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Prospective Students

The deadline for graduate applications for fall admission to  Biology graduate programs is July 1.  However, the application deadline is January 1 if you want to be considered for support in the form of a teaching or research assistantship (you can indicate this on your formal application).  We will accept applications after that date; however, all openings may be full and funding is less likely to be available.  New students are generally supported on TAs, with funding priority to PhD students, then MS students.  Students pursuing the MA degree generally do not receive support.

Applicants to the MA program may request admission for either fall or spring semester.  However, admission to the PhD or MS programs is made only on an academic year basis.  Generally, new PhD and MS students are expected to begin their programs on July 1 or August 1 to coincide with the beginning of their assistantship contracts.  In certain cases (e.g. international students, late applications), the contract period can be adjusted for the first year to a 9-month period, rather than the normal 11-month period.

Interested applicants are strongly advised to explore the faculty web pages to identify one or more faculty members whose research is of interest to you.  An applicant who identifies and corresponds with a faculty member about potential graduate study will substantially improve his or her chances of acceptance over an equally qualified applicant who does not.

For Fall 2016 admission, a special fellowship, the Needleman Fellowship in Plant Conservation Genetics, is also available in conjunction with the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Please contact Christine Edwards ( or Allison Miller ( for more information and to be considered.

If you decide to pursue admission, all application materials must be submitted to the University's centralized admissions office for Graduate Education.   The admissions office uses electronic applications, so if you do not have access to the internet, you must contact them to learn what alternative means are available for applying. Your application must include:
  • a personal goal statement
  • a current resumé or CV
  • names and email addresses for three referees who have agreed to submit letters of recommendation for you (see below)
  • official transcripts (submitted by the degree-granting institution)
  • official scores submitted by the testing agencies for the GRE (General) and TOEFL exams (if the applicant's first language is not English)
  • application fee
The online application will ask you to supply the names and email addresses of the faculty (or other referees) who will write letters of recommendation for you.  When you finalize your application, the system will send an email to each of your referees requesting a letter.  Their letters should be on official letterhead and are submitted electronically as instructed in the notification.   If electronic submission is not possible, your referees may send their letters by mail to the address below; however, this may delay consideration of your application.

Saint Louis University

Graduate Admission
DuBourg Hall, Suite 150
One North Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO  63103

Codes for GRE & TOEFL tests

  • University code for Saint Louis University: 6629
  • Department code for GRE: 0203
  • Department code for TOEFL: 35

For further information about the Biology Graduate Program, contact:

Dr. Susan Spencer
Graduate Program Director
Dept. of Biology
Saint Louis University
3507 Laclede Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103-2010