EEB Graduate Program: Step-by-step Application Procedure

Application information

This page is for individuals applying to the M.S. (research track) and Ph.D. programs in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

Prospective students are strongly encouraged to contact prospective advisors as early as possible, and certainly before applying, to determine whether they are accepting new students. All members of the graduate faculty in EEB may sponsor students in any of our degree programs. Click here to meet the graduate faculty and learn more about their research programs.

The application process is completed online through the Graduate School’s online application system.

Applications are reviewed once a year, beginning December 15th; submission prior to this date is strongly encouraged. Applications are evaluated by the departmental Graduate Admissions Committee, in consultation with prospective advisers. Letters offering admission to the program are sent out on a rolling basis throughout the spring. Accepted students are requested to notify the department of their decision to accept or decline the offer of admission and financial support as early as possible, but no later than April 15.

This F.A.Q. addresses common questions about applying to the program.

You will be guided through the application process by the online system used by the University; the application includes the following materials:

  1. Formal graduate school application pages and application fee; be sure to check the box indicating that you are applying for financial support. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to check the boxes indicating interest in being considered for internal appropriate internal fellowships for which they are eligible, under Enrollment Details > Funding. (PhD students may be considered for the Jorgensen and Harriott fellowships; MS students may be considered for the Crandall fellowships).  A complete description of these programs is available here.  All applicants should also indicate interest in Graduate Assistantships.
  2. Transcripts (unofficial submitted online; if admitted, you will also be required to mail official copies to the Graduate School. Do not mail official copies at this stage.)
  3. GRE scores (general and, if available, the biology subject test)
  4. Personal essay (2 pages)
  5. Curriculum Vitae (C.V.)
  6. Three academic letters of recommendation; these should come from individuals whom you have worked with in a research, field, lab or coursework setting, (You will be asked to enter contact information into the online system; recommenders will be notified by email about how to submit their letters directly.)
  7. TOEFL or IELTS scores must be submitted for non-native speakers of English. The Graduate School provides additional guidance for international applicants here.
  8. A diversity statement is required for applicants expressing interest in the Harriott or Crandall fellowships; it is not expected of other applicants.

While most of the application is self-explanatory, you may find the following pointers helpful:

  • Letters of recommendation: The individuals who furnish your letters of reference should provide candid evaluations of your aptitude, training, motivation, scholarly promise, teaching talent, and ability to express yourself orally and in writing. Detailed comments are much more useful to the Admissions Committee than broad generalizations. Letters from individuals who have supervised you in a non-academic/non-research setting are generally not helpful.
  • Personal essay: We require all applicants to provide a personal essay, which should be no more than two pages long. This statement should address the following:
      • your prior research experience
      • other relevant work or teaching experience
      • general research interests
      • specific research questions you would like to answer as a graduate student
      • which prospective advisor(s) you have contacted
      • your longer-term career goals
      • anything else you’d like the admissions committee to know
  • Diversity statement: This statement is required only for applicants who express interest in the Harriott or Crandall fellowships.  It should address the ways in which the applicant has demonstrated their commitment to enhancing diversity as described in the award criteria.  Applicants who do not wish to be considered for these fellowships are not expected to submit a diversity statement.
  • EEB Contact Information

    If you have additional questions about the application process, please contact Ms. Madeline Hennessey, the EEB Department Admissions Coordinator:

    Ms. Madeline Hennessey
    Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
    75 No. Eagleville Road, Unit 3043
    Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3042
    Tel. (860) 486-4319
    Fax: (860) 486-6364