online application.

Applicants to our graduate program are evaluated on the totality of their scholarly achievements, including previous research experience as well as GPA and test scores. The general GRE and TOEFL are required and original scores from ETS as well as letters of recommendation must be received to complete the application before the January 15 deadline. Subject GRE tests are not required. Graduate School minimums for GPA and TOEFL scores are 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA and GPA in major, TOEFL scores of 570 for paper-version, 230 for computerized and 88 for internet-based tests. There are no Graduate School minimums for GRE scores. For perspective, typical mean test score ranges for students entering the Biological  Sciences graduate program in the past few years have been verbal GREs in the 550-600 range, quantitative GREs in the 650-750 range and GPAs in the 3.2-3.7 range. However, many other factors, including demonstrated research abilities and recommendations are important in the admissions process.

For more information about applying to the Graduate School as an international student as well as links to important forms, please visit the Vanderbilt International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) website.