Graduate Applicant Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is for applicants for M.S. and Ph.D. research degrees in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

For information about the coursework-based M.S. in Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, click here.

What is the application deadline? Our target date is December 15, for admission for the following fall semester. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the target date.

Where do I submit my application? All applicants must submit an official application through the University’s online application system.

How do I apply for financial support? Applicants may be eligible for three different kinds of financial support overseen by UConn:

  • graduate assistantships (teaching or research assistantships)
  • internal fellowships
  • federal financial aid.

All applicants to the PhD and research MS programs should check the box on the Graduate School application form indicating that they are applying for financial support in the form of a Graduate Assistantship.  We also strongly encourage all applicants to indicate interest in all internal fellowships for which they are eligible by checking the appropriate boxes on the application form. PhD applicants may be eligible for both the Jorgensen Fellowship and the Harriott Fellowship; MS applicants may be eligible for the Crandall Fellowship.  Applicants wishing to be considered for the Harriott or Crandall Fellowships should also submit a diversity statement through the online application system.  The Graduate Admissions Committee handles the fellowship nomination process from there. Domestic students may also wish to apply for federal financial aid. All applicants are encouraged to apply for outside fellowships for which they are eligible.

What are the minimum requirements? Applicants must have completed a 4-year B.A. or B.S. degree (or international equivalent) and generally must satisfy minimum G.P.A. requirements. There are no minimum scores for the G.R.E. Note that UConn does not consider 3-year bachelor’s degrees from India, Australia or Canada to be the equivalent of a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree. However, a 3-year degree and additional post-graduate work can be used to meet this requirement.

Does it matter whether I apply to the M.S. or Ph.D. program? The Department does not have a set preference for either M.S. or Ph.D. students, although some advisors have preferences. Thus, if you are unsure which degree you are interested in, you are encouraged to discuss this question with your prospective advisor.

I’m not sure whose lab I’m most interested in; will my application be considered anyway? The Graduate Admissions Committee evaluates all completed applications. However, students who have not identified a major advisor are at a substantial disadvantage in the admissions process. Thus, applicants are urged to correspond with prospective advisors prior to completing the application process.

I’m an international applicant. Are there additional rules for me? The University maintains an F.A.Q. for international applicants here.  Because of our commitment to funding our students, the Department generally only admits students who meet the University’s English proficiency requirement for teaching assistants, or who have evidence of alternative funding (such as a fellowship or research assistantship).  Please note that international applicants who have studied in an international institution that uses English as the language of instruction may be exempted from English proficiency testing.  The University’s policy on exemptions is here.