Applying to the Biology Graduate Program

Information on Applications and Admissions

The Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania will be accepting applications for the PhD program during the 2020-21 admissions cycle. Despite potential adjustments caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to receiving your applications to our program this fall. Applicants are accepted only for full-time work towards the Ph.D. degree. Part-time admissions and terminal Master's applications are not considered. The application system for Fall 2021 is opened on October 1, 2020 and the schedule for the admissions process is as follows:

December 15, 2020 - deadline for submission of applications and accompanying requirements. 

January 2021 - Invitations to interview will be sent to selected candidates. Interviews will likely be conducted by Zoom or other remote platform. 

Early March 2021 - Offers of admissions will be sent to those applicants who have been selected for admission.

April 15, 2021 - Decision deadline for admitted students.

We strongly encourage prospective students to contact faculty with whom they may be interested in working, to determine whether the lab is accepting new students and to discuss ideas for possible research projects. 


The Biology Graduate Group cooperates with the Biomedical Graduate Studies (BGS) program in the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine but is administratively and financially distinct from BGS. If applying to both programs, an application must be submitted to each program. Applicants may wish to review each program to see which program best serves their research interests before applying. 

Please note that the Biology Graduate Group and the Biomedical Graduate Studies Program are in separate schools within the University of Pennsylvania.  The Biology Graduate Group is in the School of Arts and Sciences while the Biomedical Graduate Studies Program is in the Perelman School of Medicine.


Diversity and Inclusion

The University of Pennsylvania and Department of Biology values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices. Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).

The University provides the following resources in support of students: